I Am Captivated
I admit it. every time the Olympics come around, I get glued to the TV, and this year, the computer.
Of course, I am always rooting for the US teams and athletes in everything, and the horse sports are my number one interest, but it goes much further than that.
I find myself cheering on competitors of every nation and in nearly every sport I see. This year, I was rooting like anything for the Japanese rider who held the lead in the 3 Day eventing. As much as I wanted our riders to win--they are in the middle of a very elite pack right now--how cool would it be for a rider from Japan to actually medal in such a field of riders from countries with long histories of success in equestrian competition?
Or how about a 15 year old swimmer from Lithuania who won the first ever swimming medal for her country, beating my world champion from the US, Rebecca Soni (who happens to be from here in New Jersey, living within 20 miles of me!) in the 200m breaststroke. Surely, I wanted Rebecca to win, but what a triumph for Ruta Meilutyte and what a delight to see her reaction on the medal stand.
I love the unlikely winners, the unexpected performances from the "non-favorite" athletes who somehow reach for the best in themselves and snatch the gold medal.
Whoever they are, and from whatever nation, nearly all of these competitors have trained, struggled, and worked for, at the very least, four years to make their Olympic teams. They have put their lives on hold to strive for that elusive dream of an Olympic medal.
I know it sounds corny and cliche to be so caught up in the principles of the Olympic dream, but it's so much fun to watch and in particular, to enjoy the whole experience.
In the Three Day cross country, one of the best things was hearing the massive crowd watching the course cheer on Yoshiaki Oiwa as he galloped along. And what a groan of disappointment as he slid out of the saddle at the drop fence, ending his Olympic dream. There were thousands of fans there, most from every country in the world except Japan, and yet, they were behind the unexpected leader as he tried to go for the gold.
Wouldn't it be great if more than once every four years we could all support each other like that?
PS: So far this year NBC TV here in the US broadcast about 4 dressage rides from the three day and perhaps 75% of the cross country--4 hours worth--on the regular television. Live stream on the Internet has shown everything and since I have cable TV, I can access it.
Looking foward to the dressage. This time, for a change, there are strong teams from many countries including Britain and more than just one or two fabulous horses. It's going to be a strong and amazing competition.
Sorry about the strange post format. I accidentally reset the background color for my text and there was no way I could get it back to how it's supposed to look....blogger has its limits......