I have such mixed emotions during the Olympics. I fight all sorts of various and deeply conflicting personal perspectives during each individual event.
For example, I am UBER patriotic. I don't think that Americans are more important or valuable than anyone else on the world stage, but I do have a decided thing for loving the country (flaws and all) that I call home. Throwing my support behind the home team is a huge part of who I am. . .red, white and blue to the core.
Also, though I was born and raised in the US, I am married to a Brit, have lived a quarter of my life in the UK and now hold dual US-UK citizenship, as do all four of our children. That makes for a dodgy internal conflict when watching any event where both countries are well represented.
I'm also a former athlete. Not anywhere near Olympic standard, mind you, but I did well enough in my day to understand the level of work and effort and utter commitment it takes to BE an Olympic athlete. And because of that understanding, I struggle when anyone who has put in that amount of dedication and effort doesn't get rewarded on the largest world stage.
But I'm also a mother and a Christian. So I value the honor of sport most of all. More than talent and decidedly more than achievement. . .I'm drawn to any athlete who demonstrates personal integrity, respect for fellow team members AND competitors, a level of excellence with regard to health and effort, an obvious awareness that their value is NOT in whether or not they're good at something, and a deep, abiding love for whatever sport they're competing in.
If you have all those qualities AND you're either an American or Brit (or, better yet, are BOTH!!!), you probably have my heart. For life. Doesn't matter what the sport is.
Throw in my love of a sappy, good underdoog-does-good story, and I am emotionally all over the place during the Olympic Games.
So I don't know how I feel about Shaun White not even getting on the podium in a sport he has all but dominated for years. Honestly don't have a clue. Lots of pluses and minuses mixed in there. Lots.
But I don't have time to do the math right now. . .I've got a lot more Olympics to watch!
(photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net and can be found here)