I’m on a road trip through Texas. First time through Texas for me. When you’re in Texas, it’s hard to think about anything but Texas. At least Texas gas is $3 a gallon, so maybe I shouldn’t complain about Texas. Staying at a couple of motels I have been able to watch a couple of nights of Olympic coverage. So let’s talk about the Olympics and give everyone a chance to share their favorite Olympic moment. Faster. Higher. Stronger.

Mormon Athletes. The LDS Newsroom has a post listing Mormon athletes competing at these Tokyo Games. I saw a TV spot on Mormon gymnast Mykayla Skinner, who won a silver on the vault. Three cheers for all the athletes, and an extra cheer for LDS athletes representing their various countries.

New Sports. Every Games introduces a new sport or new event or two. This Games it must be the kayak sprinting, which I’ve never seen before. When I do kayaking, it’s going downriver. No sprinting needed. My goal is to avoid snags in the river and, you know, not die or something. A few years ago beach volleyball was introduced. It seems to be a popular event for TV coverage. Gotta be in great shape to do a full three-set match of beach volleyball. I think I’d be dead or dying after four points.

Covid Olympics. You just can’t get away from it. No fans or few fans for most events. Athletes struggling with masks before and after events. Some athletes test positive and are dropped from events. In stateside news, new Covid surges are being reported in several states as the Delta variant spreads among the unvaccinated. New mask mandates are popping up again. It’s getting harder to have patience or sympathy for the stupid arguments un-vaxxers keep repeating. It is beyond irritating that Mormon un-vaxxers are a big part of the problem.

After a flurry of “Covid and the Church” posts last year when everything was in flux, we haven’t talked much about it since. We’re all busy just muddling through. But you are welcome to weigh in with a comment. My ward went back to in-person church with singing and few or no masks about two months ago. Just in time for local case rates to start rising again, fueled by the Delta variant. We’re not in the endgame yet. We may only just be starting the middle game in this thing.

So here are some things to talk about:

  • Texas. Looking out my window, it’s hazy and hot and flat as a pancake. Tell me something you like about Texas.
  • Olympics. For most of the athletes, competing in an Olympic event is the peak experience of their life. We wish them all well, from the gold medalists to the many participants who are happy just to make it to the Games and compete in an event. Do you have a favorite Olympic moment? I’ve shared mine before, so I’m gonna pass the torch and let readers share their own Olympic moments, those events or performances you were proud to watch and can’t forget.
  • Covid. I don’t want it to become a nothing-but-Covid thread, but sheesh we just can’t get over this. Here’s an odd thought for readers: After all of the various doctrinal and historical issues that have troubled the Church and sometimes led members to exit over the last few decades, it’s gonna be Covid that does the most damage to the Church and drives away the most members. What a strange turn of events.

Let’s end on a happy thought. In our time of troubles, some of the best in us collectively shines at the Olympics: achievement, comaraderie, sportsmanship, the thrill of victory. Let’s hope that by the next Summer Games three years from now Covid is part of the past.