1988 Winter Olympics – Calgary

In 1988, I was a young newly-married husband of a beautiful bride – living in tiny 700+ square foot apartment in Duncanville, TX. The apartment was not the best … ohh, it was nice enough. But the little moon roof leaked in the rain. Snow could be seen coming through moon roof as well during the cold winter months. Even back then, the electric bill was over $200.

We had little to fill the apartment – but we had love. Okay, before this gets too sappy, let me get to the point I want to make.

In February of 1988, the Winter Olympics took place. That was when the winter and summer Olympics took place in the same year. It took place in Calgary. I wanted to watch it pretty bad – but we had no television. So Lisa and I went down the street to the local pizza joint with a large-screen TV. Almost every night, we went there … ordered pizza … and watched the athletes do there best.

There were some big stories – Eddie the Eagle for one. I wished I had paid more attention to him. The Jamaican bobsled – yes, Cool Running fame. Two movies from that year. I remember the triple gold speed skater, and our own Bonnie Blair. But we really didn’t too much that year.

But some great stories and decent pizza.

2022 – China. Oh how the olympics have changed. The thrilling sport of curling is now official. (They had it at the original 1924 winter olympics, but it wasn’t official until 2006.) So, curling and the X-Game events keep people attention.

China had some good stories too – the Russian drug scandal, the covid quarantines, the first USA woman speed-skating gold, an American turned Chinese medals, the Jamaicans returned to bobsledding, jumpers disqualified over baggy pants, Shaun White’s last Olympics, and more.

But the culture, the atmosphere, the camaraderie between athletes, exploring an international city and  other detriments made this Olympics sad. Chinese representatives forcibly removing a broadcaster while not he air, keeping athletes isolated, rigorous covid testing, no sigh-seeing, and the dark clouds of a country that is allegedly committing genocide and definitely committing religious persecution.

Yes the China Olympics 2022 is over and has its own stories – some good, plenty bad.

But what do we take from this for our daily life? I mean I realize few readers have Olympic connections. What can I use in my life. 

  • Whatever endeavor I am in – I should strive to be my best. Maybe not Olympic level but I can do MY best (so can you!)
  • Whatever endeavor I am in, the environment is important too. The experience of ambiance, the culture of welcome and building relationships. So at church, you may have the best preaching, but if its only a preaching experience – then just bring in a video. You need the full experience of worship. Singing lifts our hearts, relationships are built, and fellowship is foundational. Covid quarantine taught us we need inter-personal connection.
  • Stories matter. We need to share our stories.

Maybe Paris 20024 will be better. Until then, we learn, we grow, and we celebrate the athletes of 2022.

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