The Olympic Spirit

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)?

~ Lucy

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16 Responses to The Olympic Spirit

  1. Rasoul says:

    Hello Dr. Lucy

    and all of ESLPOD listeners,

    I really interested in Olympic Games, because I see lots of young athletes who are trying to win their competitions. These competitions give me the spirit of life, movement and excitation. I am interested in various games. I also hope our athletes from Persia win their games. But most of our hopes are for powerlifting, wrestling, tekvando and judo to bring any type of medal for my country. Furthermore there are some bad referees in boxing. By the way, I like Olympic Games a lot and following up its news.
    To sum up, I recommend myself and all of you to have much movement and exercises instead of just watching TV to have healthier lifestyle.

    Kind regards


  2. oumayma says:

    me too I’m intrested in the omympic games despite the fact that my country (tunisia ) is not strongly represented . I had a real pleasure waching the basketball mach between USA and Tunisia . the USA team is tremendous ! I beleive that tunisians did their best but it was really an impossible mission ! now i gust hope that Mallouli (our swimmer star ) will win a medal ! it would be the first tunisian medal in this games !

  3. Peter says:

    Dear Lucy,
    I ,myself , is quite a swimmer. I have started swimming as a child,but all self-coach.
    I swim 30 laps in 25 minute back strok and freestyle in a standard size swimming pool.
    Not bad ,huh?
    As one can concloude ,I follow swimming competition coverage along with basketball ,soccker

    I missed the opening
    I couldn’t see it
    At the time ,I was at work
    I should have recorded it


  4. Peter says:

    Talk about irony
    We usually watch the competitions with popcorn ,pizza ,beers ,and icecream:)))

    At the end of the Olympic , all the competitors usually loose some weight ,but me and my friends always gain a good 10 pounds:))

  5. hubert says:

    Lucy and other readers, if you are intrested in stories of uncommon athletes, I recommend you story of Natalia Partyka, Polish armless table tennis player. She participates in games for able-bodied athletes and for athletes with disabilities as well. Competing at Beijing Paralympics she won gold. There are some articles in english on the internet, so everybody can read something more about her.

  6. el gatufo says:

    To be honest I did not like too much the London´s Olympic Ceremony, why?
    First I could not understand how was the reason to start the Ceremony with a video, to me it was a fiasco.
    Second it was too much selfimportant about themselves and their history.
    Sometimes at least for me it was corny and somehow boring. One example it could be hundred of little children
    jumping on hundred of beds simulating hospitals
    Sidiculous employers exploiting smudged workers and reciting The Tempest of Shakespeare.

    Of course this is my own opinion and I disagreed with the tve speakers that were saying it was even much
    better than the Beijing.
    Well being so close in the time Beijing´s Ceremony has been the best without any doubt to me.
    As soon it started my mouth was open with so much amazement, incredible beauty and spectacular. In fact
    I could not remember nothing similar before.
    I could recorded Beijing´s Olympic Ceremony and we have watched it several times. I have recorded
    the London´s one but I am afraid that it is possible I am not going to repeat the watching.
    By the way the parade of Spanish athletes a real chaos
    and I think they are not going to do a good competition, it is jus a pity as it is sure they have strived
    themselves a lot to be there.

    Thank you Lucy, sorry I didn´l like too much the London´s it seems a lesson of too proud English history.
    For that I prefer to read a book or watch to a movie.
    All my best to you dear teacher.


  7. Peter says:

    Eslpod is dead on!!!
    The other day ,I was watching a teen movie called ” LOL” staring that young female singer. I have a hard time remembering her name ; you know I m terrible with names. You know ,the one who plays artsy ,rather cutesy music targeting mostly teen audience.
    However, the movie is about a bunch of yongesters in a local junior high.
    At one point in the movie , one of the characters say: indi music
    I immediately picked up on that remembering Jeff addressed the term on one of the recent audio lessons.
    You know ,when you are watching a movie ,sometimes it happens that you miss a sententece or two simply because there is one word or experssion in it that you have never heard of. Trust me , it happens a lot. Interestingly enough , you never realize it that you missed a part or two.
    However, this time around , it wasn’t the case. I picked up on that!
    You know, it could be one of those moment that you feel superiority , but feign humility:) ,but I didn’t say anything. I mean ,nothing out of me,not a peep!
    You know why ,because I was watching it with a couple of English speakers.
    But ,i must say , I got an ant in my pants to gloat about it:)
    Well, not all the moments in life is your moment ,right!!?
    I just continue watching the rest of the movie without saying a peep about what happened.
    But, I gotta tell you , I was totally pleased by myself.


