The 2012 Summer Olympics are almost a month away. Some casual fans may wrinkle their noses at Olympic sports, but they shouldn't.
The Olympics are one of the world's true international events. The pageantry, nationalism and competitive attitude that comes with it are rivaled on only a few stages.
Before you wrinkle your nose at the Olympics, read this.
Hold on one second before you roll your eyes at any word including "pageant." The Olympics do not include pampered eight-year-old girls forced onto stage by overbearing parents.
The Olympic pageantry lies in its opening ceremonies. Each country announces its presence and commands recognition.
Every country cannot compete in every sporting event but every country is recognized at the Olympics' opening ceremonies.
A torch is brought in, everyone cheers and it is a unique spectacle. Nowhere else can you see a ceremony like that.
The only event that truly rivals the Olympics in terms of international flavor and nationalistic competition is the World Cup.
The Olympics are still tops in my book though.
Each country's participants are not just competing for individual glory. Each participant is fighting for points for their country and for the rest of their team.
This makes the Olympics the world's biggest team sport in its own strange way.
Competing for your country adds a different edge to Olympic competition. Performances are inspiring and give athletes incredible recognition.
It's Still Sports
Okay, so the Olympics are not the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB, but they are a major sporting event nonetheless.
Put the specific sport aside and just consider the emotion of sports.
Sports conjure raw emotion out of its participants and viewers alike.
The Olympics may not be any of the world's major sports in their traditional sense, but they evoke the same emotional qualities of any other game.
Olympic competition gets snubbed by some because it is not around as often and does not carry the same marketable faces of other leagues.
It shouldn't be snubbed because all of the basic elements are there. The games may be different but, in the end, sports are sports.