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Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

Watching the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics tonight, I was moved to tears a number of times.  It’s my tie to the humanness of the games that is responsible for that, I think.  First, with the horrible news of the tragic death of an Olympic athlete, the joy of the ceremonies was marred.  As I watched the small team of athletes from Georgia, I cried.  Here, on one of the most joyous nights of their lives, a moment they have waited for for years, instead of marching in the opening parade of nations with joy and exuberance, they marched in a solemn and somber mood.  No smiles.  No sign of joy.  Black bands on their arms.  Tears in their eyes and pain in their hearts.  How could anyone not have cried?

As a mom who enjoys sharing the important and joyful moments of my own kids’ lives, I cried when newscasters explained that the parents of one Australian female athlete could not travel to Canada for the Olympics.  Their daughter is getting married in a couple of months so it was a tough choice, afford a trip to watch her compete in Vancouver or give her the wedding she wants.  Very tough choice.  As a mom, I wished there had been some way for her parents to accompany their daughter on this joyous trip.

As I watched the athletes marching, dancing, laughing, waving, smiling, I cried tears of joy for everyone of them.  What a wonderful moment for them.  What an accomplishment.

I hope that there will be no more accidents or incidents to mar these competitions.

I hope that the tears I cry during the rest of these games will be tears of joy for these athletes and their families and their countries.

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I have a lot of things on my mind today. I don’t know if I have the time to fully explore them here as I’m on my way out the door on an errand that will take most of the day. However, I did want to mention one of those things because it has bothered me a lot.

Yesterday, I watched as preparations were made for the Olympic torch to make its only North American procession in San Francisco, almost in my back yard. What happened was an insult to everyone. I do appreciate that all were kept safe but at what expense? I think it was censorship at its best. The torch and the runners were ushered away from the public view, away from the protesters, away from the supporters. It left everyone frustrated. It left the United States looking, not like a country that can keep the torch and the runners safe, but as a country that is so cowardly that they turned the moment into a farce. No one was allowed to view it. No one was allowed to protest. No one was allowed to support or cheer. No one was allowed to look upon the torch and dream that one day they would be an Olympic athlete. I guess it was just another instance of taking away our voice, our right to voice our feelings, our right to even dream.

Before yesterday, I was not really sure how I felt about supporting the Olympics being held in China. On the one hand, it’s just sports and maybe not a venue for political protestation. On the other hand, it is ALWAYS the place and time to protest inhumane treatment and censorship and all that is going on in Tibet and other places. I just wasn’t sure what I felt about the whole situation. Then yesterday happened.

Now I know that non-violent protest has a place all the time, and everywhere. Now I know that protesting against China’s treatment of Tibetans, even as it relates to the Olympics, is right. Now I know what I feel. I thank the San Francisco Police Department and the Powers That Were in control of yesterday’s fiasco. They’ve made me see this whole situation in a very bright, clear light.

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