Although it almost feels like yesterday, it was four years ago that a lanky 23 year old kid from Baltimore traveled to the heart of our greatest (well for today at least) rival’s country and took all their gold with world class speed in an ominous place called the Water Cube. That kid is of course Michael Phelps and just by doing what he loved to do he became an American hero. Look, like every red-blooded American couch potato, I’m excited that NFL training camp has begun. Sure, who doesn’t love practice? But for the next two weeks the greatest athletes in the world come together to try to beat the Americans.
That’s right its time for The 2012 Summer Olympics and a time for the rejuvenation of American Exceptionalism. In the age of participation ribbons and entitlement mentality, the Olympics are a form of pure competition. Make no mistake, The Olympics are as much a political exercise as they are an athletic one. In every era there is at least one nation that uses these games to prove that their system, their way of life, their government is superior to all others. In the 70’s and 80’s it was the Soviets, now it’s the Chinese. At the 1936 Berlin Games it was the Nazis who asserted that their Aryan Race was superior to all others but a young American from Alabama named Jesse Owens disagreed. Americans aren’t innocent of using these games for a political purpose either. The esteemed Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) wants our Olympic uniforms burned because they are manufactured in China. As if the clothes he wears everyday weren’t manufactured in South-East Asia.
In London, like every 4 years, everyone will be gunning for the Americans. And why not? The US Basketball teams own the air, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh own the sand and our men and women rule the water. Our women dominate Soccer a game this nation doesn’t even understand and I need spell check just to spell it correctly. The track is ours except for walking. Walking? Yep, the world is so against us that they have to make up sports that we can’t win. We’re not quite there yet with games, like table tennis and badminton, better played while drunk. If beer pong wasn’t an American game, I’m sure that would be an Olympic sport.
Regardless of all the background noise, we have the opportunity to watch kids fulfill their dreams or watch their dreams die. Just seconds, one event, can change lives. Heroes will be made from average kids and we get to tag along on that journey. We, the spectators, get to watch every second of triumph and tragedy. No reality television is better! There is a Michael Phelps waiting to be born in London and we’re lucky enough to watch it happen again.
Denver Sports Chat by Steelegrave
And yes I will probably even watch Soccer.