19 July 2012

What Olympics?

Somewhere along the line the message seems to have mutated into something completely different.

The first Olympic games were a time for sportsmanship, reconciliation and endeavour.  Hostilities were suspended, wars put on hold for a few days and warriors left their shields and swords at home in order to compete on the track.  No gold or silver prizes, only accolades and laurel wreaths.  Honour and glory attach to the victor's name, nothing else.

Today, instead of wars being suspended, they are intensified.  Crimes are committed against not just the Olympic spirit but against the very athletes themselves.  And on Olympic grounds as well.  These days, warriors do not leave their armour at home.  They take it with them into the games, to "protect" athletes and audience.  The army patrols the streets as if we lived under foreign occupation.  Honour as a prize has been sullied by the offering of cash, lucrative deals, exclusive rights, sponsorship, and monopolistic diktats.

Now here's a radical thought.  Organisers have no right to call the Olympic Games by that name.  Because there is not one atom remaining of the original Olympic ideal.  No connection whatsoever between 776 BCE and 2012.  How should we rename them?  Barclays Athletics Meet?  McDonald's Jamboree?  At least these are more honest.

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Squeaky Door by Elizabeth Chairopoulou is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.