Thursday, February 27, 2014

One More Thought on the Olympics

"this poor widow
has put in more than all;
for all these have given
 out of their abundance,
but she out of her poverty"
Luke 21:4

I don't know about you, in whatever country you live in, but sometimes it's a little frustrating to watch the Olympics in the U.S.  NBC seems to be convinced that we are only interested in American athletes.  Of course I'm interested in the U.S. athletes, but I also love getting to know new names, and hearing their stories.  Sometimes I even remember them from previous Olympics, and find myself rooting for them.   I think NBC has gotten better about giving us a more global look, but I still felt like I was missing stuff.  I would especially love to hear more national anthems.  I heard the Russian, and the Norwegian, but I think that's it, other than the U.S.

The other that that kinda bothered me was that every night they'd show us the Medal Count {hear impressive fanfare here}.  They would show the top five countries, which were the same every night, although they changed places several times over the two weeks.  But I'd be thinking about that athlete from some smaller country that took a medal in some event that day.  I thought about how thrilled that country was to have their first medal of the games, or maybe their first gold medal ever.

And more than once, when I saw the U.S. at the top, or near the top of the "leader board," I thought, "Well sure we've won a lot of medals; we've got a lot of people!  Odds are we're gonna have the ability to produce several excellent athletes."

So I went looking online, and found what I wanted.  A list of medal wins as it relates to population. 

Norway is number one.  Twenty-six medals, with a population of slightly over five million.  That's the equivalent of one medal for every 190,000 people. 

Number two?  A country that won only eight medals.  Slovenia.  But they have a little more than two million people.

Austria and Sweden came in third and fourth, with 17 and 14 medals, respectively.  And number five?  With only three medals?  Latvia.

I'm so fascinated by looking at it this way.  It is such a wonderful perspective, and it celebrates how important that medal or two must be for that country.  How proud they must be of that athlete!

The U.S. comes in 21st on the list.  Twenty-seven medals, 313 million people.  The only countries below us on the list are Great Britain (4 medals), Japan (8), Kazakhstan (1), Ukraine (2), and China (9).  All of a sudden, it seems like our grand medal total is not that impressive.  (Only Russia had more medals than the U.S.)

I think, for me, it brings the accomplishment down to a more personal level.  It makes me think about the individual athletes, and how proud their families must be.  And I think that's more like how God looks at it.  He knows each of us so personally.  He knows each one's perseverance, and what they went through on the road to winning.

And He knows the name of every loser, too.  He knows each one whose equipment failed them, or who slipped at a crucial time in their event.  And He knows the ones who tried to make it to the Olympics, and failed.

Jesus praised the widow for giving much, though she had little.  He sees what we have to give, and what we give out of what we have.  And what seems like a small accomplishment to the world, means much more to Him.

~ "There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor free,
there is neither male nor female;
for you are all one in Christ Jesus" ~
Galatians 3:28

No comments:

Post a Comment