Olympic Ministry Memory: Winter Olympics and Bobsledding

Did you know that the Olympics are held every two years?  It's true!  I didn't know that when I attended my first Olympics in Sydney in the year 2000.  Beginning in 1994, the IOC separated the Summer and Winter Olympic Games and placed them in alternating even-number years.  So while this is my 20th calendar year to be involved in Olympic Ministry Outreaches, it will be my 11th Olympics.

One of the things that have taken me a while to get used to is how short the time frame between the closing of the Summer Games and the opening of the Winter Games are.  Typically Summer Olympics meet in July or August of the year with the Winter Olympics meeting in February of the year.   There are about 15 months between the closing of the Winter Olympic Games and the opening of the Summer Olympic Games.  Whereas there are typically 22 months between the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games.  Those 7 months make a difference!
(Trivia question: what city hosted the first US Olympic Games?*)

The best Winter Olympic event to attend, in my opinion, is bobsledding.  It can be cold and take a while to reach the location but it is not only an entertaining event to see, it is an ideal place to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you know anything about bobsledding you know that the goal is to get a team in a sled and down an icy track as fast as possible.  As a result, when you are standing next to the track, the sled will pass very quickly by you and the entire run will last at most two minutes!  So, what do you do when the next team is getting set up to make their run?  Talk to the people around you!  I have attended at least two Olympic bobsledding events.  Both times, I would make my way to the top of the track to watch a few of the teams take off and get into the sled.  It is a very cool thing to see how the team members work together to get a good start and into the sled quickly.  After a few runs, I would engage in several Gospel conversations and then move on down the hill and track to watch other views of the races as well as engage new people to share Jesus with.   That's a win-win!

*My hometown, St. Louis, Missouri, hosted the 1904 World's Fair and Olympic Games simultaneously.


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