Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fair Play?

Once every four years the world gathers to watch a bunch of sports that people will only watch when national pride is on the line. And it is all done in the name of peace, cooperation, sportsmanship, and yada-yada-yada.

There is a lot of important tradition and ceremony involved in this regular worldwide worship at the altars of the sports gods; one of the most famous being the running of the Olympic Torch—across the world—bearing the undying flame from Greece to the site of the games.
That was… until yesterday. The flame was put out during protests as it made its way through Paris. But who are the bad guys here? Is it the protesters who are offended that the games will take place in a totalitarian run country where basic human rights, part of what the games supposedly stand for, are denied? Or are the real bad guys the people behind the games who allow them to be hosted there?
This year will be the 26th time that the games have taken place in the modern era. Instead of bringing world peace, the games have been cancelled three times due to world wars. They have been targeted by terrorists, and have been used by a totalitarian government as propaganda. They have been boycotted at least five times. The people running the games were proven to have given at least one hosting honor to the highest bidder, and other bids have allegedly been granted in exchange for monetary and sexual bribes. All that, and they discontinued Tug of War in 1924!
So in the end it all really boils down to one thing. Competition. Who can win more medals on an international stage in a bunch of mainly obscure events? (Just don’t tell that to the little countries with no hope on dominating, or they will quit coming to play.)

1 comment:

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