~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Olympic Winners - Does It Really Matter?
After watching Skate Canada championships this weekend, I started thinking about the Games soon to be held here in my hometown. It would seem that other parts of Canada are more excited about the 2010 Olympics around the corner than we are here in BC (at least the lower mainland). Most of us are sick of hearing about it, not looking forward to the traffic problems and chaos (which we already deal with on a day-to-day basis), sick of the IOC telling us what we can and cannot do in our own backyards and the list goes on.
Really when one looks at the bigger picture on the whole world-wide scale the Olympics pale in comparison. Is winning an Olympic gold medal more important than feeding or housing someone of lesser means? More sginificant than someone's having clean water or existing in a safe place without fear?
At one time I would have been thrilled that Olympics were happening so close to home, but I now have a more philosophical ideal about things. I guess that is life...
People always talk about the money that is spent on the Games and point out better ways that the money could be spent. People that oppose the Games in Vancouver often ask about the homeless and drug addicts and wonder what will happen to them.
I often wonder where these "critics" were before the Olympics were coming to town. Were they advocates for the less fortunate or did they see them as just an inconvenience? Did they fight for them then before the announcement was made in 2003? Do they volunteer with an organization or did they lobby to the government about increased funding? I'm guessing the majority did none of these. If you are going to talk to the talk, walk the walk.
I believe in the power and spirit of the Olympics and cannot wait to witness it live. The Olympics has a magic and a belief where anything is possible. There is a chance to experience a different culture, to celebrate sport and people, and to meet people from around the World.There are amazing stories of athletes rising from nothing to compete in the Games and athletes who overcame serious injury or tragedy in their life. There are moments of joy, pain, saddness, and elation. It is the ultimate experience in humanity.
she takes the audience on her journey of emotions
If we started thinking this way, we should just stop making movies, celebrating national holidays, staging sports games, going to fairs or doing anything fun at all until all the world's problems are resolved.
I understand your feelings, Ladskater, but I don't think the one has to do with the other. Alas, even if we didn't have the Olympics, we wouldn't use that money to solve the world's problems. That takes an act of will that won't be summoned up by giving up life's frills and furbelows.
In fact, at its best, the Olympics can contribute to the world's wellbeing. It's not so obvious in the Winter Olympics, but the Olympics in general is a place where athletes from diverse cultures meet as equals, and any activity that crosses borders has both short-term and long-term benefits. For one thing, a lot of the youngsters who represent their countries in sports later become prominent in other fields, and they bring with them a knowledge of peoples and cultures from around the world. For example, the 1924 Paris Summer Olympics (the one depicted in Chariots of Fire) was attended by a New Zealander who later became his country's Governor-General, as well as a Yale crew team member named Benjamin Spock--the famous Dr. Spock, who authored the child care books and also was a staunch antiwar activist.
There are many other things the Olympics can do, but giving young athletes a more cosmopolitan world view and (a related effect) humanizing people from countries whose citizens mutually distrust one another are two of the most important.
Edit: And now that I've read the Terry Fox Award thread, I beg leave to mention another benefit of the Olympics: it's a world stage for gestures that can make a difference in at least some of the areas you worry about, Ladskater, dealing with human suffering. So let the Games begin! (And I hope the traffic problems don't get too bad during the Games. I know how frustrating that can be.)
Last edited by Olympia; 12-12-2009 at 07:54 PM.