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Olympics represent more than just athletics or competition

Livin' the dream

sports editor

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 13:02

Curtis Lundstrom

Utah Statesman

In my eyes, it’s the simplest yet most significant logo of all-time.

Five colored rings.

No words, no elaborate designs; just five circles each with a different color.

Even without any knowledge of what it represents or stands for, it’s an interesting design. But when you begin to realize how much significance there is behind it, it’s mind-blowing.

As I watched the five rings fly atop the flag pole at the closing ceremonies in Sochi on Sunday, I felt genuinely sad the games were over. What those five circles represent is more than the athletes, more than the sports.

For 17 days, the world watched in unison, in harmony.

Day after day, month after month, year after year, humanity is bombarded with endless stories regarding catastrophe, war, death, famine, accidents, unrest, civil disputes … The negativity never ends.

But during the Olympics, it takes a back seat.

For the past two and a half weeks, we’ve gotten to watch as individuals dawned a bigger cause. These athletes wear their country’s colors and take center stage, and the world watches, captivated, by each triumph … and by each disappointment.

And the greatest part is, even when it’s not your country finishing on top of the podium, we can all appreciate the hard work, dedication and athleticism.

There were 90 countries that participated Sochi. Nearly 3,000 athletes competed for medals. Just 26 countries went home with at least one medal. That’s just 28 percent of the countries represented.

Not every country goes expecting to medal. Heck, there are athletes realistic enough to know they can medal, but probably won’t end up on top of the podium. But that’s OK, because the Olympic games are about more than the competition.

They are about camaraderie, sportsmanship and peace.

The flags of all nations fly and we forget about all the wars and desolation and famine that exist in the world for a brief moment of time. For those few precious days, every couple of years, the world pauses. We get to, as a human race, come together and enjoy each others’ cultures and overlook our differences.

That is why the Olympics are the greatest sporting event of all. Those five rings, gently intertwined, represent a world unified.

It’s so simple, yet so significant.

Curtis Lundstrom is a junior majoring in journalism and communications. A passionate fan of all sports, his life ambitions include officiating college basketball and bowling a perfect 300. Send any comments or questions to curtislundstrom@gmail.com, or tweet him @CurtSport07.

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