    A hardcore eslpod fan

  8. Peter says:

    Dear Lucy,
    It is not about the coach but the earnest of the person who take the practice or training to come on top and win a gold medal in the field they compete.
    Get the world class coach. When there is no willingness and determination ,you don’t get anywhere.

    It is all about you ,and your hard work.


    The coach-potato:))

  9. Ziba says:


    Thank u Lucy, it is an exciting topic nowadays that most people enjoy watching their favorite games and athletes.

    Every four years, the representatives of every country gather in a place to introduce their countries and compete with their competitors.

    But there is an important goal that it is not considered. Years ago the Olympic Games’ goal was not only for athletes to compete but it was also to make friend with each other.

    And tried to put an end to their problems and made union.

    I hope this goal gets alive again.


    Ziba, Iran

  10. Myo ko ko says:

    Thanks Lucy.
    I’m not accessing Internet lately.
    That also means I’m not writing on your Blog these days.
    You know. like you, the team, I’ve been experiencing some technical problem to surf the Net.
    (Remember? you didn’t put out your 7th anniversary video for this very reason. 😛 )
    Just kidding, I’ll be back soon. Soon?
    Now I’m downloading your materials that I’ve missed out.
    Thanks, again.

  11. Lyn Lee says:

    I’ve watched games as much as i can. And i’ve also moved by so many athletes. The Olympic spirit are showed everywhere, but there is one thing made me feel confused.
    Why there is a medal ranking on internet? What does this mean? I believed that the number of gold medals can’t prove anything. And the gold medal ranking is much more ridiculous!!
    The real success is to improve oneself, not to cheat or to cry for a gold medal!

    Lyn, China

  12. SAM says:

    hi, guys.

    what u think about the “scandal” shiyen ye, swimming record breaker.

    do you think she is too good so she deserve doubts from those she has never seen.

    or do think the only reason is that she is a chinese so she would be guilty until she is proved innocent: no doping?

  13. Dan says:

    Hi Lucy and everyone,

    I am not watching the games. I am only getting the recaps and reading about it on online newspapers.

    Lately I ‘ve been watching Foxnews. I was “gifted” by SKY: I get MTV and the news channels till September for free.

    I must admit that is quite interesting and funny; looking at those guys hammering at the liberals 24/7.
    You know, Mr. Romney’s tax return, Mr.Obama’s you did not bild that, the Chick-fil-A controversy and so on. That’s fun!
    What strikes me, is that it seems those guys at Fox are all lawyers.
    Anyway, it is interesting to get to know that side of the U.S..


  14. Hamed says:

    I just could not believe Sharapova loosing to Serena Williams so badly in this way. Why really?

  15. Betty says:

    Dear Lucy

    Thank you for your article which seems to talk about the UK but in fact talks about the US.

    I really admire you ability to bring out a good story in America from an event in the UK.

    Sorry Lucy I have not been watching Olympic because I do not watch TV nowadays.  I can’t be bothered to watch Olympic online neither.  I heard many people said the opening ceremony was not very impressive.  Someone said: ‘So bizarre, so British’.

    I played sports in the past, and I think we should watch the Olympic because it has many countries participating.  I should use the opportunity to learn something about all the countries’ cultures etc.

    Might be later.

    Thanks again, Lucy, I have learned a lot from your article.

    Betty 🙂

  16. Betty says:

    The Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony will take place tomorrow (Sunday 12 August 2012).

    I think people in Brazil will be watching it closely because London will hand over to Rio 2016.

    By the way, I forgot to point out in my previous post that the person who used “So bizarre, So British” to describe the opening ceremony of the Olympic 2012 in London UK was an Brit himself.

    He is very knowledgeable and he knows his country very well.

    I wonder what words will he use to describe the closing ceremony.  I will find out tomorrow.

    Betty 😉

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