The Not-So-Great Parts of the Olympics


So I suppose I’ve waited a tad long to write this piece… as the Olympics have been going for two weeks now, and are approaching the closing ceremony. But I do have some thoughts that I think are important about things that really aren’t payed enough attention, regarding the immense and untouchable Olympics.

Firstly, I should say that I think the Olympics are great. The have blown my mind countless times, yet again. The world is such an advanced place, and the Olympic Games portray truly what humans are capable of.

It amazes me everyday what the human body can do, and these resilient, determined people are pushing the limits of the body to the max. They are the physically elite of our species.

The mental strength portrayed by these athletes is commendable to say the least. They train everyday, giving up much of their time and their lives to stay fit and always improve.

But there’s a darker side to the Olympics that all the excitement draws away from. Yes, on the outside, this huge event only promotes athleticism and the like within people.

But that level of competitioncomes with a certain nastiness. If you don’t reach your goal, you’ve completely lost chance, at least for another several years. It’s train, train, train, no

“Soviet gymnast Nelli Kim”. Soviet gymnast Nel...

Not one mistake…. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

fun. Often that calls for ruthlessness. For some of these athletes, it’s all they know.

If it’s a passion of the athlete, than they’re living out their life doing what they love, right? They must all feel passionately about their sport, their game… but even that has to be put into question, because many of them start training before they fully comprehend what they’re getting themselves into. Gymnastics? If you don’t start at three, might as well forget about it, because you need every possible minute to build up to the skill for competition of that level. Which makes me wonder how much gymnasts really enjoy what they’re doing. Sure, some are doing what they love, I believe that. But what about those that aren’t?

What about the emphasis on perfection that’s out there? It’s definitely there and it’s that kind of thing that puts immense pressure on the athletes to perform flawlessly. In many cases, one tiny little mistake means the end of competing and total failure. That seems to me an unhealthy way to view life. The Olympics are an inspiration for many, is that how really how we should be viewing mistakes?

A silver medal with the olympic rings inside

The famous Olympic rings… are the beginning to mean something different?(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sadly, I recognize that this is where society has taken us to – money doesn’t just talk anymore, it’s running our world. But doesn’t something like that reach a point where it’s too far? Shouldn’t we be focusing on the Olympics themselves instead of the sponsors of the athletes competing? I know that they’re necessary now, to make the whole thing happen at all, but I believe that there is a fine line being crossed between competition and a giant advertising event.

What do you think?



2 thoughts on “The Not-So-Great Parts of the Olympics

  1. I think many of the young and idealistic kid athletes from countries that don’t force them into sports still embody the character-building ideals of the Olympics – commitment, competition, sportsmanship, grace under pressure, respect for the ecstasy of victory and also respect for the agony of defeat. Unfotunately, business school theories have crept into the Olympic Games and it has been tainted by something it was never intended to be.

    Business school theories creep into all aspects of modern life. It seems like life is about end results and no longer about process. This is a real shame in my opinion. We need to refocus on process again because process matters. Process defines who we are in many ways.

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