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The Olympic (Red White) and Blues

July 31, 2012 - Al Stephenson
I'm sorry, but I just can't get excited about the Olympics. I have some friends that were chomping at the bit waiting for the Games to begin. They will watch hour after hour of coverage.

Then there were the guys I spent last weekend with. As the following story will attest, they feel much the way I do about the Olympic Games.

Four of us took our spouses to the Apple Valley Resort near Mt. Vernon. We stayed in two condos near the Apple Valley Golf Club. For the guys, the primary purpose of the trip was to play golf. We did so on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. For the women the main purpose was to do a little shopping. For all of us it was a chance to enjoy a relaxing weekend.

On Saturday evening after the primary activities had concluded and the grilling of steaks, burgers and brats had been consumed, the ladies went to one condo while the guys held fort in the other. Both condos had the TV's on, but what was being viewed might surprise you. The women were watching the Olympics. Surprising? Maybe, but not as surprising as what the guys were doing. The men were watching Forrest Gump. Seriously. Apparently none of us had much desire to watch the Olympics.

So why the lethargy? I can't speak for the others, but for me there are a couple of problems. I don't like the emphasis we place on winning. Along those same lines, I don't like sending professionals to the Games. I would prefer to have the purpose of the Olympics to be that the best amateur athletes in the world compete against each other. If you win fine. If you come in fifth, so be it.

I don't like the idea of sending NBA players to the Games. I would much prefer to see kids fresh out of high school or in college play basketball. That I would watch. I don't have any plans to watch the latest Dream Team.

If this makes me less patriotic, well I'm OK with that. The view from my seat suggests that it is sports and should be treated as such. For me the joy is in the little bit of the Olympics I did take in when I returned to the "sports" condo. An equestrian event had just concluded and the young lady that rode a beautiful horse was, I believe, from Britain. When her turn ended, she had this huge smile on her face that said she was so happy that she and her magnificent animal had just done a wonderful job, no matter what score they earned.

This is what the Olympics should be all about.


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