August 9 2008

Olympic Unity

Why does it take a sporting event such as the Olympics to make the people of the world get along?

I am not speaking to the fact that the games are in China, not the controversy this fact has bred, but I am speaking to the basic Olympic values and principles.  While watching the opening ceremonies last night, I wasn’t struck by the grandeur of the show, which was magnificent, but by the athletes themselves.  As each country would finish the parade into the stadium, and then stand in the center area, I was struck by the camaraderie of it all.

Different ethniticities, political backgrounds, upbringings, pretty much any difference you could think of did not seem to exist for these men and women who had gathered from 206 different nations of the world.  They mingled, took photos, shaking hands and sharing in the moment they were sharing.  You would see basketball stars like Kobe Bryant having his picture taken with other athletes, then when he was done he would shake their hands and though you couldn’t hear him, his body language that he was asking them their names.  Why?  At least to my thought process, it was just an example that he may be a megastar in the United States, but on the global stage he is just another Olympian.

Is this sugar coated sentimentality on my part?  Of course it is.  I have no delusions of everyone holding hands and singing campfire songs together, but couldn’t we at least try to get along this well all of the time?  Does it have to be a special event every two years at the various Olympic events?  At the end of the day we are all human beings, we just have differing beliefs, but that doesn’t mean one is necessairly better than the other, and this does nothing but demonstrate that when we can all get on the same page, we can all act like the brothers and sisters we are.  How about taking this thought process we show every two years and extending it through out every day?

Feel free to mock, I know this is me just being caught up in the moment, but that doesn’t make it any less of a good idea.

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