It's a prime irony that while Europe is suffering a great financial crisis, in counterpoint, the Continent is starting to spend the summer awash in a veritable plethora of joyous sporting events, a rolling athletic circus to divert Europeans from Angela Merkel telling them to get serious and tighten their belts.
Now, as is the case every summer, there are two Grand Slam tennis championships â€” the French Open, which is already under way, and Wimbledon. Then the Tour de France and British Open golf.
One of the ways Spaniards console themselves amid their failing economy is with their beloved sport of soccer. If you can't afford tickets to a game, it's always on TV in your local bar.
"For an escape from work, economic problems â€” just enjoy it and support your team," says soccer fan Ivan Rassuli, who's having a beer as he watches a match at a bar. "Everybody likes football. Maybe like the NBA or baseball in the United States."
But futbol, as Spaniards call soccer, has followed the same sorry trajectory as Spain's economy.
President Obama welcomed the Los Angeles Galaxy to the White House today in celebration of their Major League Soccer title.
The team, which has won three cups, is star studded. But there is no one bigger than David Beckham and president Obama took advantage of the opportunity to give the international soccer star a ribbing.
Indiana University soccer star Orianica Velasquez is on a mission â€” to get to the London Olympics with Colombia's women's soccer team. And she wants to send a message about the country where she was born.
"My dream is to get a medal for Colombia," she says, adding that she wants to show the world "it's just not violence, it's just not drugs â€” we can play soccer and we can do great things because we have great people there."