Sunday, February 14, 2010

I don't find the Olympics hopeful...

What if the athletes had to get to the games under their own power?

What if they played on whatever snowy slope or frozen lake was available?

What if people came to play instead of to watch?

In response to all this Olympic striving:

Life is not about being best.

It is about being you.

9 comments:

Deb said...

The Olympics do seem like the ultimate justification for narcissism. Athletes spend their whole lives concentrating on themselves and their sport, parents make sacrifices so their kids can get the best training...can they really learn to be anything but self centered, and when their competition days are over how do they live their lives?

arcolaura said...

Hmmm I was thinking more about the effect of the games on all the rest of us. The successful athletes go on living off the adulation of the public - I don't know about the others. But there is such a vortex of consumption, travel, building, spectating, commentating... and somehow I remain totally unmoved by the idea that "economic activity" is innately good. Why not focus all the activity on some useful end?

Deb said...

Yeah, I suppose the coverage in Canada has focused more on the event preparations and speculation on the economic activity, while in the US it has focused on a few "stars". I have often wondered if the extra money and effort a city spends preparing to host the spectacle ever pays off? Sure they get some world class facilities that will be good for...what?

I should really try to get the snow blower out to clear off the pond so my kids can have some good old fashioned "winter games".

Paul said...

I sometimes wonder about the effect on people. The emphasis on competition rather than community and cooperation probably has a negative effect on young people.

My wife's daughter is trying to raise $5,000 for research for some disease. Part of the money will be used so she can fly to Paris, France as part of a team to run in a marathon. This logic escapes me.

Jerry said...
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Jerry said...

This is a subject that I have been pondering on for a little while now. I appreciate the spirit of your questions but I'm not sure that I agree exactly.

I think the negatives that are being discussed have more to do with the spectacle which the Olympics have become, as opposed to the nature of the games themselves. In that regard, I tend to agree. But as far as competition being inherently bad, I do not agree. Friendly and balanced competition can be a big part of building community. I say part because I am not trying to argue that competition is everything or that winning at all costs is an appropriate mindset. But the Olympic games are not about winning at all costs. They are about providing a platform for fair and friendly international competition among those who partake in the sports and an example for everyone about focusing and putting all of oneself into a goal, being the best you that you can be.

I will be the first to admit that there has come to be FAR too much spectacle involved, far too much celebrity poured onto winners, far too much emphasis put on the "economic growth potential" which means far too much consumption and waste involved...and I do not look to the Olympics for hope. But I think there is too much really negative stuff happening in our world to close our eyes to the good things that come out of something like the Olympics. We just need to be way more balanced about it.

arcolaura said...

Jerry - I agree that far more balance is needed. I wonder, though, whether the whole premise of reaching for the best possible performance is fundamentally unbalanced. Sure, I gain some inspiration from seeing the example of people who have worked hard and achieved a dream, but I think an example that is much more desperately needed in this world is the example of a sense of "enough." I think that sense of "enough" is a prerequisite for balance.

Jim said...

"Life is not about being best.
It is about being you."

EXACTLY!!!

lala said...
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