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February 24, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s that time of the year. Fourteen days in February when nations (most we have heard of, some we haven’t) send their best athletes to a pre-determined city to compete in games (most we have heard of, some we haven’t). Its that time of the year to pull out your American flags, forget your heritage, and boast the country you live in. Its the time to cheer for the underdog, root for the home team, sing the National Anthem loudly, boast knowledge of games no-one else knows.

It’s that time when nations from all over the world send athletes who have trained for these two weeks for years. Whether nations like USA send 200+ or teams such as Pakistan send their 1st person to the Winter Olympics ever, their whole country has their backs. For two weeks, these are the celebrities of the World. These are the people gossip about at meals, people who make the front cover of papers, the people who are idolized by children for two weeks.

It’s that time of the year to know how many ends there are in curling (10), what the new trick is in half-pipe snowboarding is (Double McTwist 1260), to know the name of the USA men’s hockey goalie (Miller). It’s that time of the year to know which country is our rivals in ice dancing, moguls, or the biathlon. It’s that time to watch two countries you have no interest in battle it out in skiing, cross country, or speed skating.

It’s that time of the year to forget fighting with other Americans and join sides against the rest of the world. It’s that time of the year to crush the other countries in the medal count; to be on top. It’s that time of the year to talk about the underdog country, to watch their success story in coming to the Olympics. It’s that time to remember great Olympic memories (1980 Hockey), to beat world records (Ohno’s 7 winter medals), to get your name known for two weeks.

Once those two weeks have passed, that time of the year is over. Names like Bode Miller or Lindsey Vonn are on talk shows for a week or two, then they vanish. Vanish back to the rink, the halfpipe, the ice. Training. Training for those two weeks to come again.

The Olympics do something that is rarely seen: unite a country. For two weeks, we are one.

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