Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Ode to the Olympics

Oh Olympics, how I love thee. The competition, the triumphs and falls and the sheer American pride!

I have loved staying up late watching the Olympics (and being able to fast forward through the commercials). I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the US Gymnastics team compete! Gabby Douglas could not be any cuter! It was so fun to watch her compete and then immediately give all the glory to God! 
"I give all the glory to God. It's kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me."
And how exciting is it to watch swimming?! I'm standing in the middle of the living room jumping up and down telling Ryan Lochte to swim faster! Michael who? Oh, Michael Phelps the man with the most Olympic medals in history?! Awesome. Just awesome. Even rowing and ping-pong can get seriously intense. And the badminton scandal is one for the history books. Ha ha. 

And you're welcome for that little gem of a picture.
I adore the Olympics and the pride and passion all of the athletes have. So with the Olympics fresh on everyone's mind, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane when I went to Olympia, Greece where the first Olympics were held. 

I took a trip in 2008 with my aunt some of her students and colleagues. We flew to Rome (via Germany), traveled to Pompeii, and then took a ferry to Greece. We traveled across Greece through Olympia, Athens and Delphi. It was an AMAZING trip! One day I hope to go again with Chris. 

Here are lots of pictures of Olympia, where the first Olympic games were held! Be sure to click on the pictures and make them larger so you can really see the beauty of it all. 

Descriptions of the photos from left to right:
1. A view off the ferry we took. Arriving in Greece. 
2. A little restaurant near Olympia. I had my first real "Greek salad" and moussaka. 
3. In Greece looking out over the towns.
4. At Olympia. The trees and flowers were beautiful.
5. This is what is left of the Goddess of Nike Statue. The top of it is in a museum. Nike is the Goddess of Victory. Sounds like a good marketing plan......
6. This picture got cut off. But this is a part of the Temple of Zeus. The first games were played in his honor.
7. Me in front of a column of Zeus's Temple that fell. (I am such a tourist.)
8. This is the Temple of Athena.
9. The top of the column in the "gymnasium."

Descriptions of the photos from left to right:
1. The Temple of Zeus
2. A statue of one of the winners. Sorry, it's all Greek to me. (Ahahaha!)
3. Sorry, Temple of Athena got in there twice. 
4. The finish line of the races.
5. The starting line of the races. The runners put their toes in the grooves, sort of like a starting block. 
6. Where blood offerings were made before the games. 
7. Entrance of the stadium
8. Exit of the stadium.
9.Where the Olympic torch is lit every year before the games! It is usually lit several months in advance at a special ceremony with "vestal virgins."  

Descriptions of the photos from left to right:
1. Oh my goodness, the Temple of Athena again!
2. A crown of olive leaves given to the winners
3. "Gymnasium" columns. Truly beautiful. 
4. More trees and scenery. 
5. More of the gymnasium.
6. The stadium/arena- where the races were. And spectators would sit on the hills.
7. The gym.
8. The watering hole
9. More gym.

I could go on and on with picture. It was so beautiful and peaceful. And awesome to be able to go to a place with such a neat history. 

Later on the trip, we went to Athens the first modern day Olympics were held in 1896 at the Panathenaic Stadium. Almost the entire stadium is made of marble. SO COOL. and SO pretty! 

I will never forget this trip and all the amazing sites I saw. Now that I know the real history of the Olympics, I can appreciate them so much more. I hope you learned something new too! 

Go #TeamUSA!

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