The following quote is what I said to anyone and everyone who would or would not listen to me today. I just could not stop talking about the London Olympics.
And that's when my coworker asked if I went on an acid trip last night. For those of you who saw the ceremony, you know that I didn't and you understand where my childlike excitement is coming from. For those of you who didn't see it, it's very important that you read this blog post.
|The Queen and Bond|
|Voldemort and Poppins|
Cue the Parade of Nations. Some will say that this takes far too long and they wish the United States wasn't so far in. Personally, I love to watch it all. I love to see every country acknowledged and given their moment to shine. You get to hear of countries you have never heard of, you learn interesting facts about each nation and it's interesting to compare the number of athletes from each country. Great Britain has 557 and the United States has 534. Many nations only have two. My favorite part of the Parade of Nations though is watching the athletes. Every athlete, no matter their home nation looks excited and proud. Many of them are walking with their cameras, filming the arena and the entire thing. Think about it. Thousands of people are filming them saying "Wow, look at these amazing athletes" but these athletes are just normal people who are filming this event thinking "Wow, I can't believe I get to be here doing this." It's very cool to see. On another note, the Americans did not look American. They wore Ralph Lauren outfits (which were made in China) that included blue blazers, berets, scarves and pleated white skirts/pants. It was definitely a new look for Americans. The Brits, of course, looked awesome and they knew it. Good for them!
Now, let's talk about David Bekham. We saw the ever handsome, well dressed, man (who I MAY have to seduce away from Victoria and his children) riding down the Thames looking more attractive than ever. Bekham gave the torch to a past Olympic athlete, who carried it off before giving it off to the next generation of British Olympic athletes. This was great and very symbolic. These young athletes lit the cauldron, which then rose in a very cool manner. Fireworks were ignited. I love fireworks (plus, I didn't get any for the fourth of July this year). Paul McCartney sings "Hey Jude", encouraging the entire arena to join in. The athletes are seen singing, smiling, laughing. The curtain drops, welcome to the London Olympics 2012.
|Just look at him. That smile, the face, the suit. Swoon.|
Note: I'm watching the Olympics as I write this post, which is very distracting. Lochte just DOMINATED.
So now we've learned that London and all things British will always have my heart and that the Olympics are badass. Let's go a little bit further.
The Olympics originated from Greece, as an ancient tradition. It is said that Hercules and Zeus were the creators. These games involved fighting, chariot racing and athletic events. This ancient tale inspired the creation of the modern Olympics. The first games were held in 1896 in none other than their home city of Athens. London had the honor this year of becoming the first city to host three Olympics. They hosted in 1908 and in 1948. 1948 was an important year as it was the first Olympics held after World War II. London had won the Olympics in 1944 but the events were canceled due to World War II. In 1948, Germany and Japan were not invited because of the trouble they had caused during the war. Is this fair? I say, it's not. The Olympics are historically a time for all the nations of the world to join together to compete and demonstrate their talents. Apparently, not everyone agrees with me. Besides the exclusions of Germany and Japan after World War II, South Africa was never allowed to participate in the Olympics while they were under an apartheid. Presently, countries all seem to be able to participate but that doesn't mean we're going to recognize them. As someone who was fully attentive as the announcers discussed each nation, I noticed when they didn't. The American broadcaster of the Olympics, NBC, blatantly did not acknowledge Palestine. As Palestine appeared on my TV screen, the announcers continued to talk about the previous nation and then skipped straight to the following one, completely denying Palestine any acknowledgement. I know that there are politics behind this but personally, I feel that it was wrong. The Olympics isn't about politics, it's about sport and sportsmanship. No matter what their nation, these athletes are athletes. Palestinian athletes are doing the same thing as American, British and Australian athletes. They are playing a sport and they deserve the same respect as the others. History has shown us how cruel of a place the world can be but the Olympics are a time of pride, respect and excitement. Let's remember that the Olympics is a time for cheering for and supporting your team, your athletes and your country--not for demeaning and breaking down others.
Shout out to Mr. Hayden van Andel for suggesting History Education Major Me incorporate historical context into my posts, which I am testing out with this one! And for putting up with me talking about the Olympics ALL DAY.