Every four years (or five, if there’s a global pandemic), people all over the globe watch in awe as the most talented, inspiring athletes in the world represent their countries in athletic events.
Even those who aren’t sports fans can’t help but be impressed by swimmers, sprinters, gymnasts, and myriad other sports phenoms. Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, and Katie Ledecky have become household names in recent years. But longtime fans will also recognize names like Jesse Owens, Mary Lou Retton, and Carl Lewis.
But why do these athletes, games, and events keep people glued to their TVs for 16 days every few years?
As Robyn Fivush Ph.D. writing for Psychology Today puts it, “We may not all be Olympic athletes, but we all face obstacles. Stories of redemption, of facing up to hardship, of working hard and striving, and overcoming great difficulties, help us understand our own struggles in new ways. We may not win medals, we may not even succeed in our endeavors, but stories of redemption help us face our own challenges.”
While it’s nice to have the bragging rights that come with winning medals, the truly beautiful thing about the Games is how they bring the whole world together — if only for a couple of weeks. (But there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition either!)
Think you’ve got what it takes to win gold in past games trivia? You might not get a medal, but take this quiz and enter to win a $100 Visa gift card courtesy of America First Credit Union. Best of luck!