The 2016 Summer Olympic officially came to a close this past Sunday night.
I’m so proud of the Americans who represented our country with such skill and honor. 121 medals later (46 of them gold!), the United States is yet again basking in the glory of our amazing athletic achievement.
Of course, throughout the Games, we witnessed both heroics and scandals.
But the true importance of the Games remained intact. The world comes together. Countries, athletes, fans and viewers. We are all watching at the same time. We are cheering on those we sent to represent us. We hate the defeats and we love the victories. And we get emotional every time we hear our national anthem playing, see our flag rising, and see our countrymen and countrywomen adorned with their hard-fought medals.
The five Olympic rings represent the five continents, interlaced to represent the universality of the Olympic Games. Their five colors – blue, yellow, black, green, red – plus the white background, combine to represent all nations (as these colors appear on the national flags around the world). Every country on one flag. It’s a powerful symbol of global unity.
And still, wars and terrorism and hardships exist.
When I consider the significance of the Olympics, and its meaning in the world, I also think of its resonance with the dementia journey. Amidst the challenges and struggles and injustice of the disease, the greatest thing we have to rise above it all is our togetherness.
When we join together in support, in love, and with compassion for our humanity, we become stronger than any hardship, or any diagnosis. We become present to the privilege of being able to support each other, celebrate each other, and help each other over the finish line.
Last week, American runner Abbey D’Agostino collided with New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, and both ended up on the ground, injured, with no chance of winning the 5,000-meter race. And then, D’Agostino helped Hamblin up so they could at least finish the race.
The world watched it happen.
This spirit of unity is what I see happening at The Ivey every day – among our staff, our volunteers, our interns, our families, and our members. We help each other up, we cheer each other on, and we keep up the good fight. Together.
I wish I could give out medals all day long.
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