One Game is a past, a new one just started

Today marks the official opening of the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler. Just a few days after the huge spectacle of Olympic Winter Games. We still have a sort of happy hangover from that. The crowds everywhere, smiling faces, the incredible struggles to win by a hundredth or a thousandth of a second, by a sliver of a millimeter! It was amazing, mesmerizing and awesome. And it had all the ingredients of Roman Games. No, it is not a typo. I meant to say “Roman”, not Greek. It was a spectacle. A spectacle design to capture the imagination of crowds, to overpower the sences and to please the aspiration for a victory and the dreams for defeat of the opponent. Just as it was during times of the Roman emperors.. Hungry, tired, overtaxed crowd needs this kind of Games to be performed. Thanks god we no longer have the power to point our fingers as sign of life or death. Except for the lofty speeches at the opening and closing ceremonies there is hardly any evidence of the original goals of baron de Coubertin and Olympic movement. It has become an international Olympic Circe de Soleil. Extremely expensive. My heroes were the lonely representatives from small or very un-winter countries, who seem to represent the golden ideas of old modern Olympics of the past – it is not as important to win by any cost as it is to compete, to participate. Perhaps there never really were Olympic Games which truly represented this ideas – but the most recent ones excelled in excesses and crowd pleasing tricks.
Did I have myself a good time? Of course, I did. Who doesn’t like a festive atmosphere and smiling throngs of people, a good show. Do I like old operettas from Budapest, Paris and Vienna? Of course, I absolutely adore them as an entertainment. But I do not place them on the same footing as music of Mahler or Beethoven. So do modern olympics. I don’t see most of the participants as Olympians. More like modern gladiators. Minus the gore and carnage, obviously.
I hope that the Paralympic Games, being much more modest and low key will resemble more of the lofty goals of ancient olympic gmes than the Games itself.

About Bogumil P-G

publisher, essayist, poet lived (and born) in Poland, later England, Italy, presently in Canada
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