"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Love Letter to the Olympics

Dear Olympics,

I know I wasn't looking forward to your games as much as I probably should have been. It's just that, I didn't think we were really right for each other right now....You, with your competitive spirit and your games that I don't really understand and your outdoor sports on snow, which make me cold just watching. Me, with my three kids and my current obsession with catching up on the past seasons of Downton Abbey....

But I was wrong, Olympics. And I've gotta tell you, I ain't even mad atcha for your "brown tap water" and your "spring-like temperatures" and your host country's "political and social repression of and discrimination against an entire segment of your country's population." Well, actually, I am pretty pissed about that last one. But we can talk about that later because today, Olympics, I've got nothin' but love for you.

I mean, sure...I love you for the obvious reasons...that you bring the world together, both literally and digitally, for the appreciation of sport and the heavily-opinionated and usually hilarious running commentary on uniforms, judges' decisions, and passport-activated beer fridges. It's great that you reward athletes for their years of training and dedication with both a shot at a medal and an opportunity to catch a moment in the spotlight on an international stage. But there's so much more to you, Olympics.

Thank you for giving us sports such as Curling, which I don't understand, but the fact that you can combine a tea kettle, a few brooms, and a shuffleboard court on ice and call it a sport makes it pretty spectacular.

Thank you for Skeleton, which, in one 52-second run can completely undo the countless times I've called "feet first, please!" while standing at the bottom of a slide.

Thank you Slope-style, for encouraging children everywhere (but please not mine, dear God, please not mine) to strap on a snowboard or a pair of skis and jump up on a railing. Also, thanks for bringing the '90s back with those droopy drawers on some of your event's brightest stars.

Thank you to snowboarding in general for providing us with the most adorable group of athletes ever. I mean, don't you just want to pinch Sage Kotsenburg's cheeks and tousle his hair? Thank you, also, for providing him and his bros a career in which they can say things like, "I totally blacked out for a minute," while chewing gum during the biggest presentation of their lives, and everyone's, like, totally cool with it.

Thank you to Men's Figure Skating for giving my boy a visual model of someone who dances, to beautiful music, in sequins and glitter, and WINS. Thank you to the audience, who cheers these athletes on, reinforcing the fact that boys + dancing + glitter is okay, and even, wonderful. Thank you, too, to Johnny Weir, for showing him that you can wear the fabulous clothes (and jewelry!) even OFF the ice.

Thank you to the skaters who fell, especially Jeremy Abbott, for showing all of my kids that falling is okay...you just get back up and keep going. We haven't seen one sore loser in any of the events that we've watched....just grace and poise and professionalism and dedication to their sports.  You, skaters who fall but keep skating, are setting the best example for my kids, so thank you.

I hope someone gave you some Advil and an ice pack.


Lesson Learned:
But seriously, Russia. It's time to fix those scary laws of discrimination against Russian LGBTQ. You can be better than that.

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