So what is it about the Olympics that makes us like this? Well, I think there's something about it that captures our collective imagination. Somehow we know that we ought to be the best in the world, at least in some thing, and the Olympics gives us an opportunity to prove it. Our notion of "Kiwi-ness" binds us together and somehow each of us identifies with those great athletes as "one of us". The fact that its the athletes who have put in the hard work and will be the ones who win, place in the medals, come fourth (doh!), or get to participate doesn't seem to make any difference. This is us - NZ against the world.
These big sports events tie us together in a sense of togetherness that is reminiscent of good community. It was the same with the Rugby World Cup last year. For a couple of months we were all (well most of us) part of this great big Rugby family, cheering on the AB's and full of pride at our victory.
There is something spiritual about all this too. Really? I hear you say. Well, yes, I think there is.
Striving for the best and achieving victory is all part of God's plan! Doing it together, with a crowd to cheer us, helps us to get there.
Hebrews 12:1 says:
"As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us."
Enjoy the games!