The 2012 Olympics are underway and the round-the-clock sports coverage has people feeling inspired. Seeing the world’s best athletes breaststroke, run or back handspring their way to a gold medal makes me wish I was at the London games. Instead, I’m staring at a small TV screen in a coffee shop daydreaming about what it would be like to be an Olympian. Imagine the once-in-a-lifetime experiences and all the benefits and perks. Here are a few fun reasons to become an Olympian:
1. Go America! – As an Olympian you represent the “Best of America’s Best”. What an honor! When people chant “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A”, they are cheering for you. Even if you finish dead last in your field and your opponent taunts you by saying “Is that the best you’ve got?” You can proudly say “Yes!”
2. Jewelry – The Olympics includes 302 medal events. Whether it’s a gold, silver or bronze medal, those are one-of-a-kind pieces. If you won one you’d be the envy of all fashionistas. They’d obsessively ask “Where did you get that trendy necklace?” You can smirk and say “The Olympics”.
3. Schedule – While millions of other people sit behind a desk from 9 to 5 doing a boring job they hate, Olympic athletes find ways to get better at the sports they love. In preparation for this year’s games, gold medal swimmer, Ryan Lochte, spent 90 minutes to three hours each Sunday dragging 400- to 500-pound boat chains and tossing 25-pound beer kegs over his head. Beach-volleyball stars Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Misty May-Treanor captured gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. How did they train for 2012? Among other things, they played volleyball on the beach for hours a day, three to four days a week. That sounds more like recess than work. Want to get paid to have fun? Become an Olympian.
4. Travel/Fun – Hosting the Olympics is like throwing the world’s biggest party. It’s an elite guest list and countries spend hundreds of millions to billions of dollars to make a good impression. Remember the complex choreography by the 2,008 drummers during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics? What if you could have been invited to see that in person? The 2016 Olympics will be held in Brazil, a country known for soccer-crazy fans, Carnival, and caipirinha drinks. It will surely be a party that Olympic hopefuls don’t want to miss.
Most of us can only imagine the dedication, passion and training it takes to become an Olympian. This summer we will watch super-athletes, like Michael Phelps, shatter Olympic records and leave us bathing in a pool of inspiration. As I sit in the coffee shop, volume muted as the games play on the TV screen, I fantasize about one day standing at the Olympic podium with my head bowed, fist in the air as a gold medal gets placed around my neck. It would be a big…gigantic…Olympic-sized, day-dream come true.