We Need the Olympics
July 29, 2012
At first glance, the Olympics are an opportunity to prove dominance. Each participating country strives for athletic superiority that holds meaning for an entire nation, not just the individual. The Gold Medalist's national anthem is played upon victory, and his or her podium is raised above the other two. Still, as I watch and cheer for Team USA, I see something else happening: people putting aside their petty differences and coming together.
Culture informs identity and has great value. It can be what sets us apart from other groups though, and we have a tendency to focus on that too much sometimes. The Olympics seems to provide an opportunity to celebrate what we all have in common instead, while simultaneously promoting the human spirit.
Too often we think of the residents of other countries as the politics that define those places in our heads. I think it does us a world of good to see people not unlike ourselves reach for greatness. We may be trying to beat one another, but we're also in this together. Despite economic decline, war, and dwindling resources, despite a seemingly endless list of serious matters demanding our attention, a large number of the citizens of the world still show up to take part in the Games. It's humbling and informative, too. I think we need the Olympics.
That being said, Go Team USA!
North Independence Branch