The Olympics Games are now under way in Rio. A week ago, there was concern about the readiness of the games. Now that they have begun, the focus is on the athletes and the events. That’s how it should be. Not everyone is a sports enthusiast, but it’s always exciting to watch the world’s best competing at high levels.
In addition to the athletes, there are thousands of other people working at the Olympics. I was surprised to learn that among the many people needed were lifeguards. That’s right: the Olympic pool, where the best swimmers in the world will compete, needs to have lifeguards. That sounds strange, but it makes sense when you think about it. Danielle Martelote, the lifeguard supervisor at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, says that they need to be there in case of debilitating cramps, heart attacks, head-crunching crashes into the wall or other accidents. Also, divers can suffer from a surprising number of concussions when breaking into the water. Overall, 75 lifeguards will be working at the Olympics this summer.
What a great reminder that we all need other people. No one – even the best trained and most professional people in the world – can go it alone. The writer of Ecclesiastes says that two people are better than one because “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
Sometimes, we are the one who needs help to get back up. Other times, we are the one who helps another person get back on their feet. But at all times, we all need somebody.