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Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat released a blog post Saturday about his Olympic experiences, and how seeing the Rio Games took him back to when the Heat played an exhibition in Brazil a couple years ago.
Bosh was on the 2008 Olympic team that won gold in Beijing.
"I had the opportunity to play with tremendously talented guys _ some true basketball legends _ and help get USA back to the top," Bosh wrote. "Beyond playing basketball, I really immersed myself in the whole Olympic experience. It is so much more than competing. It's a place where athletes represent their respective countries and compete against other top athletes from all over the world. It's a place where people's dreams come true.
"My favorite part was hanging out in the Village and talking to other athletes. It was interesting because I play basketball as a profession, but not everyone does that. Not everyone does archery or weight lifting or whatever event they're competing in as a profession. I talked to so many people who were also police officers, firefighters, lawyers, doctors, mothers, fathers, construction workers, office workers _ so many people from so many different walks of life. My time at the Olympics allowed me to connect with people of the world and discover those commonalities we all share.
"Along with the conversations and connections, trading pins is a huge thing. Each athlete receives pins representing their country to trade with other athletes. The pins I collected _ I need to find them in storage and look through them again _ are from all over the world. I'd say the most unique or surprising pin I received was from Micronesia, a group of islands in the Pacific. I had never heard of Micronesia before then, but thanks to the Olympics, I met someone from there who was competing in swimming."
Bosh went on to say that winning gold "was completely surreal" and that he wishes the best for all the athletes at the Rio Games.