Olympic Dramafest

My heart-rate monitor tells me that I’m on schedule for my Olympic performances.  My pulse is up, my body’s reacting, and I’m on the muscle.  More significantly, the tears are flowing.  This is my every-four-years’ dramafest. 

Normally I follow only a little horse-racing and whatever activities my children are passionate about… but during Olympics, I turn into a fanatic who is emotionally invested in every dramatic story. 

Today I’m broken up over our local guy, Gary Russell, Jr. who got dehydrated and doesn’t get to compete in wrestling.   He was a bantamweight favorite for a medal.  And the part of the story that got to me was this tough guy sitting in his mother’s lap fighting back tears.  I’ve been following this wrestling family’s progress for ages, waiting to see how he fared in Beijing.  I’m crushed.  I cried.  Audibly. 

While my family works and studies and exercises and lives, I sit transfixed through as much Olympics coverage as I can, hooting, hollering, cheering and crying over human interest stories.  Athletes I’ve never heard of become my focus.  And I can’t believe that others are blissfully unaware of a kid from a country I can’t find on a map whose mother found him in a dumpster with no arms but who is now a shot-putter.  Ok, I made that one up… but seriously… I’m transfixed, obsessed, involved, sold out.  Why isn’t everyone else?

Stats and medals are great.  But what got these folks there?  Who sacrificed?  What does this mean to a family, town, village?  Whose hopes and dreams and investments fueled the training sessions and who have been the cheerleaders?  What happens next if there is a victory vs. a “can’t compete; got dehydrated” outcome?

Stories.  The Olympics is nothing but.  And I love stories.  They’re basically the record, for each of us, of God’s movement in our particular lives.  For his purposes.  And though we don’t always know what he’s up to, the chapters are endlessly fascinating.

And the Olympics creates a big fat storybook.  And I love to read.

~ by Cary on August 9, 2008.

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