Aug 10 2008

Political Olympics

Category: GeneralLee @ 12:36

I am by no means a traditional ‘sports fan’ type of guy, but I can certainly appreciate the extraordinary dedication, time and effort that sports people put into their discipline. A footballer receiving millions a year for kicking a leather ball around a few times, whilst most of the world starves and struggles with disease, is outrageous. Those who compete in the Olympics are, however, another kettle of fish entirely.

In view of this, it saddens me that the Olympics – which are supposed to symbolise personal achievement, sporting excellence and friendly competition – have been turned into a political tool. They were first held in 776 BCE, some 27 centuries ago. We like to believe that we are much more civilised than the people of so long ago, yet we have taken a simple sporting event and turned it into a political target. It should not be about how China treats the Tibetans. It should not be about how the next ones are going to be held in the UK. It’s not about pollution, human rights or any other hot topics of the day that everyone pretends to be concerned about before turning the page to find out what dress their favourite celebrity was caught flashing in as she got out of car in a carefully staged press moment. It should not be about politics. It should not be an international pissing contest – or at least not in that sense.

Now, like I said: I am no great lover of sports but that kind of dedication is what can make people great. I almost feel it is wasted, that if these people could put the same tireless dedication into curing a disease or solving a world-wide socio-economic problem then their contributions to Mankind would clearly be more worthwhile. But they’re not necessarily doctors, or economists or sociologists. They can be anyone who has a huge passion for archery, or throwing a javelin. Or who just love the thrill of competition and get to experience something so few ever do: thousands of screaming fans, their breath and heartbeats controlled by their actions and theirs alone.

So I say: let’s try and keep something pure. Let’s keep an international competition which doesn’t involve bullets and bombs alive and well, without involving the people who actually have the very least to do with any of it – the politicians.

The Olympics should not about politics; they are about human achievement, camaraderie, teamwork and country spirit. These things are sorely lacking in today’s world and should be left unsullied by the political views of people who don’t even display any understanding of these concepts. Hell, who knows… we might even be able to just watch and enjoy.

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One Response to “Political Olympics”

  1. avatar keithfowler says:

    I read the comments about the pollution at the Olympics – must admit that only the other day I was thinking wouldn’t it be refreshing if one of the next host nations of the olympic games turned round and said we are not spending a fortune on an opening ceremony but instead said will give the money to deserving causes throughout the world and just start the games the way they used to be started – sensibly! Instead today it is a competition from one Olympics to the next as to who can open the games in the most spectacular (and expensive !) way

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