Wednesday, August 10, 2016

4 Best Things About Rio 2016

Hooray, it's finally August 2016, time for the Olympics in Rio. There is almost no discipline I'm not looking forward to, and I am thanking the heavens I don't have a 9 to 5 job right now because Swimming was on until 5am last night (worth every second of being tired!), and Usain Bolt will not make an appearance before 3am either. However, other than the obvious highlights of looking into the pretty faces of Lochte, Bolt and whoever carried the Tonga flag at the Parade of Nations, this year's Olympics have some stand-out themes for me.

Rio Backdrop

For me to see the Maracana will forever be the sight of my most favorite Germans becoming the World's Number One on July 13, 2014, however, back when the World Cup was hosted by Brazil I had similar feelings as now: the "Fernweh" to Rio is through the roof. Back in 2009, when Rio was merely nominated for the Games, I spent some pretty good times there. Until today, looking down on Botafogo from the top of Corcovado Mountain is the most amazing sight Momma ever got to look at. Rio is an extraordinary place, full of life, and breathtakingly beautiful, so imagining that having the whole world come together in that magnificent setting is causing some seriously short breaths. My memories of Brazil are so wonderful that everything in connection to it lights up as well, and when my favorite place is connecting with sports, my second favorite thing in the world (after Politics) I can't help but love it.

Gotta love some diversity!

Racism genuinely doesn't really suit me. First of all, I am from a generation that is trying pretty hard to stop people from being racist, xenophobic or what not, and for my personal life that's working tremendously well. I love all people. And since there are so many news stories out there these days where that attitude doesn't seem to reflect, athletes in all shapes and colors standing next to each other, fighting for their country through sports, is a notion that has always given me goosebumps. Sure, if they're American or Chinese they tend to not be "one" with the competition, because they're usually just way better at the respective sport, but it all happens in the spirit of sportsmanship. It's a time where over 10,000 athletes share a stage at a parade of nations, looking nothing alike, but all having the same aim, which never happens except in sports. Sudan sharing the stage with South Sudan, and other examples, doesn't happen anywhere but the Olympics, and it's wonderful.

Passion wins!

I have been asked what I look for in a man many a time. Race, as I said, hasn't been the best indication; my dating portfolio has made space for all shapes and colors. Being in- or extroverted seems to not be the theme either. The only thing I really go for in a man is if he can make himself be passionate about something and follow it, no matter what. This doesn't only apply to romantic mates: I adore passionate people, whether that passion is swimming (cough, cough, Ryan Lochte, cough) or building houses out of matchsticks. Without passion, people are boring. At the Olympics, every single person on that screen has found that passion in their life, and I don't have to share it. I can watch a good old round of Equestrian races although I have no interest in horses at all just because I find it impressive that some individuals have made it the content of their life to do what they love and do that well. No matter what that is.

Refugees, duh!

Obviously, my favorite thing about this year's Olympics is the Refugee Team. Do they need a team of refugees? No. Is it a wonderful gesture that is necessary in a world of Marine LePens and Donald Trumps? Absolutely. These people are extraordinary before they even compete, and yet it is the same passion that brought them there, only under a lot harder circumstances (and that is saying something, considering the lives of some pro-athletes). Of course, American athletes will outperform them because their biggest problems in their life would maybe be occasional injuries or tough diets. If American athletes lose, they leave as losers. The refugee team, however, are the only team arriving as winners, no matter what times or scores they get. They represent humanity, not countries. And as a de facto non-nationalist, I have to celebrate that. 

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