Notes from Jan

Olympic Gold

August 7, 2016

Recorded the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Not sure why, since the main event, for seven of us, took place at Chauncey Creek in Maine, far away from Rio and Zika.  A perfect night for sitting at picnic tables beside the creek, celebrating the birthday of a very good friend, feasting on hors d’ oeuvres, lobster(with bibs) and cupcakes.  As one sang later, “This was a Real Nice Clambake” from Carousel.  And it was.

Maybe I recorded it because I  hoped something wonderful would happen, unplanned by event choreographers. Once home, I grabbed the clicker to join millions of would-be athletes from around the world.

When Gisele Bundchen “won gold” for walking the length of a football field in stilettos, I sat stunned. An amazing feat from the vantage point of one who wears solid shoes, built for support, not style, then uses a cane for added stability and sympathetic glances.  Later, breathed in relief to learn Team USA  would march earlier than its usual place, entering  under Estados Unidos da America.

Gisele and Team USA paled once the first ever Refugee Olympic Team marched into the arena, refugees from hunger, violence,  war, religious persecution, or  just because they’re different.  A small band of athletes from places we know through the news: Syria, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The unexpected happened, as I’d secretly hoped.  The stadium erupted when  ten athletes, who represent millions of refugees, were introduced and entered the stadium under the Olympic Flag. Young men and women without the endorsement of their countries, separated from their  families,  suddenly supported by thousands standing and cheering for them.

Pure gold.

Had to drop my clicker, clap, cheer and grab a kleenex.

Love your neighbor, as yourself.”

It’s a small world, after all.


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  • Reply Dale Lefever August 8, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Thanks Jan for making what often appears to be irrelevant “somewhat” relevant. If I forget the reality that these games are putting Brazil 20 billion dollars in debt and facility managers of properties they never will use again, I actually do marvel at the athletes both sponsored and not. And, since our first medal was in air rifle, it made me grab my pellet rifle and go looking for those pesky rodents.

    I appreciate your keeping life in perspective.

    Blessings, Dale

  • Reply Polly Ann Brown August 13, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Jan, Thank you for recording this so I could experience the moment — wonderful and much-needed — vicariously. Pure gold, indeed.

    Polly Ann

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