I love the Olympics. The Opening and Closing ceremonies (especially the closing) have the power to reduce me to tears. Last night's opening ceremony was spectacular. I can't believe that there were something like 15,000 people who were involved in making the Opening Ceremony spectacular. I also loved the lead-up to the torch lighting, but the lighting itself was just so-so. (Then again nothing is going to really be able to beat the archer from Athens in 2004.) Boy, I don't envy Great Brittain in 2012 having to follow China.
My favorite part of any Opening Ceremony, however is the Parade of Nations. This year's non-alphabetical entry was fun because some small countries who preceed (or follow) large countries in alphabetical order didn't get cut out by a commercial break. To me it's just fun to see people and countries who know they have no chance to win a medal, but are just thrilled to be there. The pride on their faces as they follow their country's flag and wave and smile to the crowds is fun to me.
Another favorite part is getting to hear national anthems from various countries. Of course, my favorite is when I get to hear the U.S National Anthem, but getting to hear other countries' anthems is neat, too. And the hard-luck stories of how some of the athletes got there... and seeing the people who come in dead last but wave and smile when they cross the finish line because they are competing at the Olympics. To me, it's all just a special time when we get to see the very best of people and the world if only for a few weeks.
So, for the next two weeks, you will pretty much be able to find me watching some sporting event or another of an evening. I'll be cheering and rooting for the U.S., of course, but also cheering for the underdog who is just thrilled to be competing on the world stage at the Olympics.