Greetings from the Winter Olympic Games, PyeongChang 2018!
Going to the Olympics is special for so many reasons. First, the opportunity to watch athletes perform at such a high caliber. The amount of dedication and training each individual had put in leading up to this point was inspiring. As a spectator, I held my breath each time a skater flew through the air. When they fell, your heart fell too. I have such an appreciation for each athlete’s journey and dedication so that I rooted for everyone no matter which country they represented – the whole crowd did.
The second reason the Olympics is so special is that it reminded me of how much love I have for my country. Watching the USA men’s hockey team competing filled me with such pride and excitement. Looking around and watching people from all over with their flags tied around their necks like capes and dancing to Gangnam Style. Those moments made me feel – in the words of Lee Greenwood – proud to be an American.
People are awesome! We forget that sometimes in our daily grind. The Olympics reminds you that for the most part, people are great. Meeting fans from around the world, talking to the Korean volunteers, and having a blast drinking with a group of Norwegians was a good reminder. One night when we either missed the shuttle to the parking lot or we were in the wrong place, a bus driver on break took us to our car. There were four of us in an empty tour bus. That guy was awesome – and there were so many other examples of this during our stay – too many to write here.
My final reason the Olympics is special and you should definitely go at least once is memories. This Olympics will probably be remembered for the participation of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) and I will always remember seeing the 100 or so North Korean “cheerleaders” in the crowd singing. My sister and I had been on the DMZ tour the weekend before so seeing North Korean athletes and their cheer squad was pretty amazing. Other memories include freezing nearly to death at the Olympic Village, a drunken hat trade and doing all this with my sister and friends.
Next Olympic games will be in Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022, Paris 2024... and hopefully, you will too! Paris, I have my eye on you!