here are my two cents (not that anyone asked…)
i fully get the olympic haters out there. i get that it seems so STUPID to spend billions on GAMES when people don’t have enough to eat, or are experiencing the after math of an earth quake. i also agree that it is wrong for the vancouver police to force street involved people into shelters -or anywhere for that matter. i also worry about the increase in sex trafficking during the olympics and for the safety of women.
and there is a but…
i can’t help but feel hopeful-and even excited for the olympics. not necessarily for how many “golds” canada will win–but more for the stories, the athletes, the idea of the so many people cheering.
the thing about the olympics, despite ALL of the problems, is the hard work, the dedication and the commitment that the athletes put into their training. do i think they could spend their time doing “better” things for society? yes, in fact i do (i also think i could be doing “better” things too rather than watching said athletes on tv). watching someone push so hard– be so committed- to go farther, higher, faster–i think that can unleash something into the world…in to me. this greatness, personified in others, can push all of us. it can show everyone that we are capable of more than we ever dreamed. and i am not just talking about athletics. it’s the same reason that i find the biggest loser so inspiring. if these people can overcome this, then i too can overcome…whatever my obstacle may be.
so yes, i think the olympics can be oppressive–especially to marginalized populations. but i also think that they can inspire us towards our own greatness, towards collective greatness. it’s not black and white. in fact, the whole thing is quite grey. it’s messy–it’s a human institution…of course it’s messy.
but today when matt and i were talking about who might be the lucky canadian to light the torch and he mentioned that he heard that terri fox’s mother might light it–and perhaps with a hologram of terri himself (cnn has done holograms…why not the olympics?) i couldn’t help but get goose bumps. it’s a bit magic if you ask me. it’s watching people achieve their dreams.