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Let Olympics be a shining moment for competitors and countries
by Larry Wilson
Aug 11, 2008 | 629 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This next week we’ll hear sounds similar to ABC’s “The Thrill of Victory and The Agony of Defeat” as the 2008 Olympics are conducted in China. For some reason, governments like to use the Olympics as a kind of political football in a made-for-governments event called “My Country Has More Medals Than Your Country.”

To my way of thinking, politicizing the Olympics should be outlawed. The Olympics should be a time to honor all the thousands of athletes who have all worked tremendously hard to be able to even compete in all those different events throughout the competition.

When NBA star Yao Ming carried that little 9-year-old Chinese hero during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, that was the greatest. I thought it was fitting that one of our NBA stars, a Chinese man, was there to compete for his native country. You don’t have to politicize that; let the beauty of the moment be the end. Let every person in the world enjoy those few precious days of world peace through the competition. Who knows, it might be catching.

Of course, the whole event has already been sullied by the horrible stabbing in Beijing and the Russian assault on Georgia. All that aside, let the games speak for themselves. Let the athletes send out that feeble message of peace to all mankind if even for only these few special days. When you see the looks in the eyes of the athletes, the thrill they seem to have for just being there and their youthful exuberance for life in general, you can’t help but be lifted in spirit at their obvious enjoyment of the moment filled with the anticipation of the unknown as they are about to perform in their individual events. How exciting it must be to be one of those great athletes.

I’ll bet the air in the athletes village could almost be cut with a knife because it is probably absolutely thick with their anticipation. And rightfully so, they’ve work very, very, hard to get to where they are today. They are seemingly the best their individual country can produce. Some of those countries are so small that our little ol’ Sparks probably seems like a metropolis to them. The main point here is that they are competing. They are in attendance. They are standing up to a challenge in the spirit of friendly competition. Every country and every athlete who shows up should all get a medal. They deserve any and all recognition they can get.

Those athletes are sent to the Olympics by their country with a great deal of pride on the behalf of their country and we all should respect that and admire all these countries for their fortitude to even send one athlete to these great competitions. Let the games begin and let them continue forever and ever.

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at
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