Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's a Big Deal

Five years ago I never would have thought that I would watch an entire televised soccer game- and be interested! Spending time in Honduras in 2009 and 2010 changed that. In 2009 I got to see the excitement as Honduras qualified for the World Cup. It was fun to watch the game with the staff and students of El Sembrador. And the excitement of realizing that Honduras would go to the World Cup was really something to see!

When I returned to the school in 2010 I was excited that I would get to be in Honduras during the World Cup. Something I had not realized when I had watched the qualifying rounds was that before 2010 Honduras had only made it to the World Cup once before, back in 1982.   

Soccer really isn't as big of a deal in the US as it is in many other countries around the world, so if you are wondering why it's a big deal, here are 5 Facts about the World Cup.

1) 204 teams competed to be in the World Cup, and only 32 qualified.
2) With that many teams trying to qualify, qualifying rounds last 3 years!
3) It is the world's most viewed televised sporting event. Almost half of Earth's population tuned into at least a minute of the 2010 World Cup.
4) The World Cup is hosted by a different country every time. In 2010 it was played in South Africa, and it is currently being held is Brazil. This is Brazil's second time to host. The next World Cups will be hosted by Russia and Qatar. 
5) With so many different countries competing, some of the teams have made some interesting requests for their hotel rooms.  France wanted each room to have 2 kinds of soap.  Ecuador wanted different types of Ecuadorian bananas.  Rather than make demands at an existing hotel, Germany built their own hotel to their specifications.

One thing I enjoy about watching is seeing nations from all over the world come together for a common reason.  Of course they come to compete, and I am sure that there are rivalries.  It's still cool to think of that many countries gathered.

As big of a deal as the World Cup is, it can't really compare to a much greater gathering of nations that is to come:

"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”" Rev. 7:9-10 (ESV)

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