Valentine’s Day Winter Olympics

    ValentineFACTS AND EDUCATED GUESSES

    Ancient Olympics

    *A means of honoring Zeus.
    *Used to showcase physical prowess and mental discipline (both highly revered by Greeks).
    *Participation was limited to freeborn men and boys who paid their own way and had no monetary stake in the event.
    *All 12 (or 13) centuries’ of games were held in the Greek valley of Olympia.
    *Original event was the one-stade (an approximately 630 foot [192 meter] foot race).
    *It’s debated if the Olympics brought about a respite between warring factions.

    Ancient Valentine’s Day

    *The ancient Roman’s Fertility Rite Lupercalia is thought to have been between February 13-15.
    [Lupercalia involved animal sacrifices, alcohol, drunkenness, nudity, and hitting women with leather straps=>all in the name of fertility.]
    *Emperor Claudius II executed two men named Valentine on February 14 (different years).
    *The Church honored their martyrdom, created a St. Valentine, making February 14 his day.
    *The Norman’s celebrated Galatin’s Day. (Galatin meant “Lover of women.”)
    *The French and English thought February 14 was the first day of the birds’ mating season.
    *To get rid of the pagan ritual, St. Valentine’s Day was combined with Lupercalia. (And though the participants were now clothed, the day remained one about fertility and later love.)

    Modern Olympics

    *Summer Games (41 sports and disciplines)
    *Winter Games (22 sports and disciplines)
    *Paralympic Games (for those with disabilities)
    *Youth Games (for teens)
    *Different locations
    *204 nations participated in Summer 2012 Games
    *88 nations are participating in Winter 2014 Games
    *Professionals allowed
    *Mandatory symbols include: Olympic Flame, Olympic Torch, Olympic Rings, Olympic Flag
    *Mandatory ceremonies include: Opening, Closing, Medal Presentation
    *Olympic Languages: French, English, Host Country’s

    Winter Olympic Sports

    Modern Valentine’s Day

    *2013 sales: $17.6 billion
    *2014 anticipated sales: $18.6 billion
    *Average consumer spends: $115
    *Roses exchanged: Millions!
    *Cards exchanged: 180 million
    *Top Three gifts given: Candy/Chocolate, Flowers, Jewelry

    BLENDING ANCIENT AND MODERN IN 2014

    Couples SkatingThe 2014 versions of both the Olympics and Valentine’s Day are so different from their origin, were it not their same names, you wouldn’t know. Still, each offers a pause in your routine biennially and annually, respectively.

    Breaks in your routine give you respite. The chance to rejuvenate. They infuse your mind with fodder for different thoughts. You experience “something different.”

    Imagine viewing the Olympics (with its need for physical prowess and mental discipline), as the mind-body aspect of who you are. If you then approach Valentine’s Day as a day of True Love, you’ve given yourself a reason to focus on loving yourself (and others). Toss in a bunch of gratitude to the mix and you’ve added the spirit aspect.

    So this February 14, when you combine the essence of the Olympics’ physical prowess and mental discipline with the romanticized evolution of Valentine’s Day’s true love ideal, you’ll find yourself with a solid mind-body-spirit connection. Enjoy!

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    Kat - February 12, 2014 - 8:04 am

    This is a great recap of both traditions. Thank you, Tana!

    Tana Bevan - February 12, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    Kat — Glad you enjoyed. I have to say, learning about the origins of Valentine’s Day was an eye opener.

    Sheila Bergquist - February 13, 2014 - 12:51 am

    So interesting! Things sure do change through the years, don’t they? One thing for sure, people learned how to make a lot of money for these occasions…haha.
    Happy Valentines Day Tana!

    Tana Bevan - February 13, 2014 - 12:36 pm

    Sheila — I agree with you on both counts. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too!

    Shelley Sackier - February 15, 2014 - 6:46 pm

    Holy cow, Tana, those are some impressive statistics. And frightening to boot. Thankfully, a hug and a squeeze still go for free. ;)

    Tana Bevan - February 15, 2014 - 8:19 pm

    Shelley–Yep. I agree. And while a hug and squeeze may still go for free, cuddles are being monetized. Do a search. There are people who pay another to cuddle with them, and those who will cuddle for money. As of yet, it’s not an Olympic sport. Wonder if gift certificates are offered for Valentine’s Day? Hmmm

    Catherine Gacad - February 15, 2014 - 8:54 pm

    that you for educating us on these topics. the olympics has been so enjoyable to watch.

    Tana Bevan - February 15, 2014 - 10:11 pm

    Hi Catherine — Isn’t wonderful you, I, and all women are free to watch and enjoy the Olympics? From the perspective of 2014 in the U.S., it’s hard to imagine being banned from observing, let alone participating. (Such were the restrictions placed on women when the Olympics began way-back-when.)