Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I made it to the Olympics!

Attending the London 2012 Olympics was fantastic.  Better than I ever could have expected.  The symbolism of countries joining together in friendly competition opens up fans from nations all over the world to just the right amount of patriotism and lots of conversations about our different nations characteristics.  Its hard to explain why it felt so different, but somehow we were from our countries and eager to understand each other beyond rote politics.

People made me proud to be from the USA, because our athletes have a reputation as being so nice and always willing to stop for an autograph or photo. They showed off the best of American traits: friendliness and openness.  Also many athletes train in the US, because we have funding to subsidize facilities.  This meant I met athletes from other countries who were grateful for the opportunities my country offers.

For me a normal trip to Europe means that I try to suppress my Americanness as much as possible so I don't get the European anti-American wrath.  This time I proudly wore a USA hat and a flag sticker all over London because it was a conversation starter. London felt like a big party and we were all happy to be there representing our countries.

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