Like millions of people around the world, I have been riveted by the Olympic coverage for the past week – and I’m sure that my dedication to watching at night what I record during the day will not abate until after the Closing Ceremony on August 12.
My heart breaks for those Olympians who are disappointed in their performance on the day, I am thrilled for those – win or lose – who delight in how high or fast or strong they manage to be, and I live vicariously through the few who medal.
What particularly moves me is the expression on the faces of the winners as they stand on the podium and listen to their national anthems. Victor Hugo said, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words,” and invariably, we humans turn to music to mark moments of significance. For the Olympic medalists, and for all of us who enjoy their achievements, the national anthem is a moment of stillness in a whirlwind of activity following years of sacrifice and struggle – the exhilaration of making the team, the final weeks of preparation, the nervous anticipation before the starting gun goes off, the absolute focus required during the race and the explosion of raw excitement when a dream is realized. The music creates the opportunity for what I recently heard described most beautifully as an “in-body” experience.
So, thanks to the artists – the composers and the performing musicians – who make these wonderful moments of joyful reflection possible. Your talent and the years you spend honing your skills also deserve to be crowned with Gold.