A day like today only comes around once every two years. It's a day we set aside the political unrest, the heartache a dose of the nightly news brings, the difficult things going on in our lives. We make the popcorn, grab the knitting, camp out in front of the TV and cheer as the world's greatest athletes take center stage.
The Olympics bring with them a wonderful sense of hope. Watching athletes from all walks of life, from every corner of the earth and every possible background reminds us that borders exist only on maps. We cheer for countries that our relatives came from, because after all, in America we are all immigrants. We rally behind the tiny nations where the number of athletes can be counted on one hand. We holler playfully at our competition and we chant and wave our flags as Team USA parades out.
I love the Olympics. The games are great and it's always wonderful to see the American flag hoisted up and our anthem blasted over the speakers, but what gets me is the dedication, the training these incredible people put their bodies through, the families of the athletes in the stands who have been there each step of the way, the sense of pride and the feeling that for a couple of weeks, we are all one. It doesn't matter who comes from where, who places first, second, or third. We are all citizens of this planet and we cheer each other on.
Started in 2006 by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot (for the "rules" click here), we knitters embrace our own version of the Olympics. Formally called the "Knitting Olympics" before the brass at the Olympic committee freaked out and made us change it to the "Ravellenic Games," we commit to earning medals for ourselves. The rules are simple and I challenge you here and now to participate. Cast on a project once the Olympic cauldron is lit and finish it when the flame is extinguished by the end of the games a little over 2 weeks later. You should be knitting something you can finish in that time period, but it should also be something that you think is a bit above your skill level. No garter scarves here - get your lace shawl, your Fair Isle mitts, your cabled sweater or whatever you've been dreaming of casted on!
There are so many Olympic Games-inspired projects on Ravelry, but take a gander at your queue and make a quick trip out to your LYS before the Opening Ceremonies tonight. I'll be casting on for my mom's Christmas present (can't reveal any more than that since my mom reads my blog - Hi Mom!) and if there's time, a Fair Isle cowl I've been drooling over.
Print that pattern out, wind that yarn, pop that popcorn and settle in. Go world!