With today’s opening ceremony in Sochi, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will officially commence, even if there are so many competitions on the schedule that some actually began yesterday to fit the time-frame.
It is a sad reflection on our current state that, in the run-up to the Games, more attention has been paid to security concerns and politics than the athleticism of the participants. The latter I accept as a given; anytime you group people under national flags there will be politics. But the sad situation of security requirements is another kettle of fish. These young people from around the world train to compete in sports they love. Some vying for Olympic medals and fame while others taking advantage of participating against word-class athletes to improve themselves. The only thing on their minds should be the drive and spirit of competition, not the fact – or fear – that someone is just as driven to destroy that spirit with terrorism.
Think what could have been done with the billions of dollars that had to be spent on Games security.
And so as the games are set to begin, I wish all athletes the best of luck in their sports, and I wish all who attend the Games venues in any capacity a safe experience.
Canadian cities have decided to fly the gay pride rainbow flag atop City Halls during the course of the Games in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws.
In the ancient Olympics the contestants participated nude. In a 180 degree shift, it might be sensible, not necessarily comfortable, for those attending Olympic events to do so naked. Let’s see you hide a bomb now!