It didn't even matter what sport, as long as I was there, at the highest level of competition representing my country. I'd be awesome right?
Well, not really. You kind-of give up every other facet in your entire life in order to do that. I read an article in Men's Journal a while back that talked about a man who was training to be an Olympic marathon runner. He said that he trained so much, that he lost his ability to be with other people. Like he went to a party, and he would just lean against the wall thinking about how he could probably run faster then any of them.
And he didn't even make it.
In order to represent your country, you need to exclude yourself from it entirely.
Which to me, seems like an unfair trade off.
My great friend and mentor John was a state-level swimmer in high school who was recruited to many different division one colleges to swim. He chose not to go to any of them. When I asked him why he gave me this following explanation.
"Alright, so you go to school to swim. They make you practice every day for hours, twice a day, and you start to lose your hold on academics and not really find out what you want to do. All you do is swim, and there is no future in swimming unless you go to the Olympics. And say you do go to the Olympics, if you try your best and get really really lucky you get on a relay spot. You might even get there and not swim. But say you do, and you swim two your part of the relay and its great. You come home, and you really have no idea what you want to do with your life and you end up working at Home Depot" (They employ more Olympians then any other company), "And I don't want to work at Home Depot for the rest of my life."
John's now owns his own web design firm and has a great life with an awesome wife and beautiful kid. But would it all be the same if he would of went for an Olympic bid?
Probably not, because the Olympics steal your life.
So, on Friday, be ready to watch a bunch of loners run-swim-throw-dance-shoot-kick-polevault better than anyone else on earth.