Friday, August 5, 2016

Five Things I'm Most Excited About the Summer Olympics in Rio

pic courtesy of NBC
The 2016 Summer Olympics begin today! That's right, the highly anticipated and already infamous Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony is tonight and I simply cannot wait. Like most sports enthusiasts, I love the Olympics. The sports, the athletes, the history of the host city and memories of past Games are all equally exciting. The Olympics have always been a part of my family's life in some way and I have fond memories of watching the Games with my parents and brother. My family and I would go camping every summer and I clearly remember bringing a dinky TV with us during the summer of the 1984 Olympics. We couldn't really see anything very well but it was exciting, nonetheless. Especially the women's marathon, as this was the first year it was permitted. Perhaps that was when my love of endurance running was ignited! Now I get to share my Olympic excitement with my own husband and kids, which is super fun. With the Rio Games starting tonight, I thought I'd share the Olympic events I'm most excited to see.

Before I continue, I'm linking up with the Friday Five link up hosted by Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run.

1. The Opening Ceremony. The official opening of the Olympic Games occurs when the torch is lit in the host city and it is always a sight to behold. Rio holds a special place in my heart because my husband and I went to Rio, Iguassu Falls and Buenos Aires back in 2005 as a "last hurrah" trip before we started our family. We had such a blast in Rio. The people are wonderful, the beaches are beautiful and it's going to be so exciting to see how they put on the Games. I know there has been a lot of negative press, but I'm hopeful that they'll pull it off. And I cannot wait to see the flamboyance that only Rio can present.

A preview of the ceremony - pic courtesy of CNN

2. Michael Phelps. One of the greatest athletes of all time is back. We are big Michael Phelps fans and were able to follow his career pretty closely while we lived in Maryland. In fact, our son dressed as Michael Phelps for Halloween back in 2008. Can he add to his amazing medal count? He is the most decorated Olympic athlete with 18 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. That's right, 18 gold medals. We are cheering for him, that's for sure.

3. The Marathon. The Olympic Marathon is always exciting and this year will be no different. I was lucky enough to be in Los Angeles to see the Olympic Marathon Trials. I am so excited to see Meb Keflezighi, Galen Rupp, Jared Ward, Amy Cragg, Des Linden and Shalane Flanagan represent our country. Let's only hope these amazing athletes will bring home some hardware! Really, I'm excited for all of Track and Field (which now part of the blanket title "Athletics," which includes track and field, road running and race walking events) and will be glued to my TV and phone so I can see as many events as possible.

4. Gymnastics. While I only did gymnastics for a couple of years as a kid, I am so inspired by these amazing athletes. They are so freaking strong! Both the men and women are so captivating to watch. Their strength, beauty and grace are just fantastic. Did you know that the US has earned the gold in the individual women's all-around competition for the last three Olympics? Yep, we won gold in Athens, Bejing and London. Can we do it again in Rio?

5. The Stories. I am such a sucker for the stories behind the athletes. I mean, who isn't? The hard work, dedication and sacrifice these athletes and their families have made is just awe-inspiring. To add to the amazing legacy of the Olympics is this year's Refugee Olympic Team. The International Olympic Committee established the refugee team to raise awareness of the refugee crisis around the world and the millions of people who have had to flee their homes due to war, natural disaster or disease. There are 10 athletes on the team and they will be represented by the Olympic Flag and the Olympic Anthem during the Games. I'm already crying.

Do you love the Olympics? What are you most looking forward to in Rio?


  1. I really love the stories about the individual athletes too! It is so inspiring to see the odds that a lot of them had to overcome to make it to Rio.

    1. It's just amazing. I can only imagine what these athletes and their families have had to go through to get to the Olympics. While many get to go to a few Olympics, for most it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So amazing!

  2. I do love the Olympics and am so excited that it begins tonight!

  3. Can't wait for the Olympics! Love you B!

  4. I like the stories behind the athletes too. Makes it so much more interesting. I am watching more than I thought I would!