The Summer Olympics is a singularly unique time every four years when the world fixes its eyes on athletes who have trained a lifetime, many of them, for one Olympic moment. Other competitions pale in comparison to the Olympics. The world tunes in to watch sports that can’t fill the seats at any other time.
As a child, the kids in my neighborhood created our own “Olympic games”. We played out the drama of agonizing defeats and thrilling victories. The Olympic games capture the attention and imaginations of all people. Many, many people dream of Olympic glory as children, and some few talented individuals among us dream those dreams in real life.
The sacrifices of an Olympic athlete are tremendous. To achieve the pinnacle of human athletic accomplishment, the Olympic athlete must train harder, longer and more effectively than all the other athletes in the world who have similar Olympic dreams. The dedication of the athlete and follower of Christ are similar journeys. Continue reading “Olympic Lessons – Running the Spiritual Race”→
The IOC recommendation to drop wrestling from the Olympics in 2020 has galvanized national and international support that runs across party lines and has brought together nations that have been on thin ice with each other. Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and Democratic Senator Cullerton, who put together the Senate resolution passed by the Illinois Senate in support of Olympic wrestling, and former Republican Speaker of the House, Denny Hastert, joined forces in Springfield this week for the occasion. This month, Iran will bring its Olympic team to Los Angeles to take on the USA Team in an effort to show the world how important wrestling is. Earlier this year, Iran hosted the a world wrestling event and cheered for the USA team in another showing of mutual respect precipitated by the sport of wrestling.
When I was a kid, I was a true sports fan. I read books from the 50’s and 60’s of improbable feats of heroism by ordinary athletes and teams. I religiously watched the Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks play on television and listened on radio. The thrill of victory and agony of defeat ran through my veins. I swung a baseball bat for hours alone perfecting my swing and pitched tennis balls endlessly against a garage or brick wall with visions of a major league career running through my head. I galloped through backyard football games with a ball tucked under my arm like the ghost of Gale Sayers, replaying in my mind each night the highlight reel of my performance. I even played makeup hockey games with any objects I could find for pucks and sticks.
My idealistic world of sports began unraveling when Wertz terminated the contract with WGN, relegating hockey to the snowy underworld of UHF TV. I was probably 9 or 10. I lost my taste for hockey and never regained it. A long, slow divorce with my love of sports had begun. Continue reading “A Long Slow Divorce”→