The last day of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games is here.  Many of us have spent 2 weeks watching delayed airings of our favorite sports and athletes.  We've cheered, we've moaned, and we've shaken our heads.

The head shaking part comes from the scandals that ultimately are a part of every Olympics.  This year, the controversy began long before the 2016 games started.  The political mess at the top of the Games, with some money greasing the wheels have been connected to them since I can remember, but now it seems people are done.

Then there was the water.  Oh, the water. Olympic athletes who had to swim off shore were being told not to put their heads under water.  Ummmm. Then the diving pool... I mean, that was neon green.  The smells athletes and fans described were enough to make me want to turn off the TV because I started smelling it.  "Farts" Mmmmm.  Talk about courage and drive, the divers literally dove hands first into that cesspool. 

I'm not sure I should even mention Ryan Lochte.  He and his cohorts really tarnished the American image, and believe me, we don't need help in that area across the world. Here he is, a privileged white kid who broke the law with his teammates and not only lied to authorities, but went on the news and lied about it.  The opportunistic fool thought, "Hey, Rio has a bad rep already, let's save my ass."

So, then, after all this, why are the Olympics still important for us to watch?

The athletes (besides the 4 swimmers above).

Every single night, my girls sat with me on the couch and cheered on our heroes.  

First, it was Michael Phelps. I wrote a blog about his struggles and what we could learn.  My girls know the story, and they can see that if you work hard, you can overcome and achieve your goals.

Then, our favorite, and I'm sorry he isn't American, but Usain Bolt. I mean, come on!  This guy can inspire with just a smile.  He is the only person I've seen who can give off a boatload of cockiness and still make me love him.  He brings you into the screen, and even though you want your guy to win, you can't help but be thrilled when Bolt, well, bolts across the line first. We had a lot of late school nights thanks to his races.  They were all worth it, because my girls also know his story and see that with heart and grit, you can make it.  They were surprised to learn that at age 6, he had to race on hot tracks with no shoes, because he didn't have any.  They won't forget that.

Oh, Simone Biles, what you have done for my girls is amazing! You flew so high to achieve so much, even while wearing glitter on your eyes. (my girls' words)  Simone amazed us every time she took to the floor. She had passion and smiled through it all.  We fell in love and were screaming with every gold, and with the bronze as well.

These are just three of the many athletes that gave my children something to which aspire. My girls are not athletes, and have no passion to be so.  They are artists my nature, but it all applies, doesn't it?

My hope is that they see the adversity that lead to success and know they can also make dreams come true.  

And for those of us who are all grown up, doesn't it also feed the side of you that needs to see good in the world? I believe we all need inspiration to keep us going.

Now, if we could do something about the negative.  Maybe put retired athletes with a moral compass in charge? Now, that's an idea.   

 

Published by Kimberly Morrise