The 2016 Summer Olympics start today. Tonight!
Holy shit, can’t you feel the excitement??
There is something about The Olympics that causes a great communal buzz. It’s like the holidays minus the weird lingering, lonely depression; summer minus the MUST-HAVE-FUN anxiety (not to mention the It’s Winter Where I Live, Asshole complex); high school sports minus the hormonal teenage politics.
The whole world gets involved.
Before, when I was younger — even just a few years younger, like back in 2014 for Sochi’s Winter Olympics and definitely back in 2012 for London’s Summer games — I didn’t totally understand why. Didn’t get the hype. (Obviously I was super into the equestrian portion of things but that’s an exception.) I didn’t grasp the appeal of forgoing regular television programming for the sake of gymnastics. I’d be at a friend’s house all, Excuse me, since when are you into young women leaping (brilliantly, for sure) in sequined leotards? Since when do you ignore my phone calls until shot put is over? Since when does literally the entire world — I am not being hyperbolic! — care about ice skating?
Since forever, probably, because what we need, always, is something to pull us out of our routine.
The Summer Olympics makes everything special. It’s a reason to gather with friends and celebrate, kind of non-stop or at any given time; there’s always something to watch and cheer. It promotes country-wide patriotism and in that, unifies us despite our differences. It gives everyone common ground. While the Summer Olympics is happening, it feels safe to co-mingle groups of friends and family with opposing political views. It gives you a reason to text your friend in a far away country and say, “We’re gonna beat you!” It’s all in good fun.
Which is why at Man Repeller, I propose we get into the Olympics. Let’s be Olympic fanatics. If you are already, great. Need all the insider help I can get. And if you’re not, cool. Let’s do this together.
And let the games begin!
Collage by Lily Ross.