Since being back home, I have had a lot of people ask me why I’m not at the Olympics. Actually, they don’t say that, but they imply it by saing, “You’re missing the Olympics” with a look of pity in their eyes. Yes, it’s true; I am missing the Olympics. But ask me if I feel bad about it? Hmmm, no.
Now, let me ask these same concerned people, when the Olympics were held in Atlanta, Georgia, did they feel an irresistible responsibility to attend them simply because the Games were being held in America? No they did not. This is the same ambivalent feeling I have about missing the Olympics in Beijing. Beijing is about 20 hours away from the Hunan, where I have lived this past year. Furthermore, Beijing is a crowded city as is when functioning at its normal capacity. To imagine the influx of people in this mega city makes my skin crawl and makes me want to put on more deodorant. And finally, even if I were passionate about sports, which I’m not, I would not choose to watch them from the top of a stadium. To do so would be to miss out on the close-ups that NBC captures and the commentators and former coaches in all their splendor and raw emotion.