I've read a blog or two out there about how people have been brought to tears by the emotional impact the Olympics have had on them. They've cried for joy for Michael Phelps, sadness for Alicia Sacramone and amazement for Dara Torres or even frustration for what might be an "illegal" team of Chinese gymnasts. I'm not going to say that these stories haven't stirred emotion in me, they definitely have, I've even misted a few times but last night an actual tear fell.
It surprised me because I was crying for a Chinese girl when I was a hard core American cheerleader. It surprised me because just a moment before the tear actually fell I had cheered for Cheng Fei's fall, securing what I thought would be a gold for Shawn Johnson.
But then they showed this poor 20 year old girl crying for her short coming and I was forced to mentally replay the story that the commentator told just a few days ago. Cheng Fei was chosen when she was 3 years old to go be a gymnast due to her natural abilities. At times she would call her parents crying that she wanted to go home and quit gymnastics because she was home sick. Her parents made her tough it out because her abilities were the best hope her family had for a secure future. She was 3 years old, not even really a child but a toddler.
And she fell. She fell doing something she has done probably hundreds of times flawlessly. And even though I thought the same thing about Alicia Sacramone when she missed her flip up onto the beam in the team finals I can't help but think how much better Alicia's life is simply for being an American.
Olympic lessons learned: #1 Everyone deserves to win because they literally work their entire lives for these mere moments. #2 Everyone is a child of God, Chinese and American and in that moment I felt for my sister. #3 I'm so blessed to be an American because leaving my parents at the age of 3 to secure my family's future just wasn't even an option.
I know this sounds super cheesy but it really was a crazy moment for me.