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.
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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