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I'll begin with some final words on the Olympics. I'm sorry they are over. I miss them already. I loved watching the athleticism and courage of the amazing athletes from all over the world. I loved judging their behaviour (to cry or not to cry) when I was in no position to do so and I loved reading the commentary from other media channels.
Watching the Olympics I asked myself over and over again why an individual chose his or her particular sport, and what passion and drive moved them from a simple love of a sport to become an Olympic athlete? It's a question perhaps without one absolute answer. I've also been curious if innate talent is at the root of the decision as to which sport an individual chooses to pursue. Are great athletes born or are they nurtured and made? I've read repeatedly that it isn't necessarily that certain people are gifted and just naturally excel in a particular area.
Well, another Olympiad has come and gone, and for the XXXth consecutive quadrennium, Canada somehow failed to top the medal count. But cheer up! Not only did we take home the most bronze per-capita (just in time for the coming penny shortage!), but the nation's editorial pages are practically brimming with encouraging sentiment about national pride and junk.
What do we know about the psychology of an Olympic athlete? The signature of Mark Spitz is worth examining. We can learn something about what it takes to excel in sports; also, in life.
Ye gads, is there no end to the massive abuse of power and privilege that is the Olympics? The following is a list of some of the words and phrases only official Games sponsors are allowed to use: "Olympic. Olympian. Olympiad. Paralympic. Paralympian. Paralympiad. Also their plurals, translations and anything similar to them."
Although blaming capitalism for all the world's problems is ineffectual -- if not counterproductive -- this image highlights a certain inequity and injustice in the world, especially in the face of such lavish celebrations. And a question is elicited: Just how honest and honorable are the Olympic games?
Would the federal government please cut it out with their War of 1812 ads? One minute, I'll be watching some riveting event of sportsmanship at the Olympics, and then suddenly CTV cuts to commercial, and I'm treated to an array of cartoonishly noble characters attired in soldierly red coat and womanly bonnet, circa Regency England, with platoons aiming bayonets at the American frenemy, and I'm like: WTF, federal government?
When the royal "we" of Vancouver got behind the 2010 Olympic bid, the movement adopted a slogan. Something along the lines of: "Let's invite the world in." I wasn't so sure that that was a good idea. Vancouver was, to me at least, a nice little secret. While there were definitely enjoyable times, my political spidy-sense is still unsettled about the whole thing. It's unbelievable how much money was spent on frivolous aesthetics during that period that could easily have helped a lot of suffering people here if put toward social infrastructure.
In two days, three Jamaicans won medals in sprinting. These victories mean a lot more to the country than deciding who can run fastest while stripped down to underwear. There's a marvelous symbolism involved. Even, perhaps, revenge. For almost three hundred years Jamaica was more or less owned by the British and ruled from London.