I’ll confess: I never really watch the Olympics. Call me un-American, unpatriotic, uninformed, whatever—I just always forget to watch them. But this year I’ve at least caught a little bit of it, and man, am I blown away. Mostly I’ve been watching the super showy stuff, like diving and gymnastics, and every single athlete blows me away, even if they wobble or fall or cry afterward. It’s just jaw-dropping that a human being can actually move that way, spiraling like a touchdown pass, bending like joints are a suggestion rather than a reality.
What’s also amazing to me is how quickly each thing is over. These athletes train multiple hours a day for months, years, sometimes their entire lives. And it’s all over in a few seconds. No pressure or anything, right? I also sort of wonder whether the athletes think all that preparation is worth it. Let’s say you train forever and then go and totally choke. Do you go back again? Do you give up? What do you do with those skills after? It’s not like you can really put them on your résumé. Do they regret all those times they missed parties or dinners or movie night to practice? Do they wonder where they could have gone had they not chosen to shrink their world down to that razor focus of one goal and one goal only? Do they have trouble readjusting to “civilian” life after being the biggest celebrities on the planet for a few short days?
I don’t know the answers to any of those questions. But I do know this: The male diving teams? Serious eye candy.