I always get sentimental when I see the end credits to a big event like the Olympics or Final Four (who doesn’t like “One Shining Moment”?). There are several reasons.
First, I reminisce personally. I always get sad at the end of something like a vacation. I’m that guy on the cruise who wants the dining room waiter’s name and email address so we can stay in touch. When I’m on my last day of vacation, I inevitably reflect on the time and wish it hadn’t gone so fast; that I’d have done those other things I talked about doing but didn’t; that I had one more day. With the Olympics, for example, I think things like, “it can’t be 17 days ago that the first soccer game was played, I didn’t even get to see any water polo!”
Second, the highlights obviously make me think about the athletes. So many who put in so much time to train and prepare. So many of them go home without what they came for, while some surprise themselves with personal bests. So much sportsmanship in the heat of the battle. They are all amazing, the 1% for sure, and it is no surprise we are inspired by them (you guys have all been working out more these two weeks like me right?).
Finally though, I think of all those names scrolling on the credits. If you have never noticed there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of names. For them, this is their “Super Bowl” too. And think of the tens of thousands behind them who also helped put on an event the size of the Olympics. All they get to hear is how ratings are down this year, how their city wasn’t prepared or spent too much, or how many empty seats were in their venue. I want them to know that at least one person, me, recognizes their unilateral success for even getting to the point of putting on the games and completing them. It is a herculean effort. Those people are spending time tonight breaking things down, saying goodbye to colleagues they have grown to care for like family, and wondering where the time went. They can’t believe it was 17 days (or six months, or two years) getting to this point and now it’s over.
They are unsung heroes. They will now take a little rest, not enough, and be back at it for the next event. I wish them the best along the way, and hope they find success in the accomplishment of a lifetime. Putting on events is not easy, and is the ultimate example of training, teamwork and pride in what you do.