One thing I know to be true about living through and now, hopefully, coming out of a pandemic – we’re all looking for any new social activity.  I remember the first football game broadcast during the pandemic.  My mom, who is not even an avid fan (though she puts on an awesome Super Bowl party), was so excited about the game because it broke up the monotony of reorganizing the pantry, baking sourdough, binge watching “The Netflix” as she calls it, and all those things we did to keep ourselves occupied during social isolation.

For this sports fan, tonight begins the world’s ultimate COVID distraction – The Tokyo Olympics.  I know.  I know.  Instead of the usual positive press run up to the Olympics, we are bombarded with negative stories like COVID positive athletes having to withdraw, sexual harassment of competitors, and speculation on whether the games would be canceled altogether.

This year’s opening ceremony is appropriately pared down.  No rock stars.  No big dance routines.  No screaming fans in the audience.  Just the simplicity of the athletes marching and of course, the majesty of the Olympic torch lighting and the rings.

Perhaps this somber approach is a good transition away from the past Hollywood, stylized shows and affords us the chance to reflect on what the Olympics really mean.  So, I decided to look up the symbolism of the torch and rings.  According to Greek mythology, Titan Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to humanity to nudge it toward civilization.  The rings are a modern symbol and the six colors, including the white background, are those represented in the flags of all the nations participating in the first modern games.

Based on this history, you could say the torch and the rings represent the growth of civilization . . . together.  Isn’t that a nice, pared down ideal to be focusing on tonight?  I, for one, will be watching.

One Response

  1. Relatable perspective and grounded insight; like a breath of fresh air. Looking forward to the next one!

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