Saturday, August 9, 2008

An Olympic-Sized Dilemma

There are many in the United States who are performing a television boycott of this year's Olympics due to Chinese human rights violations, the maltreatment of those in Tibet, as well as the situation in Darfur. While I am opposed to such travesties, the dilemma still looms large in my mind:

But it's the OLYMPICS!!!

I love the Olympics. Ever since I was a kid, I never missed an Opening or Closing Ceremony. When I was eight years old, my mom popped up some popcorn, set up little tables in front of the TV, and my sister and I watched the Opening Ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympics in awe. We were especially interested because they were in our home country! I remember Rafer Johnson lighting the torch, and Mary Lou Retton's vault. That's all the memory I have of those games.

So with all of this tradition in my family, I couldn't help myself. As soon as I got home from Sing, Virgie, Sing, I turned on the TV to see how far along they were in the Opening Ceremony. It was 11:15, and they were about three-quarters of the way through the Parade of Nations. I called a friend out in Colorado and she told me that the Parade of Nations had just started. So I poured myself a glass of wine and settled in for the action.

I regret missing a lot of the pagentry, such as the drummers and the dancers, but I figure, with today's technology, I can view segments of those later. But the most breathtaking moment of the ceremony had to be the torch lighting. I never saw anything like it. I really can't put it into words how incredible it was, but if you thought the torch lightings from Barcelona in 1992, Sydney in 2000 and Torino in 2006 were amazing, you've got to see this. The clip has to be up on YouTube somewhere.

So while I am angered and saddened by the human rights travesties, I'm still going to watch the Bejing Olympics and cheer on our American athletes. Which reminds me...I think Michael Phelps is about to swim...excuse me while I go to my living room...

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