Paris, Île-de-France, France

August 21, 2016

The Power of the Olympics

Recently, I've been trying to get into a early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of routine. And it was going pretty well.

Then the Olympics happened.

Get a good night's sleep, or stay up until 3:30AM to see Usain Bolt run one last time? For me, the choice is obvious.

Every two years, regardless of my intentions, my world stops for a couple weeks, and I take in the spectacle. I love the Olympics like little else – both for the performance, and the humanity.

I love it because it's people who are the very best in the world at what they do at their very best moments. Seconds of heightened tension where, despite their immense skills, they'll still need to be the best they've ever been to win.

But I also love it because it's humanity's event. North Korea dives with Canada. Japan sprints with Jamaica. Sure, there are lots of flaws with the games, and great questions on what they do to the countries that host them - but a wonderful fact remains.

The entire planet gets together and plays some games.

Play has always been a thread of human life, and I see it everywhere I go. Two girls playing badminton in a back alley in Bangkok. A pick-up game of soccer in Argentina. Whizzing bicycles around a velodrome in Colombia. A footrace in Rwanda.

So much of our world is filled with hard-charging, insistent stories about ideas. This country vs that. This philosophy vs that world view. East vs West. Around all of us, pitched battles and serious consequences are constantly blaring.

It's a part of human nature.

But how wonderful, even for a few weeks every couple years, to be reminded that there's another truth, living in every single one of us:

We love to play.

And on that note, I'm off to the park to see if I can find some soccer or parkour or something. Hope you find some play in your week too. :)

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was clearly some amazing moments in the Olympics, but since the videos aren't actually online for people to see, just watch this compilation of all of Usain Bolt's world records with me.

See you at the closing ceremonies, tonight. :)

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