Why the Olympics are Important

I know they’re not important to everyone. But they’re important to me. And I think they’re important to my country, the world and mankind in general. That’s a pretty big statement coming from someone who, admittedly, has no stake in the Olympics beyond that of an avid fan of the Games, nonetheless, I feel it’s important that we remember why holding the Olympics every 2 (4) years is a good thing.

  • They bring the world together – even warring nations will send Olympic athletes to compete at the games. Granted, at times there has been controversy, boycotts and even deaths because of athletes from unfriendly countries getting together in such a confined environment, but the fact that countries keep sending their best of the best says something about the core of what it is to be a part of the human race, doesn’t it?
  • They advance the abilities of mankind – And not just the obvious abilities like strength, speed and endurance. Man has increased its ability to push the human form to its limits, breaking Olympic and World Records year after year. We also strive to improve the science of the human body and our understanding of what it can do. We increase our knowledge and abilities with regards to the art and design of the way bodies move, not to mention the science of athletic equipment, clothing, shoes and even sporting facilities. All in order to better ourselves on the world stage of the Olympics.
  • The Olympics gives people a chance to lift themselves up through sheer force of will, skill and talent. Not every country gives bucket loads of cash to their Olympians to help them train, but if even the smallest country can send an athlete… it warms my heart.
  • This year (2012) was the first year that every country playing in the games had a woman athlete competing. Let me say that again. Every country competing in the games, had a female athlete on their team. For the first time. EVER. How amazing is it that the summer Olympics has taken place every 4 years for the past 120 or so years and this is the first time the summer games has included a woman from each competing country? Welcome to 2012 Olympics. Even countries who have traditionally banned their women from competing because of gender rules, and sports that have banned athletes because of differences of opinions regarding religious dress vs. athletic clothing, agreed that letting women compete this year was a good idea. Good job everyone. Yes women are, in fact, equal. No matter what.
  • This was also the first time that every event allowed women to compete. Again, amazing it has taken this long, but the day has finally come. In fact, I think rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming are the only two events that are women-only. In my opinion I think men should be able to do these as well. It would certainly be… interesting!
  • The Games brings a country together. Each hosting city, in spite of all the hard work and tons of money it takes to put on a Games, rallies together to say to the world, “Here we are! These are our games! Come celebrate with us!” I find this amazing. Countries all over the world put their blood, sweat and tears into their Olympic bids, year after year. I know my city bids for the games on a regular basis. We’ve never won, but I know that one year we will, and I just can’t wait.

And yes I know there are many downsides to hosting the Olympics, but with all the upsides, aren’t the Games worth it?