Published on July 30, 2021

Olympic flame

A Spirited Olympics

If there is one thing that has been reinforced by the first week of the Tokyo Olympics it is that what we all love most about the games—winter or summer—are the Olympians themselves.

The opening ceremony was certain to be constrained by the circumstances in which these games are being conducted. But as the national delegations of teams came into the stadium, smartphones in hand and masks in place, you could feel that familiar Olympic spirit began to grow. By the time our own team showed up (looking a little like a bunch of summer congressional interns), the Olympians already owned the games.

We’ve now grown accustomed to televised sporting events without stadiums filled with excited fans. And we’ve learned that the skill and athleticism of those who are competing may be challenged, but they are surely not compromised by the absence of loud cheers and applause.

In sport, triumph and disappointment frequently arrive together. As some have soared, others have stumbled. Surprises and upsets hint at the complexities each athlete must successfully manage.

Watching these super-skilled and high performing individuals respond to their ever-changing situations is surely as interesting—and significant—as focusing on the very few who end up on the podium with medals around their necks.

The foundational values of the Olympic movement are respect, friendship, and excellence. Since 1896, when the modern Olympics were first organized, it is the spirited excellence of the Olympians that has pushed the Olympic movement along. They are the heart of the Olympic movement, the keepers of the flame.

At Adventist HealthCare, we are able to watch outstanding teams pull together to provide exemplary care every day. We know what it is like to address complex and difficult situations. We know that the work we take on is never routine. Watching the Olympics is a reminder of what spirited and committed individuals can come together to achieve.

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