London is no longer a British city, but an international city. Ever since the Olympic torch was lit a week and a half ago, people from all over the world have taken over the city.
Walking through the tubes and the city, you’re not afraid to talk to anyone. Everyone is friendly. There is something absolutely unquantifiable in the air. Everyone becomes friends. Not just friends though, best friends.
There is a great respect for every other nation. Old rivalries are lost. The world has truly come together. It is something that I believe everyone should experience.
If there is anything I have learned since the games began, it’s that the sports don’t matter so much. It’s not just the winning that is important. (Although I will say, winning is very important to many fans). Spectators pour into arenas to watch sports they may have never seen or heard of and sometimes to see athletes from countries hundreds or thousands of miles from their own.
I came to this realization in maybe the oddest of places. Standing in a line with people from many other countries to pick up tickets for the 2012 Games, I met David Chin, possibly the epitome of an Olympic super fan. Chin has attended 10 Olympic Games and just keeps coming back. There is a certain Olympic virus that goes around. I have always heard everyone tell me that this will surely not be my final Olympics. I think they are right.
Being at men’s gymnastics days ago with the seats I had was a surreal experience. Not only was it great to see Danell Leyva come back to claim the bronze medal for the U.S., but it was amazing to see the crowd support every gymnast no matter the country. The experience of watching these world class athletes get their medals was absolutely amazing.
The Olympics are contagious, and I have the disease.