Let’s Get Physical!

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The Olympics. While our athletic representatives are busting their butts to stack up our gold, Sarabeth and I have been doing our patriotic duty keeping the economy going by ordering pizzas, calzones, Chipolte, and lots of ice cream to root on our favorite Olympians.

First off, let me just say that we were totally robbed last night! I mean, what the hell, it’s track and field, not diving!! It’s a foot race! Not a stretchy-hand exercise! I say, good job, Allyson, you’re a winner in our house!

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And why are people so upset with Gabby Douglas? What’s with this hashtag-CrabbyGabby crap? Folks, she’s an Olympian, not an actress. Her focus is on her performance as an Olympian. We and the media should not be enticing her to focus on her bloody facial expressions, too. If we want to be judgmental on anyone, I say release the four horsemen on Aly Raisman’s parents. I mean, they should be cheering and yelling and smiling for their little girl – she’s in the Olympics! If it were our little girl out there, we’d be screaming with foamy fingers and painted faces for little Kat.

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Okay, so I got that off my chest. As you can see, the Olympics bring on a lot of stress, which brings on a lot of binge-eating, which brings on some questions. My wife asked one the other night.

Why have the Olympics at all? She doesn’t mean it like, Why are you wearing that plaid skirt with pink spikes in your hair and Clogs on your feet? She means it like, I love the Olympics, but when you get down to its origins, what’s the point? Like, why did Greece, in 1800-something, decide to reinstate it? 

I’ve been pondering this question for a few nights now, and I have my ideas. But I decided I wanted to hear your thoughts. What is it that draws every country together every two years to compete in high vaulting, bobsledding, Karate, and even handball? Why spend millions of dollars to promote people to compete in sports that, in the end, don’t matter? Like, if the world went to hell, how would trampolining save anyone? Why are the Olympics such a big deal and why do we have them? As much as we love them, what’s the point?

Tweet your thoughts to @AToy1208 or comment below!

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About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

5 Responses to Let’s Get Physical!

  1. I sometimes wonder if it’s worth it, all this fuss and expense to put on the Olympic games and I think there are quite a few negatives, both in individual nations and the ways in which they support or don’t support their athletes and with the larger IOC, but I mostly love the games. They’re a tangible celebration of what we all have in common (humans all like to play) and of the beautiful ways our cultures have developed, each into its own unique expression of humanity.

  2. Okay, here’s my best guess:
    1) Entertainment. Even back to the days of gladiators, we’ve liked to watch other people fight and struggle and conquer and fail. Partly for our own (arguably rather sadistic) enjoyment/entertainment, but also for…
    2) Inspiration. Watching others succeed after failing and trying and sweating and crying and falling… It reminds us that we can also push forward, achieve our goals, reach the stars beyond the darkness. It gives us hope of…
    3) Victory. As humans, we have a fundamental need to believe that we can overcome life. Seeing other people try and try again, beating the odds, overcoming the stakes, triumphing in victory over the struggle, encourages us to keep going. Even when we fail. Even when we think we can’t ever get up again or do battle with the nightmare doubts one more time. Because we have the hope of victory someday.
    4) Not alone. We also have a need to feel like we’re not alone. We can relate to struggle. We can relate to pursuing dreams. Watching others work so hard just like you are (only in front of millions of people for them), helps us remember that we are not alone, that we’re not fighting alone.

    [Maybe not so very] Ironically, it’s the same reason we read; entertainment, inspiration, and victory (and relatability). Also what we look for in films (we like to watch actors get beat up, fail, and finally defeat their monster).

    ALL THAT SAID, I actually don’t watch the Olympics. Not really my thing. But I see/hear about/know a lot of people who do. So there you go. 😉

  3. lry93 says:

    It was originally a religious festival for the Greeks 🙂 it probably just branched out… Much like Eurovision

  4. Matt Wainwright says:

    Call me a cynic (and you’re quite welcome to it, too) but I believe there is a large element of national pride at stake. However pure the motives of individuals, governments as collective entities rarely act out if anything other than self-interest. Simply put, it’s a chance for countries to say, “Anything you can do, I can do better.” Hence at least half of the headlines in national presses focusing on medal tallies, and the enormous benefits heaped upon successful athletes (and vice versa) in many nations. I believe the athletes themselves have purer motives — but on the governing level (and hence relating to the reason for the re-introduction of the games) I have to look askance and say, “Hmmmm.”

    Plus it makes great background telly on a Saturday afternoon.

  5. Hi Andrew,

    Hope you’re doing well!

    I love these kinds of existential questions. I think Matt Wainwright’s right about it largely being a matter of national pride. Also even more cynically than that, it’s a chance for advertising and corporations to make massive profits, so of course they have every interest in keeping the Olympics going.

    But on the more positive side, the Olympics are a display of how amazing the human body and mind are! That’s why most people watch the games — to see things they don’t normally see in their every day and perhaps be inspired to push themselves a little bit harder. At least, that’s why I watch Simone Biles’s routines over and over. 🙂

    Have a great Friday evening!
    Rebekah

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