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2/10/14

Olympic observations

Lord knows I'm no athlete. Used to be but that's exactly why I'm not anymore. Blood, sweat and tears were too much for me to handle in my childhood and early teens and only a whiff of a gym/fitness venue makes me cringe. But it is also why I have mad respect for all those men and women who could handle it, so much so they got to be in the Olympics. And I love the Olympics. The opening ceremonies always make me sob in front of the TV and seeing an underdog win or even make it to the finish line sends me into a right fit of bawling. They also bring back sweet childhood memories of watching the competitions with my grandparents while drinking cocoa and cheering for "our" guys. Sports do bring people together, the Olympics especially so, and being a sentimental old softy, well, that speaks to me, makes me believe we can do better and change things.

However Olympics leave a bitter taste in my mouth lately. The Sochi Winter Olympics will cost more than 50 billion dollars, 40.000 strong security force will be "deployed", there's the whole gay issue Putin cooked up, the terrorist threats (real or manufactured), oh and then there's the way they severed the whole of impoverished Abkhazia by sealing off the only bridge that connects it to Russia, while Abkhazia was hoping that at least some of the Olympic tourists would come and spend at least some of their money there. That's just the stuff about these particular Olympic Games I managed to Google in five minutes and, on the other hand, it has to be mentioned that some of the "western" media seem to have caught the "let's bash everything Russian" bug and that's not very Olympic either.

So I am left wondering – are the Olympic games still even about sports, athletes and Olympic values or have money and politics completely taken over?

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