Friday, 15 August 2008

A medal in the Olympics, finally

"It is a day to remember and today will go down in history...". The news broadcaster said. For some, I think they will be smiling in their sleep tonight.

Our country has finally secured an Olympic medal, the first since our independence. This quest for an Olympic medal, well, I won't say is a national obsession, but the pressure can definitely be felt by most. It was stressful enough to watch the game, I can't imagine how it must have been felt by our players.

The question I have in my mind is, why do we want to win so badly in the Olympics? Is it just for a medal (which is good to have)? Or to prove to the world how good our sportsmen are? From the commentaries and reports, it sounded like the former. Maybe winning a medal is equivalent to excellence, I don't know. But why don't I feel that way after watching the table-tennis match with the Koreans?

Don't mind me, I am just an onlooker.

The Olympic fever is high and the impressive opening ceremony is still the talk of the town... unfortunately now overcast mostly by negative publicity about the "fakes": fake singing, fake fireworks, Han children faking as various ethnic minorities.... Although I can understand the motivation behind such acts, the desire to achieve perfection, it is hard not to feel a little disappointed that the spectacle we saw is somewhat delusive.

The initial idea of the modern Olympic games is to promote better physical training for the youths and foster closer relationships within the world, as these youths come together to compete in sports. The Olympic rings not only represent the 5 continents in the world, but also, at least one of the colours on the flag (blue, yellow, black, green, red and white) is present in the national flag of all the nations in the world (at the time when the symbol is created). So noble this mission of IOC is, but how have we fared so far?

When I saw contestants from Iraq, Afghanistan and Myanmar marched in during the Olympic opening ceremony, people of different race and colour cheering together in Beijing stadium, for a moment, I wanted to believe that "One World, One Dream" is possible. This is a great achievement of mankind, for it is never easy for people to put down their usual differences and embrace one another as equals, competiting fairly and recognising talents without discriminations. Even though these participants may represent only the minority of the world's population, as long as someone is trying, our dream for a more peaceful world will not just be wishful thinking.

Source: BBC news

Unfortuantely, happy moments are usually shortlived. Or you may say that those moments are but delusions. Suicide bombers in Pakistan, Talibans shot foreign aide workers in Afghanistan, pro-Tibet protestants deported from China, Olympic contestants found guilty of doping... these happened at the same time while we are celebrating the Olympian spirits of passion, faith, victory, work ethic and sportsmanship and dreaming of a world united.

Maybe a sporting event alone will not bring about world peace, but the will and determination of men, together, can make everything possible. And we are all trying... evident from the millions of people who have contributed to making the Olympic games possible throughout the years. So, as long as the flames from Olympia continues to soar, our dream for world peace will always stay alive.

I quote this saying from JL, "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."

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