The Olympics are in­spi­ra­tional

Ottawa Citizen - - OPINION -

Re: Here’s why we’re los­ing in­ter­est in the Olympics, Feb. 10.

Shan­non Gorm­ley and I have some­thing in com­mon: She states she is “bad at sports,” and so am I. How­ever, like many oth­ers, I am cer­tainly not “los­ing in­ter­est” in the Win­ter Olympic Games.

What at­tracts peo­ple like me is the de­ter­mi­na­tion, per­se­ver­ance and ded­i­ca­tion shown by these ath­letes, their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties, whether they win or not. It mat­ters lit­tle which coun­try they rep­re­sent. What does mat­ter is the skill and courage with which they all com­pete.

I agree that po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence, drug-taking, col­lu­sion among judges — all these do hap­pen. But that’s not just at the Olympics. Pro­fes­sional sports are rife with all of these, as well. And not only in sports, ei­ther. One only has to look at cur­rent news to see the world as it now is — far from ideal.

To ap­pre­ci­ate the Olympic Games is not to deny that re­al­ity, as this ar­ti­cle im­plies. Such a view is not only onesided, but down­right dan­ger­ous, if it turns off younger generations for whom these Games should be in­spi­ra­tional.

We should re­mem­ber the spirit of the orig­i­nal Olympic Games in an­cient Greece. A month be­fore the Games, a “sa­cred truce” was de­clared so that all states at war with each other laid down their weapons to con­gre­gate at Olympia, the site of these Games. Af­ter the com­pe­ti­tion, they went back to their re­spec­tive cities and re­sumed their con­flicts. The Greeks were ide­al­ists, but re­al­ists too! And they re­fused to let one can­cel out the other.

Nini Pal, Ot­tawa

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