Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympic Spirit Shines Bright

By: Cole Buergi, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

If you’re like me, you’ve been glued to your television set for the past week and half watching the world’s greatest athletes perform at the Olympics. The competition has been amazing and the viewership for this Olympics has set records in the television industry.

The Olympics have brought the world together in happiness and in sorrow. Viewers worldwide mourned in the tragic death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili who crashed during a training run on the opening day of the games.

And, of course, who could forget the few awkward moments when a malfunction happened during the lighting of the Olympic flame inside the arena during the opening ceremony or the protests regarding the chain link fence keeping visitors from getting close to the Olympic flame outside.

Through the tragedy and minor missteps, some truly wonderful stories have been shared with the world. Stories like speed skater J.R. Celski who fell in September during Olympic trials and severely cut his leg to the bone with his own skate. It was thought he might not be able to compete in the Olympics, but he did, and took a bronze in the 1500 meter. Or downhill skier Lindsey Vonn who overcame an ankle injury to capture her first Olympic medal, a gold medal, in women’s downhill and added to it a bronze in the Super-G.

Perhaps the greatest story of these games is of Canadian skater Joannie Rochette who is in third after the short program yesterday. She decided to continue to compete just two days after her mother died. You could sense the pain inside her as she took the ice. And, with true Olympic spirit, fans from countries throughout the world inside the arena that night, showed their support with thunderous applause. My hope is she takes the gold.

Stories like these and so many others exist throughout the Olympic Village and it’s these stories that embody the Olympic Spirit and what draws millions of viewers to watch each day.

The one thing I’m most grateful for is that the Olympics allows the world the opportunity, for one brief moment, to forget about all the negative things happening in the world and, for two weeks, the talk at the water cooler is, “did you see that performance last night?”

Share with us your favorite moment of the games. Do you think NBC has done a good job on the coverage? If not, what could they do differently?

No comments: