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Hawthorn Hill

February 27, 2014

Olympics spirit in need of repair


I wish for several things that will never happen. But an old sports fan like me can at least dream of a better future. I would love to return to the good old days when only amateur athletes competed. Too much money is spent on building new venues and facilities every four years. Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that so many people are displaced all too dispassionately when governments decide on building sites for the games and raze whole nighborhoods. All that money could be spent on affordable housing, health care, and education. The story of a man in Russia who did not cave to the allure of money is a case in point. Why not build a permanent site for the summer and winter games? Each country could cough up some cash for construction and maintenance. Greece might not be a bad place for the summer games. After all, that it where all this insanity started. I am sure there are suitable sites for the winter games. I would also do away with the silly and morally corrupt practice of keeping tabs on how many medals each country wins, as well as the Niagara Falls of self-serving commentary that spews forth should a team or an individual fall short of expectations. Frankly, I do not care how many medals any country wins. The idea should be to do one’s best, roll with the punches, and then live for another day when things just might turn out better.

I know that none of my suggestions will ever see the light of day. Having floated some of these ideas previously to friends and family, I am inured to the snickers they have elicited. No matter. A man has to stand by his principles. Sport is, or should be, about having some fun, yes, and doing the best that one can in the process. Winning is great, but losing can be much more instructive. It is too bad that we have placed such a heavy burden on winning, on who wins, and who amasses the largest heap of medals.

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