Canadian luger Alex Gough wins women's singles bronze. Calgary athlete becomes 1st Canadian to win a singles luge medal  Photo source: olympics.cbc.ca

Canadian luger Alex Gough wins women's singles bronze. Calgary athlete becomes 1st Canadian to win a singles luge medal

Photo source: olympics.cbc.ca

The Olympics are a big deal in our house. Every two years we scramble to figure out the time zone differences and when the events will be aired; we monitor the medal standings daily; and when the Olympic venue is on the other side of the world – as it is this year – we wake up and check the news for what happened with our athletes overnight.

I know there are lots of reasons to be cynical about the Olympics, but I choose to love the Games, and here’s why:

  • I love cheering for Canada. I’m not a loud and raucous fan (well, I might be), but I do enjoy cheering for our country’s athletes, and knowing that millions of other Canadian citizens are doing exactly the same thing.
  • I find it really interesting to learn about the different sports. I am no expert in any of the technical details for any of the events, but I do enjoy learning about what makes a good halfpipe run or how figure skaters lose points, for example.
  • There are so many good stories on each day of any given Olympics (and a shout out to the talented folks at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for telling the stories so well). These athletes from all over the world are amazing people with their level of commitment, their drive to achieve their goals, and their ability to overcome obstacles. I’m grateful my kids get to observe these athletes’ examples, and I think these world-class competitors are role models for all of us.
  • I think one of the best parts for me is how the athletes acknowledge that they did not get to that world stage on their own. They thank parents, families, coaches, home communities, team members, friends, and fellow competitors. It’s a good reminder that behind every Olympian is a team of allies and supporters who are doing their part to build a strong foundation upon which their athlete can excel. And isn’t that true for each of us, too, with the people in our corner who encourage us and lift us up? It reminds me to be grateful for the allies in my life, and it inspires me to be a strong supporter of others.

Anyway, what’s your perspective on the Olympics? Why do you watch? And what parts do you like?

~Kara

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