For the 2nd week of Olympic Festivities, I am asking kids & families to pick one (or a 2nd) nation that is competing at the Summer Olympics in London 2012. Come prepared to share a little or a lot about that country. At a bare minimum show us what the country’s flag looks like and where this country is located on a world map or globe. Anything else is extra. Is it warm or cold there? Do the people speak many languages or one? Do you like the food they eat or can you show us a typical dance of theirs? Do you know someone who lives there? Or do you want to share information about the athletes that are competing for their nation? Play Olympic Charades to get everyone to guess what sports your nation is competing in. Here is the list of the 205 Nations competing this summer and their flags.
I will share some history of the Ancient and Modern Olympic Games and share love for the host country – Great Britain (whose soccer team hasn’t competed in the Olympics since BEFORE the Beatles recorded an album).
The Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics heralds so much for me personally. It was the first time I was allowed to stay up beyond 8 o’clock. Every four years my family buzzed in anticipation of the Olympic games. Patriotism and excitement for the games was subtly passed on via my family and newscasters. For two weeks, everyone in my family watched global competitors come together, everyone in my neighborhood, everyone in my town. It was as if the excitement and morays of the games had spread though the backyards of the world – including mine.
Due to both my int’l travel and the spirit of the Olympics (and World Cups), I am proud to be more than a fan of USA, but a Global fan of the world. I am in the corner of each person who has dedicated their lives to excelling their abilities, their minds, their visions (spiritual and otherwise) in hopes of competing at the Olympics. Winning a medal is tangible, but to shake hands and push the sport to the limit with the best from all around the world is truly the shining moment. And I can never get enough of the back stories revealing how athletes arrived to the days we witnessed their triumphs, what they sacrificed and how oftentimes they almost didn’t get the chance. I am welling just thinking about it. To me, every Olympic Opening night (July 27th, 2012) is an example of man and society coming together in art and camaraderie versus war and discord. I am on the edge of my seat, searching for the pride tattooed on the faces of those carrying their country’s flag as well as each hosting country’s personal artistic ingenuity.
My husband and children now experience the Olympics as a symbolic platform that incites reflection upon all sorts of humanity. It can be a time to weigh in your values on our bodies as temples, our environmental concerns, and our relations on a family, neighborhood, state, national and global level. Enjoy the Olympics on any and all levels, including sharing some of that fun with us at Parkday.