The opening ceremony for the Olympics is always highlighted by the parade of athletes representing their countries. The co-mingling of all the countries and various athletes displays the idealistic view of one world joining hands, meeting on common ground. At least for one night. It's easy to be cynical and call it cheesy, but I prefer to call it beautiful.
As the cameras panned around the infield toward the end of the parade, no one captured the Olympic spirit better than Kobe Bryant did with a simple gesture toward a group of Russian athletes. A few Russians, who judging by their height were probably on the hoop team, gathered around a smilling Bryant as one of them held his long arm out to take a couple of pictures with his digital camera.
As the impromteu photo shoot ended, the men exchanged casual hand shakes, then Kobe looks right in the eye of the Russian and genuinely says, "How do you say 'thank you'?"
The cameras pulled away, but the moment was sweet. Kobe Bryant humbly flying down from his lofty perch in the world of sport and celebrity offering the respect to a fellow, less heralded Olympian by thanking him in his native tongue.
Thank you, Kobe.