Olive Oil at the Olympics
Dear Kosterina Family,
I was fortunate to attend the Opening Ceremony at the 2004 Games in Athens -- the year the Olympics returned to their birthplace. It was truly a magical experience on many levels and I was so proud of Greece. Even though this year's games look different than in the past (and even were postponed for the first time in history!), they're no less exciting and energizing to watch. As the Kosterina Team has been diligently tuning into the competitions, we learned something fascinating: olive oil was once the focal point of the Olympic games.
We're not being facetious either - olive oil, or "liquid gold" was so important in Ancient Greece that it was bestowed upon athletes in a variety of forms. Whether it was used as massage oil on their tired muscles after competitions, or gifted as the highest honor to those who were victorious in the games - olive oil, in its many forms, was a central part of the Olympics dating back to 772 B.C.
These beautiful traditions have continued in modern games (most recently, winning athletes were given olive branch crowns in 2004), and the history of "liquid gold" remains strong. And the symbolic nature of olives - bringing peace and prosperity to the world - couldn't be more relevant for what our society is experiencing today.
I hope these Olympic games are something that reminds us all of our collective humanity, and the importance of sharing the gold (no matter how it looks!).