Olympics much more than a bunch of games

By S.C. Zuba
Sports Columnist

Thank goodness for the Olympics.

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games have concluded, and what a spectacle they were. It is not often that the greatest athletes in the world meet in one place to compete in some of the most exciting sporting events in the world.

From figure skating, to hockey, to speed skating, to snowboarding—there is something for everyone in the Olympics.

The Olympics are a time when countries can put down their differences and simply compete for the love of the game and for the love of their country. When was the last time 82 different nations gathered together with one common goal?

More than 2,600 athletes—the best of the best—competing for one thing: gold. Some argue the Olympics aren’t what they used to be, that no one really cares anymore. To that, I will strongly disagree.

Sunday, as I sat and watched the United States hockey team take on Canada for the gold medal, it occurred to me that these Olympic Games are more than just a bunch of games—they are an opportunity. An opportunity for people to gather and cheer on their country’s greatest athletes. An opportunity for generations of sports fans to be together and simply enjoy sports.

The United States may have lost to Canada in the hockey finals, but I don’t think I will ever forget how I felt or who I was with when Zach Parise scored for team USA with 24 seconds remaining to tie the score 2-2 and send the championship match into overtime.

That is what is so great about sports. They bring people together. For the past two weeks, the Olympics have brought people together who normally wouldn’t be together. Sports are what make it OK to high-five a stranger in a bar when Shaun White wins gold, or when Apolo Anton Ohno becomes to most decorated athlete in Winter Olympics history.

Sports unite strangers and build bonds in a way that nothing else can.

For two weeks every two years, sports fans get to enjoy something so unique and so special that basically every other television network shuts down in its honor.

So, we will have to wait until the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London to experience the best athletes in the world compete against each other for one common goal—and I can’t wait to see what happens.

Share your thoughts with S.C. Zuba via e-mail at samuelczuba@yahoo.com.

From the Mar. 3-9, 2010 issue

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