I love the Olympics.
All of these define the Olympics aptly, but I love the Olympics for the stories.
It's the stories of these athletes that turn seemingly ordinary sport into extraordinary feats. Their skills certainly show the rest of us the fierce power the human body is capable of but it's their 'stories' that capture our hearts and demonstrate the amazing capacity of the human condition.
The Olympics began under a veil of tragedy and sadness with the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.
Canada's hearts soared when Alex Bilodeau won gold in moguls. Not just because this was the first Olympic gold Canada won on home soil, but also because of the beautiful story of his relationship with his brother.
And now, Canada is mourning along with Joannie Rochette, who's mother died unexpectedly two days before she was to begin comptition. She skated the performance of a lifetime last night; "for her mother". I can't imagine how hard this must be for her. She's currently in third place and will comete for a medal today. Canada is so very proud of you Joannie! You are an inspiration and we're all crying with you.
These athletes are so much greater that the sum of their physical parts. Their emotions, passion and their experiences along the journey to greatness rise above having the fastest time, best score or jump and and are more valuable than the metal of any medal. Their demonstrations of sheer will and determination, their ability to push through fear, grief and seemingly insurmountable odds makes these athletes heroes; to their families, their home towns, their countries.
I love the Olympics. They remind me that regardless of what is going on in our lives, we can accomplish anything we set our minds and hearts on; and even if we don't reach our goals, greatness will still be acheived by truely giving it our best effort.
It sometimes takes incredible courage to try, but we'll never know what we're capable of if we don't.