Ah, the Olympics. What is it about this competition that makes Americans stop everything and watch each event with avid interest? Well, it isn’t just Americans or even this century that draws people to the games. In ancient times, wars would stop for the Olympics. Back then, it was a time for humans to honor the gods through acts of human excellence.
Our modern Olympics may hold an even greater hope — that the world will come together peacefully and enjoy the talents of athletes, not just from their own nation, but from countries all across the world. Through televised broadcasts, or personal visits, we begin to understand, just a little, about the heritage and culture of the host country, and about the countries of all the athletes competing. The hope is that during the competition, lasing bonds are formed and that countries begin to build bridges of understanding that can lead to a lasting peace.
When an athlete receives that Olympic award, voices are united around the world acknowledging and acclaiming the hard work and dedication it took to reach the pinnacle of athletic success — no matter what country he or she is from. Winning a medal in a modern Olympic event is one of the most prestigious and coveted honors in sports. Even professional athletes, who have won championships time and again, acknowledge that there is something even more special about representing their country in the Olympic Games.
There is something about seeing an athlete from our own country win a gold that brings out the highest level of patriotism in us. We take great pride in the medal count for our country, and carefully tote up the number of gold, silver and bronze medals. But in end, what fascinates us most is the Olympic Dream — the dream of being the best in the world, even if for one short blazing span of time.