on the olympics

So as much as I have tried to avoid the empty nationalistic pride that comes with it, I have caught Olympic fever. Having spent a large portion of my childhood and adolesence as a spectator at swim meets, I find myself still obssessed with worldwide swimming rivalries. Perhaps now my knowledge of world record holders and times has faded, but I still have certain allegiances that transplant me back to when swimming seemed to matter. Watching Gary Hall, Jr. takes me back to that summer after graduation, dancing in front of the TV with my little sister and cheering for him. It is really an ironic attachment – that cocksure attitude he possesses is the same attitude that revolts me in the day to day interaction I have with many males. And yet for Gary Hall, I excuse it as charisma and charm. Maybe it is because of the gold medals. I am a loyal fan. Don’t get me wrong, I think Michael Phelps is a great swimmer – incredibly talented and well rounded, but part of my felt the sting of Gary Hall not being chosen for the 400 meter relay instead of him. So then part of me felt vindicated when the US only won the bronze in that event (although Michael Phelps time was not the slowest).

See, that it the attitude that comes over me when I watch the Olympics that troubles me. I hate those stupid rivalries and that competitive feeling. I sat around the pool for too many days quite sure my heart would stop if Sarah didn’t get a particular time or beat a certain girl. I don’t know why I live out these competitive notions I have through the performance of other people. Perhaps it could be because I suck in all sports.

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