Friday, 8 August 2008

Beijing & The Olympic Hope

Watching the spectacle that was the opening ceremony for the 29th Olympiad in Beijing China, I was filled with an uplifting feeling of joy and excitement. A smile as broad as a Cheshire cats spread across my face. Not just for the spectacle before me (although that canvas was indeed awe inspiring) but by the hope, the joy of the Olympic spirit. The sense, that here was a beacon for the good in humanity.

Memories of that Arrow lighting the Olympic Flame in Barcelona, Muhammed Ali in Atlanta the Sydney Harbour Bridge , Athens… all happy memories came flooding back.

In a more and more cynical world with tensions and tragedies filling our media in a constant stream. I am totally unashamed to say that I was happy to embrace the respite and feeling of hope that the Olympics offered for the two or so hours of the ceremony and I am more than happy to continue being proud of human achievement and endeavour for the next sixteen days and to enjoy the memories that will bring a smile to my face for many years to come. Yes, the Olympic Ideal has it’s flaws , commercial pressures , political agendas, doping within the sports. But is this not a force for good in our world? Are the Olympics evil? Do they destroy countries, cause wars, Famines? Spread Hiv/Aids? Religious sectarianism , fundamentalism? No, is the simple answer. So, I have to question the motivation of those who would want to boycott or who feel the need to hijack the Olympics as a platform to express their protestations at the evils in the world. By all means protest and protest loudly, but do it directly. Yes, I can understand that the Olympics give a wonderful platform for getting “the message across” but it hangs like a cloud over the one event that has the ability to lift those clouds that so fill our skies and bring nations together. To show us the possibilities, to educate our kids as to the beauty of human kind and its capacity to come together in peaceful and friendly competition.

As for this Olympiad?? Grab it…hug it …hold it dear……it is by nurturing the good that it holds in it’s ideals that we can build a wonderful platform for good, for us, our kids and the future of our planet. It has GOT to be worth it!! It’s not perfect, like the UN but it is a beginning!!

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