I, like many around the world, can be found in front of a TV watching the 2016 Summer Games every opportunity I get from its onset on August 5th through its close on the 21st. I’m in awe of the discipline, talent, and dedication of each of these fine young men and women.
As I watched the Parade of Nations during the opening ceremony of Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Summer Olympics this past weekend, I learned alot.
Firstly about the order of the Parade. In keeping with Olympic traditions, Greece, the birth place of the olympic games that started in 1896, entered first, while Brazil, the host nation, went last. The Refugee Olympic Team, composed of refugees from several countries, went second to last. Other countries entered in alphabetical order according to the language of the hosting country. The United States entered 70th (Estados Unidos da América) with our own Michael Phelps being our flag bearer. This is his fifth and possibly last Olympic performance. He is the most decorated Olympian of all time holding the record with 18 medals.
Secondly I observed several countries I’d never heard of before! It occurred to me I’d better brush up on my geography. We were googling them as fast as they marched by to find out about these foreign lands and their people. Take Tuvalu for example with its single, sole athlete. Small yet mighty. With just as much a chance of bringing home a gold as anybody. I love that about the Olympics! ♡
Some 11,178 athletes from 205 countries will be competing in 42 different disciplines this year.
This is a season of extreme elation and tremendous disappointment as some win and some lose. There will be tales of sheer determination winning against all odds followed by tales of broken bones, broken hearts, and broken dreams. Take Russia.
This is a time of great national pride. A refreshing break from the constant mud slinging we’ve been bombarded with on TV of our own political competition as of late. A time of the greatest competition ever, yet a time of coming together as one. All participating nations. With one common goal. To win the race. All racing against each other to win. Win the gold. Country against country. Even man against man in his own country. Athlete against athlete. Athlete against him or her self. To beat his or her last performance.
We all may not be participating at the Olympics, but we are all running a race. A race to win. We call it life. We have one shot at it. We need to each run it with the best we’ve got. To win. Our reward is not a gold medal. It’s a prize thst is even more precious. It’s Jesus Christ.
I encourage each of you to enjoy this season. The Olympics. It will not be back around for another four years. But I encourage you more so to enjoy each season of your own life with the perseverance of the Olympic athlete. For the greatest prize there is. Eternity with Jesus Christ. The man that holds all records past, present, and future. He is indeed more precious than gold.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 1 Corinthians 9:24
Love and laughter,