Thursday, February 06, 2014

Alas, the Poor Olympics!

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin this week in the Russian resort city of Sochi. And sadly, it looks again like the Games will be the center of political spats instead of amateur athletes from many nations competing peacefully in the joy of sport.

First, here's a BBC story about the US banning toothpaste tubes and liquids on flights back and forth. Other news today included an American diplomat caught on tape dropping the F-bomb disparaging the EU, and I believe that was linked with the dispute between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine. Sounds like the Cold War all over again, doesn't it?

Terrorist thugs seem to like to ruin the Olympics in addition to politicians. I remember all too well when the Israeli athletic team was murdered in Munich in 1972 by the late Yasser Arafat's thugs. More recently, terrorists set off bombs in the Russian city of Volgograd, about 400 miles from Sochi—no doubt to make a political point and try to stir the pot prior to the beginning of the Olympics. If they had their way, they'd pull something off during the Games and within Sochi. By God's grace, any such plots will fail. Sad. Evil. Wicked. I could use a whole lot of adjectives. But I'm comforted by knowing God is still on His throne, and His justice will not be escaped.

One other thing I'd like to note before the Games begin. I really dislike the fact that professional athletes are being allowed to compete. The whole POINT behind the Olympic Games is that it was for AMATEUR athletes—the best of the best from participating countries. Why in the world the rules were relaxed to allow professionals to engage escapes me. It robs the Games of their specialness in my humble opinion.

I know that the Olympics being the circle of political intrigue is nothing new. During the Cold War, there was always a fight over U.S. and Russian judges scoring each other's athletes lower. In the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Adolf Hitler had a hissy fit when African-American Jesse Owens' star shone brightly and put a dent in Hitler's Aryan supremacy notions.

But it's sad. I'm an idealist, and I wish the Olympic Games could be held with and to the IDEAL behind them in their origin. Maybe someday.

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