The Olympics and the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

The Olympics and the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

What did you love most about the 2020 Olympics? While it’s thrilling to watch the close wins and cheer for your team, it’s the stories we remember most. We love hearing the stories of overcoming personal trials and hardships, stories of triumph in spite of family and personal challenges, and stories of the incredible amount of work that goes into winning an Olympic medal.

While stories may be the obvious connection, here are some other things the 2020 Olympics and this year’s Timpanogos Storytelling Festival have in common.

Both events bring people together and connect them emotionally and socially with no regard to color, nation of origin, or socio-economic backgrounds.

The 32nd Olympiad, held in July 2021, was a highlight, not just for the athletes who trained and worked tirelessly to reach personal goals, but also for their families and friends who shared their journey.

The 32nd annual Timpanogos Storytelling Festival (Sept. 9-11, 2021) also represents the dreams and ambitions of people who communicate stories of love, courage, and humor一causing the hardships of a pandemic, unrest, and global confusion to fall into the background for just a little while. We celebrate coming together through common goals and find joy in the everyday triumphs and small victories.

The Olympic back stories of sacrifice, mentoring, and guidance remind us that everything worth achieving is remarkable and of significant worth一the parents who paid for lessons and practice time, the coaches who taught athletes to get back up and try again, the achievements over injury and pain.

The Olympics started in 1896 in Athens, Greece, and this year drew an international television audience of 15.1 million.

The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, which began in Alan and Karen Ashton’s Orem, Utah backyard with an idea discovered by Karen at a national festival, drew a few hundred participants. Last year’s audience, combining virtual attendees and in-person listeners in schools and community conferences, numbered in the thousands.

Like the athletes who join those from other nations at the Olympics, listeners at the Festival are transported to all parts of the globe, gaining experience and understanding of cultures and people they may never have the chance to know in person. And that brings us all a little closer together.

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