Like many of you, I’ve been watching the Olympic Games. Here in the U.S., the Olympic Games are being broadcasted in real time (while it is happening; not delayed) on several channels and streaming (shown on the Internet while it’s happening) on the TV network’s website. And then each night, there is a recap (summary) of that day’s major events. I’ve only been watching the recaps each night, but have been reading the coverage in the newspaper.
Last Friday, we saw the opening ceremonies (the official start to an event) and, as usual, it was a spectacle (something amazing to see). Then came the parade (public marching to be on display) of the athletes from different countries. With this auspicious (good; indication of success) start, it’s unfortunate that these Olympic Games are marred (spoiled; made not perfect) by scandal (the doing of something wrong that causes the public to have strong negative reaction), which is par for the course (normal) in a sporting event this big. There have been accusations (statements that someone has done something wrong) of doping (taking banned (not allowed) drugs to improve performance) and cheating. Some of the the athletes have been exonerated (shown to have done nothing wrong), while others have filed official protests (statements of disagreement). With the media focusing so much on these scandals, it’s easy to lose sight of (forget) the spirit (true quality or characteristic) of the Olympic Games.
That’s why I like stories like that of U.S. Olympic swimmer — and now gold medal winner — Missy Franklin. Missy is seventeen years old and she did not follow the same path (route) as many Olympic athletes. When she was younger and showed talent for swimming, many people urged her parents to move her from Colorado to a major city where there are better coaches (trainers) and facilities (places to train), but her parents said no. Missy has continued to train with the same swim club that she’s been with for many years, which doesn’t even have its own swimming pool, and she continues to swim as one of many athletes for her high school team. What is more remarkable (surprising; amazing) is that she is still being coached by the same swimming coach she has had since she began swimming when she was seven years old. She also says that she plans to go to college, swimming for the university’s team, rather than to compete professionally, forgoing (not taking advantage of) a lot of possible prize money.
So while I’m watching the Olympic competitions and hearing about the medal counts (total number of prizes each country has won) and the continuing athlete scandals, I try to remember the true spirit of the Olympic Games.
Are you watching the Games? Which sports are you most interested in? Are there any stories of athletes that strike you (impress you) as particularly interesting or inspiring (giving you good, positive feeling)?