I'm wearing a white shirt with a patch over the heart. The patch is embroidered with red vertical stripes, and in blue the letters, USA, are embroidered across the stripes and the Olympic rings are above. Three stripes, one red, one white, and one blue, move across the shirt from my right shoulder to the bottom left. I've been called spirited and a cheerleader today. I've gotten comments about how unusually colorful I am, how much I rock, and one Wow, you're really into it. Yes, yes I am.
I'm a fan of the Olympics. I'm a fan of putting politics and differences aside for a brief time. I'm a fan of the competition, the stories, the fanfare and the athletes themselves, their determination and focus and vision. I'm a fan of the little guy and the big wins.
I'm not exactly sure where I got this but as with many things, I believe it to be something I absorbed from my father. He supported the U.S. Olympic Teams for years. With each Olympics, he would buy and give each of us some item of clothing emblazoned with the rings and the year and location. A t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a ball cap, something of the sort. So this year, yesterday in fact, I was off and running to do the same, which is what the shirt I'm wearing is all about.
This morning on the Today Show, Matt Lauer and Bob Costas were talking about the opening ceremonies and what I learned from their conversation was that there are 80 nations that have never won a medal at the Olympics and likely won't again this year. So for those athletes, being at the Olympics representing their country is achieving the highest goal, and the opening ceremony, for them, is their time on the medals podium, their moment, their gold medal. That's exactly the kind of story that puts goosebumps on my arms and makes me love the Olympics. That's what I'll be thinking when later tonight I'll be wearing my shirt and sitting in front of the TV watching the opening ceremonies, smiling from ear-to-ear and being touched, if not a bit overwhelmed, by the scene before me.