The Olympics are over. Finally. Now I can sleep. Never before have I willingly neglected my standard eight hours of sleep so consistently and unapologetically. Never before have I lied to myself so convincingly, telling myself that I could write AND watch at the same time. (It took me 1.5 hours to write a 300 word article.) The social media spoilers only contributed to my demise. (Knowing who was going to win made me more willing to stay up late to watch.) Here are my top 10 fave moments of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
1. The opening ceremony. I loved that the opening ceremony spoke of Brazil's rich and flawed history. I loved that it highlighted climate change and our ability to affect change. I loved how each country's Olympic delegation was paired with a host from Brazil who carried a plant that would be planted in honor of that country. It was a well-thought out gesture and beautiful (to use an overused yet highly appropriate word). Lastly, seeing people from nearly every country on earth made me well up with emotion. (To be precise, I cried.) The diversity of skin tones and hair and clothing and national pride was awe-inspiring. It made me want more of it, only outside of a competitive event.
3. When shot put champion Michelle Carter showed women that you neither have to be a size six nor have a six pack to become an Olympic gold medalist.
4. Watching other countries capture gold. Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands's winning balance beam routine was a portrait of beauty and elegance, while Chinese diver Chen Aisen's execution on the diving board was near flawless. Although the U.S. has some of the most talented athletes in the world, talent isn't confined to our borders.
5. Brazilian art. The vibrant colors. The music. The dance. The samba. (Yes, it's worthy of its own category.)
6. When Usain Bolt looked to the right and then to the left to make sure that he was in fact leading his opponents. (Both times.) They say that lightning bolts are rare, and that it's impossible for them to strike the same spot twice, let alone thrice, but Usain Bolt struck first in Beijing, then in London, and finally in Rio. He could be a character in the new Marvel comic book. (You listenin' Ta-Nehisi Coates?)
7. When the refugee team walked into the Olympic arena for the first time. Their perseverance is inspiring and reminded us that some people don't have a country to call home anymore.
8. When Ryan Lochte and friends told the truth about what really happened at that gas station. (Wait - that hasn't happened yet, but hopefully it will. Hopefully.)
9. When super model Gisele sashayed across the Olympic stage just because - in a silver lamé dress. Upon seeing this spectacle, I immediately texted my friend Meagan to tell her that I needed one in my life. So, when you see me sashay Chanté-ing in a gold lamé dress to go grocery shopping at Trader Joe's (I don't get out much, and I prefer gold to silver) don't look at me strangely. Okay?
10. The advertisement for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Have you seen it! Fiyah. Can. not. wait.
In the meantime, I guess it's back to old Law & Order SVU episodes. (Sigh. Why do I torture myself so?)