I can still remember, as a little kid, sitting on the couch in my living room staring at the TV. Gymnastics was always my favorite. Watching the gymnasts – many of them still kids themselves – flip and twist in the air just amazed me. Along with all of the other athletes, they inspired something in me that I hadn’t known was in there before. Today, I’m still probably the worst “gymnast” you’d ever come across. That hasn’t changed. And neither has my love for the Olympics.
The 2016 Olympics have just begun in Rio de Janeiro, and I’ve realized that not everything is the same as it was four years ago, or eight, or twelve. These people I look up to, who seem like legends…they’re all my age now, if not younger. They’ve already accomplished so much in such little time, and I can still barely drag myself out of bed to go to class in the morning. Overall, it seems like most of the people who compete in the Olympic Games are relatively young.
But, fortunately for us, there’s no age limit for watching the Olympics. From rooting on our favorites (i.e., all of Team USA) to joining in the celebration with all of our family and friends, the Olympics are for everybody. Yeah, sure, we might wish we were in Rio right now with all of those people lucky enough to actually go, but even just watching the Games on TV is nothing ordinary. We get to witness dreams being fulfilled. People, who have worked their whole lives for these moments, are embarking on a journey I could only wish to experience. How can we not cheer them on? I know that every time someone wins a race, scores a point, sticks a landing or even breaks a record, I can’t help but smile, no matter what team they’re on. Knowing that millions of people around the world just saw their dreams come true makes me so incredibly happy.
Not only that, but the athletes are all inspirational on another level. As someone who has big dreams myself, it’s nice to know that it's not all just fantasy – that they can become reality. Seeing that all the hard work and dedication paid off for them makes it that much easier to believe that it could for me, too. The Olympians are not only great at their respective sports, but they’re great as role models.
So, who doesn’t like the Olympics? No one, it seems. The entire world is extremely excited right now, each country hoping their own team can bring home some medals when it’s all over (preferably gold). Still, even though we may be on different sides, rooting for different people, the Olympics always make sure to bring people together, not drive them apart. Amidst all of the current chaos going on in the world, the Games have given us a nice breather and a chance to rediscover our humanity. It has given us incredible athletes who are absolutely wonderful to watch. And it has given us the inspiration to never, ever, give up.
Even though I may never make it to the Olympics as a gymnast, seeing that all I can do is a cartwheel, I will keep cheering from the sidelines until Team USA has made it to the top. And I know I won’t be alone. Because the Olympics, like always, have united the whole world and reminded us all to never give up on our dreams.