The opening ceremonies were held last night for this summer’s games – and according to the newspaper this morning they were all about world peace and saving trees. So do I laugh hysterically or heave my breakfast? Maybe both. My attitude toward the Olympic Games has never been good. And it isn’t getting any better as I move into my crotchety old age.
Watching the olympics when we lived in Canada was grinding. For Canada, a smallish country battling self- image problems, winning at the games was what verified the fact that the country actually existed – and mattered – to at least someone. CBC TV would run the bios of Canadian athletes and you would swear that they were gods sent from heaven. These Canadian athletes were perfect in every way. If ONLY we would all be like them, right?
Here in the US, it isn’t quite so bad that way. We already know how important and impressive we are so we don’t need to prove it. We all know everyone else is on some doping program anyway, right???
The whole institution is such an empty farce. Impoverishing their host countries in the mad dash for glory. Imagining excuses for the games like “good will” and “peace” and “conservation” is just utter corruption.
Why can’t we just have some honest games? Why can’t we just play some games sans the nation building, hubris, and international politics? How come we can’t just be astonished and praise God when an athlete accomplishes marvelous feats of physical prowess – no matter the place he was born? How come he runs “for” his nation? How come he has to wave a flag?
The reason is that we are ungodly. We have all swallowed the lie that our world can find salvation in events like the olympics. We believe we can find within ourselves as human beings the strength and skill to overcome war and all our ills in the same way we can jump higher hurdles. I find it SO ironic that what we really find, if we take off the blinders, is that the games that are supposed to save us – end up demonstrating the worst of us.
I know. I know. I am just a sour pus and I should just put the blinders on and join the couch party.
Nah… I think I will just skip it. There are way more fun things to do. Anyone want to play some volleyball? If you race me on my sailboat you will be sure to win!!