Goodbye, Rio!

Wasn’t that something? Wasn’t that riveting? Cheating scandals, wagging fingers, fractured spines, and green pool aside, wasn’t that great?

I spent the last several days (I missed some afternoons and evenings, it may long be my second-greatest regret) glued to the television, swayed by the stories of strong, brave, humans fulfilling their dreams. But you can’t be that surprised, can you? Nearly every pick these last several days has been the Olympics.

I’m not sorry. I’ve loved nearly every moment. (I do not love that the French pole vaulter was booed to tears.) I loved how Usain Bolt smiles as he’s about to win a race:

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I loved the uniform precision of the high dive, even though it brought back long-buried memories of my inability to dive, and the speed and strength of the swimmers, especially Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps. Ledecky continuously beat her own records, and often won by an enormous margin, and it’s exciting to see someone work hard and succeed. Phelps won so many medals that if he were his own country, he would have the third most medals. The women’s gymnastics team made me cry, again, as they won a series of medals as a result of their strength and power. Through my tears I couldn’t believe how strong their thighs were, but I was never jealous.

And I loved how talking about the Olympics with other people can bring us together. On Wednesday I popped into a local bar and was swept into the drama of a women’s polo game. I was riveted with my fellow patrons for a game that is otherwise completely off the radar for most Americans. At work the teenagers are excited to see that I’m at work because they want to talk about Simone Biles or Mikulak. My aunt and I texted until I was accused of giving away spoilers (though I was on NBC’s second primetime cycle of the night, so).

I guess I wish that we could come together over the heartwarming triumph of someone else more often.

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