I remember hearings a discussion--possibly on social media--during the 2016 Summer Olympics. They were discussing how Olympians--in their opinion--weren't considered elite athletes.
I couldn't believe anyone would actually thought that.
Those with that opinion said how they considered basketball players, or baseball players as superior in almost every way.
Again, this floored me.
Did they not understand what it takes to become the world's fastest human on a track or in the water? And what makes a person's ability to hit a fastball more "athletic" than a member of gold medal-winning water polo team? I'm not knocking those who can hit a 100 m.p.h. pitch--it's an amazing skill and not many can do it, but I know there are more people who can hit that pitch than run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds.
I grew up running. I ran to school as a kid, I ran home. I ran down to Lagoon. I ran to catch the school bus later on. And when I got old enough to run track, I ran track. I wasn't the fastest--middle of the pack at best. Maybe that's why, back in 2016 when I heard discussions of how Olympic athletes weren't all that spectacular, it surprised me so much.
Today, on my day of rest, I did a little channel surfing and I noticed the Pac 12 Outdoor Track and Field finals were taking place. There were other things to watch, but I chose to watch runners instead. I am in awe of people who can do such amazing things. I don't know any of these athletes by name. They may never run competitively after they leave college. I'm sure some will compete at the next level and maybe one day they'll race in the World Championships or the Olympics.
Maybe there are more people out there who think like me about Olympic athletes than those who don't. It's not always those that make the most noise that have the majority of opinions. I don't watch every televised track and field event, but when I do, I'm entertained and impressed and in awe of what they can do.