The true Olympians

Olympic dreams again afloat, in London this time. And again, as in most recent Games, the gold and medal standing seems to overshadow the old adage of just being an Olympian, just to participate and gives one’s best.
Of course, it is exciting to watch the fastest, the strongest and the most enduring of them all in each competition. But it is also amazing to watch the last, the one who overcomes an unknown personal struggle, the one who follow his or her dreams and gracefully crosses the finish line.
Or the unknown novice, who wins the gold to a total surprise and astonishment of the establishment and public.
And the honest and emotional tears of joy, tears of defeat. The patriotic pride and swelling of hearts as one’s flag is being hoisted to the top and the orchestra plays the national anthem.
But, also in tune with ever-encroachment of commercialization, the presence of coca-colas of the world on uniforms, every possible space of the Olympic venues and cities. Maybe one day, in some not-so-distant future, at the opening ceremonies we will hear, instead of the Olympic Anthem, the famous theme from the movie ‘Cabaret’: “Money”. Does it really makes ‘world go around’? Or maybe au contraire – maybe it is the dreams, maybe being the best is not always being the richest ? Let’s hope so.
And let the best win, but alike, let there be no losers. For they are all Olympians. And that stands for something. A a matter of fact, it stands for a lot.
I don’t personally recall which Games I really watched or red about as my first. Frankly, the television in Poland in those days (the 60ties) were not that popular nor rich in programming. It must have been the one in Mexico, although I hardly remember it at all. More the previous one, in Tokyo, probably from newsprint, though. But it all changed in 1972. The Olympic Games in Munich and the terrorist attack on Israeli team. Than, my personally favorable one, in Montreal in 1976. Of course Polish Jacek Wszola as the incredible jumper and heavy set shot putter by the name of Komar (incidentally in Polish it means literary a mosquito!) as well as the incredible Nadia Comaneci of Romania.. The two next ones, in Moscow in 1980 and in Los Angeles in 1984 were both a joke that should have been scrapped from the history books.

About Bogumil P-G

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