8/20/08

Semi-random thoughts on the Olympics

It seems that the most televised woman in the 2008 Olympics has not been Nastia, Shawn, Misty, Kerri, or Dara. It’s Debbie--aka Michael Phelps’s mother.

Phelps’s nickname in Beijing is Superfish. His powerful dolphin kick propelled by his size 14 feet and near-perfect technique have made him the world’s most decorated athlete. And he seems like he’d be a lot of fun to go out and eat pizza with.

A nation that would send out a cuter girl to lip-sync for the singer cannot be trusted. In our country we’d give her six months of plastic surgery and after the Olympics make her the host of a reality TV show called, “America’s Got Extreme Makeover Idol Talent—with the Stars.”

How could it be that “the fastest man alive” is a guy named Bolt? God must’ve had fun with that one.

I wondered if there were any athletes from Muslim nations competing in the 2008 Games, or if they declined to participate in order to protest Israel, the U.S. presence in Iraq, or the skimpy “uniforms” worn by the women’s beach volleyball teams. So I looked it up and learned that there are 204 nations competing in the Olympics, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Maybe I’m a bit old fashioned, but I believe it would bring proper decorum and dignity to the Olympics to have all butt cheeks covered in all sports. But I’m not going to get crotchety about it.

When I see athletes from competing nations congratulating each other and comforting each other, it warms my heart and gives me hope.

I read where gymnast Jonathan Horton from Houston, TX said a prayer before he gave his all-or-nothing silver medal performance in the high bar. I wonder how much praying goes on during the Olympics.

And I wonder how many of the medals we’re seeing awarded will later be taken away because of performance enhancing drugs. And how many should be but will never be detected. Only God knows.

If 204 nations can come together for the games, what else can we accomplish? Human rights? Planet care? World peace? But lest we get lulled into thinking that the Olympics will usher in a new day of global utopia, remember that the 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin. Anti-semitic posters and “Jews not welcome here” signs were temporarily removed. And World War 2 was just around the corner.

Still, I love the Olympics, and it lets me know that most people of this world want more than anything to get along. Maybe if we all keep praying for that, someday . . . .