Thursday, July 26, 2012

11 guys, 5 Rings, and 1 Minute

I love sports.  I have my teams and my preferred events, but more or less, I am a sucker for a televised or live competition. I will take tickets to anything off your hands and the game could be on ESPN the Ocho and I will watch it, choose a side, and yell at the refs (because they always deserve to be yelled at by the guy in his living room).  Just ask my lovely wife. She might say I would put the game on the TV and promptly fall asleep on the couch but that is a salacious lie.

I also love my country.  For all its bull, the United States is the best country in the world and I am proud to call myself an American.

So when these two things come together, I get crazy excited.  I love me some Olympics.  NBC has this thing down to a science.  Meaningful music, a story of some kid from [city/town/farm] had it tough.  Kid lost [mother/father/training facility/ability to walk] but made it to the Olympic team to win and wave the Stars and Stripes (insert crescendo here). USA USA USA USA!!!!! We all cry, we all cheer.

To be honest, nothing really gets me down about the Olympics.

"But why then," you ask, "are you blogging about it?  You never have something only good to say about something when you blog, so something about the Games must be getting you down."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is refusing to take a minute out of the open ceremonies to remember 11 athletes who were murdered in a terrorist attach 40 years ago in Munich.  Everyone from President Obama to Governor Romney, from Aish HaTorah to the Reform Jewish Movement has pushed for this minute.  The IOC refuses to take some time to remember 11 athletes who were murdered at the Olympic Games 40 years ago.

That has me down.

The IOC is a semi-governmental organization and should be accountable to someone. But they are not.  You can sign petitions and such but it won't make much of a difference; more than 100,000 signatures haven't made an impact yet.  The group of widows  have been brushed off (again) and will have a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies regardless of its official recognition, and while that is nice, it doesn't fix or really honor the memory of these guys in the right way.

The Palestinian Olympic Committee (POC) called this moment of silence "racist" today and that makes my head hurt.  The POC's own statement leads a logical person to believe that they would be supportive of this remembrance. "Sports are a bridge for love, communication and the spreading of peace between nations," the POC said in its statement, before it went on to say this remembrance was racist. The entire movement here is to remember people killed, not as a condemnation of terrorists, Palestinian or otherwise.

The politics of this situation are nasty but the reality is that 11 guys, kids mostly, were gunned down by bad dudes during the Olympics.  A minute to remember them during the ceremony would not only be right but should be support the sprit of the Olympics.  We all cheer and hope our country will win the gold but we all hope that one, lone athlete can make the splash, stick the landing, break the tape and make his or her home country proud.  The Olympics at least should be about the purity of sport and competition.  Not about politics. 

So as I watch the Olympics and in a mob-like manner, wave my flag, I will try to remember these guys.

1 comment:

Robin said...

thank you for writing my exact thoughts on your blog.