For 17 days, I watched the Olympics and only the Olympics. The only exceptions during this period were for the local news, evening news, Access Hollywood, and two episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I watched the news and Access Hollywood to further my Olympic knowledge. I wanted access to the Olympics whenever possible. The Kardashians was my one non-Olympic television splurge. However, the show can be considered connected to the Olympics since Bruce Jenner was an Olympic champion. Minus the Kardashians, I would not allow my television to be on an non-NBC owned channel.
I was very focused during these 17 days. Like an athlete training to win gold, I had a goal of my own – to watch as much Olympics as possible. I believe I achieved my goal. I not only watched as much Olympics as possible, but I watched as many sports as possible. I discovered musical freestyle dressage and finally took the time to watch and appreciate rhythmic gymnastics. I enjoyed team archery and the pole vault. Beyond watching sports, I watched as much interviewing and commentating as possible. Bob Costas became my friend. Each evening he shared insights with me and wished me a goodnight.
More importantly, for 17 days the world had a different existence. I had a chance to be part of this different existence. For 17 days, I had the opportunity to watch human excellence from morning until evening. For 17 days, I participated in something larger than myself. For 17 days, I watched, learned, and cheered for people I had never met. I cheered for them to achieve their dreams. I cheered as they pushed themselves to the outer limits of what they knew possible. For 17 days, the world was a better place. This does not mean the problems of the world were resolved. Instead, the best side of us, of humans, was presented.
Last evening, as the Olympics came to a close, Dr. Jacques Rogue called on the youth of the world to meet again in four years. I am sure that youth of the world is currently in the gym, on the beam, training for that moment in the distance. I am sure that youth woke up today at 6:45 a.m. to go to the pool. I believe in that youth because I believe in the Olympics. I believe the best side of us comes forth during the Olympics.
I will miss watching the best side of us each day. I will miss watching human excellence. I will miss Bob Costas wishing me a goodnight. However, the end of one Olympics is the beginning of another. The Olympics are where dreams begin. So youth of the world, go chase your dreams. Believe in them because the world believes in them. Your dreams make the world a better place.
Make the world a better place on the beam and the bars, in the pool, and even in your own backyard.