Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How Jensen saved the Olympics

I have a sarcastic streak. Matter of fact, sometimes I'm downright cynical. Which is why, maybe two weeks ago, I declared the Olympics to be Dead to Me. (I love you, Stephen Colbert.)

Dead to me, despite the fact that I'm a complete sports freak.

Dead to me, despite Nadia Comaneci's 1976 gymnastics performance (I still remember the lovely polka-dotted leisure suit I wore while watching her).

Dead to me, despite my love for the city of Beijing (I lived there in 1993).

But dead, for lots of reason. The shallow media reports. The blind nationalism (American, Chinese, or otherwise). The competitors who have the nerve to be bitter about winning a silver medal. The imposition of politics.... Performance-enhancing drugs....

So, Olympics? Ciao. {sigh}

Enter Jensen. He'll watch anything Olympics-related and love it. He's equally enthusiastic about shot put, rowing, gymnastics... to name a few. His unabashed affection for Michael Phelps is understandable, but he's just as excited about, say, volleyball.

His enthusiasm is contagious, too. Every night, I watch a little more. The other night, he actually had me cheering for the Romanian woman who absolutely creamed her competition in the marathon. And we cheered for the woman who came in seventh, too. He said, "I don't care which country wins-- it's so much fun to watch!"

Point taken, kiddo.

So the attached photo is when he won a gold medal in our small-town gymnastics tournament, about a year and a half ago. He was happy as a five-year-old can be-- which is pretty damn happy.

This is what it's all about. This is what he's taught me this week. It's okay to get caught up in the moment. It's okay to get goosebumps watching the winners cry on the medal stand. It's okay to be naive, just for a minute or two.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go watch Usain Bolt set a world record in the 200.

1 comment:

  1. Sammie too loves the Olympics.

    She told me about Day 2, "Mom, I am rooting for America! I want them to win!"

    I told her "honey, people do usually cheer for their own country".

    She was kind of bummed. I think she really thought she was being original.

    But watching her cheer, "GO AMERICA!" is pretty funny.


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