Monday, February 13, 2006

united colors of benito

TURIN, Italy. When "Stati Uniti d'America" was announced during the opening ceremony, I couldn't help but be proud. Albeit, I wish the 'Statis' were more into International sports. I've actually been to the Olympics. My father took my brother and I on one trip growing up. 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. I suppose a trip like that mounts to a lifetime of trips to Chuck E Cheese. Did I grasp the significance of the event at age 8 when I was running around the stadium with my brother and cousins? No. Do I understand the significance of the 2006 Olympics being the first Olympics in which North and South Korea walked in as one? Yes. Technically, North and South Korea are still at war since a peace treaty was never signed since its divide in 1953. Officials say that as cultural and economic exchanges between the two sides have increased and making arrangements with secretive North Korea has always been difficult due to their complicated political standing. Can a sporting event reunite the two nations? I don't know. But it could be a start.

Here's what I do know: Bob Costas decided traded in his red mop for a brown one. Torino Italia is the world's oldest republic, founded in 301. Norway holds the medal records, 261. Iceland has never medaled in the Winter Olympics. Not so icey. USA sent the largest delegation, 211 athletes. India, the second largest population, sent 4. The stadium was built by Benito Mussolini. And the world instills a little hope in the Olympics to bring us closer to peace and each other. This morning American source news headlined snowball fights in Central Park over highlights in Torino. Hopefully, that storm will settle.

Fly tomato, fly!