And for many of the rest of us, the viewers, we can relate to that feeling. We, too, want to win. Everyone likes to win. But we don't put it all on the line like they do. They represent the best of us and the best of what is inside us.
Some days it's hard for me just to go to the post office. It means stopping, find a parking spot, waiting in line... if I don't have to do it that day, I will put it off. I don't need to empty the bin when it's 96% full. It can wait. Why rush it? When it's full, I will take it out. When I say full, I mean slightly overflowing. Sure, clean sheets feel crisp and scrumptious. But when is the time to make the effort to change the old ones? Slept in sheets have their own charm. They've been with you for the last few weeks, they've molded their shape to fit snugly beneath you. They are familiar and accommodating. They don't demand to be changed. It's up to you. One more night isn't going to make that much difference. Besides, who likes doing the washing. Washing machines are ogre-like. They involve waiting. Loading, unloading, and then damp clothes must be hung up. Each article - one by one...
As you may have surmised from my little stream of consciousness rant - I am not an Olympian. I'm an everyday dilly-dallier, a loveable sloth, a lazy dog in the sun, a drifter, a serial procrastinator.
I don't win medals.
And yet, my pursuits, my trials and tribulations are just as confronting to me as the final 100 metres is to a world class sprinter. It is not that different.
When I eventually get round to vacuuming my room, I feel like a champion. When I drag myself out of bed after falling asleep trying to watch that one-too-many-eps of GOT or 'The Night Of' and make it to the bathroom to properly wash my face and brush my teeth, I feel like I have stepped up onto the podium, medal ready. When I finally finish a piece of writing that I have been avoiding because IT'S HARD, I raise my arms and fall to my knees and sob. No one is watching, it isn't being televised, but that doesn't matter. I've clinched gold.
We are all in the Olympics. Every day. We all try our best, really, even if it appears to be slacking off at times. We fight for survival, we try to work things out, we deal with wave after crashing wave of conflict and drama that sometimes threaten to drown us. We keep our heads above water.
That's the game. We find ourselves here, in it. Quick learners, all of us; we adapt, do our best, carry on.
I say three cheers to all the athletes, sure. But another round of applause and a 'Whooo!' for all the rest of us, too. There are no losers. If you've turned up and you are taking it on, you're a fucking champion. Don't forget it.