At this point in 2016, the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are about a little over halfway through. As usual, they have been packed full of events that have kept people on the edge of their seats and many athletes have taken home gold. Many who have gathered around their television to watch their favorite events, such as swimming or gymnastics, have cheered on their favorite teams and/or athletes when they have won. There are some people that are so enthralled with the aspects of these Olympiads that they have traveled to Rio to witness them live. These people could be defined as hardcore sports fans; who are usually quite caught up in all things sports and sport related to the point that they almost know the ins and outs of the events like the athletes.
But what about the people who are not highly invested in sports? What do they get out of the Olympics? What interest do these events hold for them?
Everyone, no matter who they are, likes the idea of team work. Where everyone comes together to accomplish one goal and to feel pride that each person, hopefully, has put in work to make it all possible. Team is what makes the dream work after all. The Olympics are a great way to witness many teams come together to make their dreams come true. It is satisfying to see so many people work so hard to try to achieve their goals. How can you not respect the idea of wanting to be #1? (In no way am I discrediting the hard work that all teams in every sport around the world put in to win their games and matches through out the year; four years of non-stop training and trails to get to the Olympics is just highly impressive.)
It isn't even just about the team work that can get anyone and everyone interested in watching the Olympics. It is fascinating to watch the style that these athletes will use to make their way through their events. Their tactics and strategies appeal to the part of the mind that loves seeing puzzles and mysteries get solved; pretty much a "How it's Made" episode that is sports edition. Don't lie, you know you like to know how things work. These athletes do a great job of showing how all their hard work, training, and tactics pay off in the end.
Personally, I have been a below average sports fan for most of my life (I know, gasp, a writer who isn't that into sports). I did play soccer for several years of my youth, learned how to play golf, learned how to shoot a rifle like a pro and used to swim laps like nobody's business. I have always been a fan of baseball and soccer; and have been a wee bit of a fan of football thanks to having to sit in the bandstands watching the football games to pass time to wait to play my instrument. One thing for sure though, I am an avid fan of swimming, especially when the summer Olympics roll around. When I say that I am an avid fan of this event, I really mean it, ask any of my Twitter followers.
That right there is only a small snippet of how insane I got with one night's swimming events. When the Olympics come on, I transform into that guy who is dressed in a team jersey, paints their face, and breaks out the foam finger while screaming at the top of my lungs. Obviously by the bottom tweet I am a huge Michael Phelps fan and was quite happy that he helped win gold for Team USA in the men's 4X200m freestyle relay. How could you not be impressed by that merman's performance in any swimming event? His form is beautifully perfect, his strategy is on point, and all of his hard work pays off (27 medals). Phelps is always proud of when he wins and has been humbled when he has lost; now that is admirable.
As someone who used to swim laps daily every summer for a handful of years, I understand how hard it is to keep going in the pool and keeping one's form tight. No, I never competed but I always was asked to join the team because they were impressed by what I did. That always made me feel like I was doing something right.
My point in all of this is that the Olympics can bring out something in people that they never knew that was in them. It brings out real emotions for wanting others to succeed, for your country's team to win as much as they can, and being satisfied with all that is going on. Even when you're waiting on your favorite events to appear, you find yourself cheering on the cyclists, the gymnasts, volleyball players, etc. to win because you know they have worked hard to get there. The Olympics bring so many people together for one common goal. Our cheers spur on the athletes to keep going, to keep fighting till the end. We all, no matter how big or little of a fan we may be, become one whole team. Remember:
Team work is what makes the dream work.