Yes, that’s the rule every two years when the wonderful strains of John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare fill the house. Don’t you find yourself busting out that trumpet part at random points in the day? The kids and I were all humming our own multi-harmonic, cacophonic version of it in the car the other day…anyway, I digress.
We love the Olympics in our house and all household members can watch TV whenever desired for those 17 glorious days as long as it’s got a London 2012 logo in the corner. Think of all the great memories from your own childhood viewing of The Summer Games. I was only five, but I remember Nadia’s perfect 10. Greg Louganis taking gold after hitting his head on the diving platform. Muhammad Ali lighting the torch despite the tremors of his disease. And I’m sure you do too. Creating those new memories with my children is priceless. We’ll always remember watching the Fab Five waiting for that final score or Phelps’ last few strokes into the history books.
But it’s more than just triumphant winning moments. So much more. It’s a full-blown HD lesson in hard work and determination. For every gold medal moment, there are so many equally precious moments that don’t end on the podium.
It’s watching athletes from small island nations or war-torn countries who have given so much to even make it to the games. Competitors in sports that come with no endorsements and we only see once every four years. Those participants are there not for the world of fame and glory, but because of an insatiable passion to pursue talent that burns inside of them.
It’s about the losing moments as much as the winning ones. As the world watches, teammates pick each other up and coaches wipe away tears. Then the athletes dig deeper and come back stronger. Or maybe not. But it’s all part of the Olympic story.
Most importantly to me as a parent, it’s about work ethic and determination. I am continually awed by the dedication and sacrifice of these athletes and their families. In a society where everyone gets a trophy for just showing up these days, it is healthy and important to see what true victory…and defeat…looks like. I think it’s an incredible example to our children even if they never play a sport.
So the TV’s on in our house. I love the updates about team handball or archery that my children deliver to me with unabashed enthusiasm. I also love that for just a few days, the world seems to be on the same page…even singing the same song. Na, na, na nananana, nananana, hey Jude!