Sports are usually a hit and miss topic. Some people will dedicate their entire lives to a sport, while others can go years without having anything to do with them.
But for a couple of weeks every four years, all of that changes.
Unlike the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup or NBA Finals, the Olympic Games are able to do something that most sports cannot. They bring the “fight” out in every nation. Each country puts its reputation on the line in an effort to achieve ultimate greatness. Granted, it is still just a game, but it is one of the only things that consistently brings our nations together on the biggest stage.
When thinking about the Olympic Games, I always recall back to a recent memory. During my sophomore year of college, I had just transferred to North Greenville University and did not know a single person. I was with a bunch of new students at a week-long orientation, and I had struggled to even establish a relationship with my new roommates.
While I was forced to hang around with hundreds of students I didn’t know, we had one thing working in our favor. The Olympics were on.
I remember walking to the student union and seeing a crowd gathered in a very small room. I went to see what all the commotion was about, and found myself in the middle of about 200 students watching Michael Phelps go for his fifth gold medal of the Games.
Just to be clear, we were watching SWIMMING. This is something I had never really considered a sport, but more so a tool desperate people use to get away from a shark or other dangerous things in the water. I wasn’t a fan of swimming, but America’s reputation was on the line and I felt it was my duty to defend it by at least cheering.
After Phelps won an insanely close race, I was among the hundreds jumping around, high-fiving people I didn’t know, and even standing on tables chanting “U-S-A.”
For a moment in time, we were all sports fans. For that moment, we weren’t strangers anymore.
This year, Easley folks will get the chance to experience similar feelings as the Big League World Series comes to town next week. Coincidentally, the series begins just two days before the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.
A team stacked with some of the best local players will go head-to-head with teams from across the world. Pride will be on the line. Not so much for the United States, but for our hometown. You may not be a baseball fan and you may have never even thought about going to a game, but just for this week, it is okay to cheer and high-five with strangers.
Even if it’s just for a week, we can all find a way to become one.