Inspiring national pride with Olympics

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tomorrow, the 2016 Olympic Games begin in Rio after months of controversy, scandals and wild animal incidents.

Personally, the Olympics have always been a time just before school begins to sit around the television with my family and marvel at the athletic abilities of competitors.

Like many, I have always been fascinated by the U.S. Swim teams, not just to admire Michael Phelps and his record-breaking medals. I grew up swimming, albeit semi-competitively, but have always appreciated the finesse of those high-level athletes.

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Every four years, the Olympics serve as a reminder of what our bodies are capable of, if we would only get off the couch and push them. For some, it might inspire you to get back out there and restart your nightly jogs. For others, we may look at these amazing athletes and continue to work toward becoming an Olympian in the sport of binge-watching Netflix.

Whether you’re invigorated, inspired or just entertained, the Olympics are a major source of national pride for many.

I always feel a small twinge in my heart when a U.S. athlete is awarded a gold medal, standing on a pedestal while the national anthem plays.

As we sit on our American couches, watching our American televisions, eating our American food, these athletes are down in Brazil competing for glory and recognition, an amazing opportunity most of us will never see.

Stories like Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte, Roger Federer and Missy Franklin can be inspiring to Americans as we watch them live the ultimate American dream: turning blood, sweat and tears into literal gold.

This weekend I’ll be among those proudly cheering on our swimmers, archers, tennis players, gymnasts and so many others as they compete for a little piece of the glory.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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