I love the Winter Olympics. Don't get me wrong, I also love the Summer ones too...but honestly, how can you not just love the Olympics where Curling is a sport! I love watching that and so many other events (um, skiing!). Here we have athletes that generally aren't household names year round. I mean, without the Olympics, would many of us know about Lindsey Vonn? Maybe... Some, for sure. But now everyone is cheering for her. At the Olympics, these athletes have trained and given up so much of their lives for a few moments, however short. In those moments they hope that the hard work pays off, and in sometimes minutes and seconds they know. It is that great sense of accomplishment of the sporting world.
But sometimes, even with all the great Olympic spirit, I am reminded about the person beyond the sport. Take for instance Roberto Clemente. (How's that for abrupt jump in topic!!) As I was doing a project for my internship today, I ran across an exhibit they (SITES) have done about him and I re-remembered how remarkable he was. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the '60's and '70's and was an amazing baseball player, but his reach extended beyond that. He worked on many charitable endeavors and always hoped to instill in other Latin American kids the sense of pride and hope of being able to achieve their dreams. In fact, he died at the age of 38 in a plane crash as he was delivering aid to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. This is a pretty dramatic example of having a purpose beyond even sport. But can you imagine a professional athlete saying this today?:
"Anytime you have the opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't do it, you are wasting your time on this earth." --Roberto Clemente
I can't, actually. But it was a good reminder for me today and thought I would share.
Here is the traveling exhibit by SITES (don't ask...it's the Smithsonian, everything is an acronym) and more source info so you can check up on me!