Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mongolian Gold

It was impossible to not get swept up in the emotion of Mongolia winning its first gold medal at the Olympics last night. Around nine in the evening the sky erupted in fireworks over Sukhbaatar square as thousand of people cheered and sang the national anthem in honor of N. Tuvshinbayar, Judo Olympic Champion, and now the most popular man in Mongolia. It was amazing to see how many people were openly weeping tears of joy over the accomplishment, and I confess that even I am still a bit emotional about it, too. It was more than a medal and more than a victory on the international stage. It was a catharsis, too. An opportunity for everyone to let out the emotion that has built up in the last month due to the political crisis and to remember the greatness of Mongolia, something that has seemed somewhat in doubt at times. N. Tuvshinbayar won a medal for a whole nation yearning to be proud once again--a point exemplified by Bayar (MPRP) and Elbegdorj (DP) holding each other's hands above their heads on the steps of the parliament building screaming in joy as loudly as the thousands of people gathered before them on Sukhbaatar square . Some of the tears shed last night were brought about by renewed faith in Mongolia, I have no doubt.

Congratulations, Mongolia! Bayar khurge, Mongolchuudaa!

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