I don’t know much about Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy, or Nick Goepper other than what I’ve recently seen on TV, but in these games, populated by controversy and tinged in gray, I don’t really need to.
What I need is to remember why The Olympics, for more years than I can count, have inspired excellence in everyone from the occasional enthusiast to the lifelong athlete.
What I need is a human talisman (or three) to push me. One more rep. One more run. One more attempt to go somewhere, to get better, to reach a goal.
What I need is to believe that anything’s possible.
What I need are true role models for my children, three suddenly familiar faces smiling from a cereal box who possess an unscripted purity that can’t be calculated in an increasingly anonymous and murky digital world.
What I need is proof positive that you’re never out until you say so, and that victory is as close as you believe it to be.
What I need is to embrace second chances, to stand up when I fall down and try again.
What I need is to focus not on what I say, but what I do.
What I need is a reason to remember that any dream can come true with enough work, commitment, dedication, and sacrifice.
What I need is to unplug, tune in, and gather my family around to do something no one seems to value as much as they used to. The simple act of being together, cheering together, and yes, crying together as our flag flies high in the sky and three sets of tear-rimmed eyes smile up at the manifestation of everything they always knew could be.
What I need is to remember these names: Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy, and Nick Goepper. They’ve achieved something that won’t necessarily define their lives, but will punctuate them in a rare consortium of color that few are ever able to see.
What I need to remember is simple. Life is good.