Imagine you are an ancient Olympic athlete in Olympia, crossing the archway into the stadium. The hot sun on your neck, buzzing of cicadas fills your ears. You race across the track, sweat on your brow, a heartbeat so strong and fierce it take you back in time.
The grandeur of the site overwhelms us. The time and preparation to honor the athletes obvious. Through occupation, earthquakes, statues like the 12 Labors or Hercules survive, sacred places, like the site between the statues Hera and Zeus--the place of the reenactment of the lighting of Olympic fire. It's all still there--still vivid in the remains--everything recovered but the Hippodrome. Even remnants of the walk of shame--statues that honored and shame the cheaters of the great races.
The buzz is still there--and it's so apparent how important competition and athletics has been and will always be. What is it that drives us to compete? To push our physical nature? An innate sense of immortality? Here is seems that the gods and goddesses feel it too.
That night in the quaint town of Olympia--we have drinks in the Green cafe--under sycamores, surrounded by green glowing lights. An old Greek waiter that had a tough time with my minimal Greek created a new beverage for me--a mix with Morello cherry that becomes my favorite. The candle light flickers in the wind and kids play soccer along the streets.
The buzz is still there... ah, Greece. How do I love thee?