For the past nearly two weeks, and for a few days to come, the Winter Olympics are unfolding before our eyes and ears.
Overall, it is more than a giant spectacle. It is a welcome diversion from much of the mundane and negative drivel that dominates our TV screens these days.
TV, a great medium and potential for the betterment of America has, in many aspects, deteriorated into a vast wasteland. Far too much of our entertainment (and programs labeled as news) are negative, often scarily so, and little is positive or joyful entertainment, and even less is informative.
So, it is relaxing and refreshing to be able to tune in at all hours of the day and be treated to watching the very best athletes the world has to showcase, as they present their very peak performances.
Thanks to the amazing levels of technology that now exist in photography and sight and sound transmission, we can watch and listen and almost feel that we are over in Russia actually spectating. Only, we see more detail and repeated replays and explanations of all of the highlight moments.
In addition, since many events are of very short duration, with a lot of time in between, we are given tons of background and human interest that expands our viewer understanding and enjoyment.
The Olympics themselves, with all the glitz and hype, still show through as absolute supreme athletic contests.
The athletes must all start out with the ultimate in God-given natural athletic ability and prowess. Then, it is hard to fathom how much that naturally gifted person must be motivated to dedicate, focus and sacrifice all else for years and years of training, practice and all-encompassing preparation for just that one magic minute or minutes of actual Olympic performance, which must be the best in the world to win just one medal.
The Olympic coverage is certainly over-hyped and over-commercialized, much like other TV. There are interminable commercial advertisements (some even entertaining themselves) that I suppose are necessary evil and required to bring all the color, detail and perfected production into our watching view.
It is great to see more than just the glitz and glamor and the featured superlative main events. What makes the Olympic coverage outstanding television is the many displayed and reported instances or real sportsmanship among the athletes, and the coaches, handlers, trainers and even spectators from the many supporting and competing countries.
In addition to the very exciting events, it is almost as enjoyable to see the many instances of surrounding joy, elation, celebration and excitement as well as the thankfulness, acknowledgment and appreciation that shine through the screen and microphone.
There is so much positive, joyful, “glad to be here” atmosphere that it becomes pervasive in a positive way.
Since there are only three medals per event, there have to be many more losers than winners at the Olympic Games. Also, since the cameras display so many who come up short of winning, there are certainly many inevitable negatives, and reporting thereof, in the overall display. But, that in a real and understandable way can serve as life lesson. A single slip of the skate or ski, or even imperfection or change on icy surface can determine score and loss that can postpone or even destroy a lifelong dream.
A failure of the athlete to win or place often spreads to even downgrade the whole nation the athlete comes from or represents, and certainly constitutes huge disappointment to all surrounding coaches, families and supporters
But overall, the spirit of the games, the goals and the function and purpose shine through as a great contest of individuals, teams and nations presented in positive splendor. The remarkable athletic performances, and even the production thereof, are about as close to sheer perfection as we are likely to see and experience here on earth.