The Summer Olympic Games in Rio start on Friday, Aug. 5. The Paralympic Games, also in Rio, begin Sept. 7. Athletes from around the world, representing their country with pride, come together to compete on a global stage. These are the best of the best in their chosen sport. These athletes have trained virtually their whole lives for this moment and the opportunity to stand atop the platform and receive a medal.
I get misty when I hear the National Anthem when an athlete from the United States takes home the gold. My heart breaks for the athlete who is a millisecond away from breaking a world record. And I marvel at the camaraderie that exists between team members and competitors, all there for the same purpose.
Staging an event of this magnitude takes years of planning. With world events such as they are, I can’t imagine the security measures that are in place to help ensure the safety of not only the athletes but the hundreds of thousands of people that will be in attendance.
The Olympics have not been without tragic circumstances over the years. But my hope for these Olympic Games is that we see the best in human behavior, that the athletes honor and are honored for their competitive spirit, and that the world comes together to celebrate the spirit of this world-class event.