Reflections on the Winter Olympics

Sochi rings 2014

I love the Winter Olympics. Every four years, I can’t wait to watch them. I actually enjoy the Winter Games more than the Summer Games when they come around. I’m not sure why that is- I don’t participate in any winter sports myself. I don’t ice skate, never played hockey, I’m a lousy skier, and a nominal snowboarder at best. But there is something about the Winter Olympics every that just capture my attention & imagination. They are almost magical, mythic to me. The snow-covered, mountainous locations, the exotic places like Lillehammer, Nagano, Torino, Vancouver, Sochi, the other-worldly beauty of each country’s opening & closing ceremonies…they all just enchant me.

And of course, there are the heroes of each Winter Games. I remember the Austrian, Franz Klammer, rocketing down the mountain in the 1976 Olympics. I became a fan of downhill skiing watching him. The unlikely champions of the 1980 Games, the US hockey team, and their staggering win over the undefeated Soviets. What a moment. I remember watching Olaf “The Boss” Koss defeat the “Flying Dutchmen” to win gold in speed skating at Lillehammer, I think. I’ve never been a fan of men’s figure skating, but watching Scott Hamilton do back flips on the ice, and take gold in 1984, was stunning. And of course, the first time I ever saw this little American guy with long hair and a bandanna, Apolo Ohno, win gold in Torino, I became a fan of short track speed skating. And what could ever compare to the gravity-defying feats of Shaun White in the half-pipe at Vancouver! I could go on- so many heroes, so many memories. These Olympics saw some old heroes falter, but new ones arise. White & Davis, Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin, Sage Kotsenburg, etc. Thrilling Games to watch, no doubt.

Yes, I love the Winter Olympics. There’s something about them that touch me deeply- the thrills, the chills, the splendor, the unity, the beauty. Maybe they remind me of an adventure we were created for, a unity and splendor that awaits us, and a triumph & celebration we will share one day ourselves, with our God our Creator, Savior, Lover, and Lord.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has it even entered the mind of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him…” 1 Corinthians 2:9

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