The Olympics have concluded with a literal and figurative bang – a killer closing ceremony and a wrapping-up from Lord Sebastian Coe has closed yet another successful (viewer-wise) Olympiad with the promise of a good old time in Rio de Janeiro four years from now.
I would posit to you that this is not what we need. No, not the Olympics in Rio – I mean, that’s gonna be awesome given the beach culture and scant clothing that’s practically the nation’s Facebook picture – I mean the four-year wait. I say we need another Olympics now, and it needs to run all year. Every day of the next three hundred and sixty-five should be taken up with sportsmanship, teamwork and numerous substance tests and subsequent Olympic Village evictions.
Why? Simply put, it brings us together.
Before any of you realists in the audience start firing off your anti-fantasy guns at me, I know full-well that the Olympics, like any social gathering, is far from a perfect thing. Scandal and rampant sex (no, seriously) course through its blood, and not a Games in my memory has gone by without some level of public interest in someone taking drugs, getting kicked off a team or challenging a ruling in some fashion. And yes, it’s undeniable that the cost for the Olympics can swiftly bankrupt a nation (a fact Canadians are still paying for today).
But seriously, excluding the Munich game of ’72, isn’t it great when the Games are on to see the world come together in sportsmanship and group activities? Isn’t it good to see wins and successes make headlines instead of Rupert Sanders’ marital affairs? (Because, seriously, Kristen Stewart is not the only party complicit in these events – please focus on the dude a bit more, gossip mags)
You might say I’m being far too idealistic, and it’s probably true. No, wait, it’s definitely true. There is no way the Games could run for an entire year; the mere notion is ludicrous. I might as well suggest that we recognise Scientology as a legitimate religion if that’s the case.
But think about it. Despite all the scandals that rock the Games every four years, wasn’t it nice to see reports of victory rather than reports of Kim Kardashian’s butt on a boat? While it’s disheartening, wouldn’t you rather hear about Aussie sportspeople failing after doing their best instead of checking out whether or not Reese Witherspoon is dead? Don’t you want to feel national pride when your country kicks another’s ass at Archery instead of feeling guilty pleasure whenever the clueless berks from The Shire are on screen?
It’s not a perfect thought, but what if?