The Olympic torch is once more passed forward. Beyond conception as the world's must-see platform for competitive sports excellence, the Olympic Games reliably deliver much more.
For the days of the competition and well beyond, the events put a spotlight on the best of human qualities, not only sports skill, strength, endurance, courage, and more, but popping up regularly too are occasions that showcase a human sense of fairness and grace, and care for strangers and friends drawn from so many parts of the world.
Little wonder then that we're ready to experience the modern Games, bringing together, as the rings symbolize, five of the world's inhabited continents, when considering North and South America as one–in a competitive spirit that actually expresses tremendous cooperation among peoples of these continents.
Perhaps the enthusiasts who, regularly in southern-hemisphere summer, travel to the Antarctic to run a marathon will eventually find a way to help include this additional continent, with its too-little acknowledged 37 year-round scientific bases of non-permanent residents?
Against all impediments of difference, or dissent, or pandemic, a spirit of the ancient Olympics has passed forward for all of us, through generations of remarkable accomplishment by competitors, supporters, and organizers, well into our futures.
With Paralympians and the winter Games still to come, we can look forward to further reminders of some of the very best in people.