Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympic Feelings

Call me sentimental, but lack of emotional control has turned me into a joke among friends and family.

Since Sunday, wife and kids have been telling everyone that, 'he cried watching the closing ceremony of Olympics'.

'Can you believe it?' they've been announcing completely embarrassed. 'He sometimes cries at sad movies, and we somehow bear it. But now, tears at this closing ceremony?? Its plain ridiculous! He is losing it!!'

They have been mocking me ever since. And I feel sheepishly wimpish or wimpishly sheepish. Or whatever. But Yes. I admit. I had teary eyes.

But seriously, somehow, something about the Olympics always makes my heart go all lumpy, into some hard-to-explain twists of joy. A strange vicarious sense of pride wells up within me - every time I see the champions standing on the podium, receiving their medals, and mouthing their national anthems as they watch their countries' flags go up. The joy and pride so largely writ on their faces, the sense of accomplishment so evident in their hearts after their successes, gives me some delicious goose bumps - Even though, of course, I had nothing at all to contribute except as being a wide-eyed, open-mouthed TV viewer!

And watching the peoples of nations coming together, in the opening and closing ceremonies, is simply awe-inspiring. The acts of precision seen in organizing these events, and the feats of team work in managing them, goes to show the astounding heights to which human effort can take us.

Since 1984, when I saw the live telecast of Los Angeles Games as a child, I have been hooked to this international celebration of human endeavour. And watching on TV, the games that followed at Seoul(1988), Barcelona(1992), Atlanta(1996), Sydney(2000), Athens (2004) and now at Beijing (2008) have not lessened but only increased my appetite. To see the eyeful feast of human fortitude. To see the athletes rival one-another in strength and agility. To see the wonderful coming-together of nations in peace and harmony. And to see how far, and how high, the mighty human being can reach.

As 204 countries participated in these Beijing Games, reaching peaks and breaking records were sport stars like Superfish Michael Phelps, and Jamaican runner Ussain Bolt, who together set 10 out of the 43 world records set here. An amazing 132 Olympic records were broken.

And a fitting tribute to this human triumph was the closing ceremony where the surprise appearances of Leona Lewis, Jimmy Paige, David Beckham, and Jackie Chan only enhanced the euphoria. And very soon, we’ll call this nostalgia.

But whatever it is, instead of just watching on television, I think its high time that I now make some live contribution of my wide-eyed and open-mouthed viewing. Not to mention the teary-eyed farewells. So, 2012 London Games, here I come.


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