Sunday, February 28, 2010
Olympics... The word conjures up images of Gold medals, National pride, and Glory.
To me, it means something very different. To me it represents millions of dollars that could have been directed toward aid to relieve the suffering in Haiti, Chilé, and now Pakistan. When one ticket to a hockey game sells for the equivalent of two year’s tuition at an average university, or the annual salary of many average Canadians, there is something wrong.
More attention is being paid to not only winning, but winning gold medals than to sportsmanship. Canadian visually impaired (legally “blind”) skier Brian McKeever will not be allowed to compete because his chances of winning gold are not as great as others’. That flies directly in the face of what “games” and “sports” are supposed to represent. Growing up, I was told to “be a good sport” and not be angry or bitter when I was outdone by a rival, and yet this one athlete is being denied the opportunity to be a good sport by team officials simply because his chances of winning gold are not as good as someone else’s. That is NOT good sportsmanship; that is greed.
It is that kind of greed that is preventing underprivileged people, not only in Canada but around the world, from receiving quality education, health care, and in many cases even more basic necessities like food, shelter, and safe drinking water.
When will this blindness end? When will we once again value human life in higher regard than gold trinkets? When will a game once again become simply a game? When will disaster relief efforts take priority over making ourselves look good to the rest of the world, most of whom already envy our quality of life? Is a gold medal more important than helping others achieve the standard of living we enjoy and they envy?
Before anyone gets the idea that I'm against sporting events, let me state that I understand that an active body is a healthy body. I'm not anti-sport, but I AM anti-waste, and I wish this money could be put to some use that will have long-lasting benefits to greater numbers of people.
I have not watched any of the Olympic events on Television; I have no idea nor desire to know what is happening aside from what I’m told by other members of our society via facebook and twitter.
And that is more than I care to know.