I Really Didn't Need That Stew

For fun … here’s my greatest day in sportswriting: So, this was at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. I mentioned here earlier that the Olympics are like nothing else in sports journalism. You become entirely and inexplicably consumed by the Games, especially at the Summer Olympics where there are always about twenty different things going on at once. It really is hard to explain the absurd enormity being in the middle of it all. From home, I always thought, the Olympics seemed pretty big. But when you are there, diving is like the World Series, water polo is like the Super Bowl, rhythmic gymnastics is like the Masters. Yes, from afar these are still diving, water polo and rhythmic gymnastics … but there, at the heart of it, you are blinded to perspective. You are bumping shoulders with reporters and fans from pretty much every country in the world. You are surrounded by sellout crowds, including many people who may have actually paid a scalper a lot of money to see that day’s beach volleyball match. You are talking only to athletes who have DEDICATED THEIR ENTIRE LIVES to be there for that one moment. You are also pretty much shut off from pennant races and NFL training camps and golf majors and presidential news and anything else that might be distracting. You are living, breathing, drinking, sleeping Olympics. It is everything.*

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