Sports Without Borders

Should there be a nationality behind sports?

That is a reflection uttered by a friend during dinner tonight. That idea still resonates within me and this is what I wanted to share with you.

During the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, athletes walk in segregated groups under a kaleidoscope of flags. For most of these athletes, the flags that they are representing for the games are not of their country of origin, i.e. for most athletes they are representing an adopted country.

Many athletes have multiple nationalities. However, during such event and many other worldly sporting event not limited to the Olympics (e.g. football) they are required to choose a unique "side". I believe when confronted to this situation, a choice is rather difficult to make. Choose to represent the country that helped you financially and that you are grateful for? Choose the country that your heart beats for? Or choose the country that you claim your centre de vie?

For something greatly universal such as sport, is it really necessary to attach nationalism to it? There will be plenty arguments weighing in on the pro but there are also many cons.

For an athlete who has multiple nationalities, by right of soil, right of blood or by any human rights, why can't the athlete wave multiple of flags and represent all of those countries?

Yet again, this brings another question: Should sporting be defined by a simple passport?

Sports have the capacity to bring humanity together. Sports speak a language that know no barrier. Sports are about being together. Hence, sporting should not be defined by nationality which it seems to be treated as a brand. Sport transcends it. In my opinion, nationalism should not trump athleticism. Aren't we just human beings after all?

Maybe beyond the whole doping scandals and cheats, there is something bigger to sport: an evolutionary step in sport that we might have missed.

In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the Olympic athletes! You are all winners in my eyes!