competition vs. COMPETITION
I have tried but just can’t let this olympic season play itself out without voicing my opinion. I hate the Olympics. Hate should be capitalized, and I don’t even believe in hate. I believe in love but there is just not a single thing to love about this hideous tradition in sports.
I have been studying human behavior in every possible way for decades. I have come to believe that while we are born cooperative, we are also competitive. When we create or otherwise find ourselves in situations that require competition, we rise to the occasion and even enjoy the process. I’ve come to believe that the most natural way we compete is with ourselves: the setting and striving for our own personal bests, in whatever arenas are important to us. In the real world most of us live in (not me), I can even see that competition can be fun in sports. I resist this and it feels inherently unnatural to me, but I have seen that it can work.
I have been in the audience of a few of my grown daughter’s roller derby games and, while my daughter and her teammates put their everything into winning and the joy they feel with a win is electric, it is momentary and tempered by a joint post-game gathering of both teams as they share food and drink, laughter and their lives. I know there are lots of others out there who can enjoy sports competitively and still maintain their respectful and loving bond with their competition. And know that the win is just pure fun.
The Olympics, on the other hand, are an abhorrent display of competition. The superficial focus on medals, patriotic hymns and smiling faces are the thinnest coverup for abuse of the highest order in the form of coercion, bribery, withholding of love, behavior modification and loss of self. How many olympians would choose years of exhausting, stressful, many-hours-a-day training if left to their own devices? I would wager to say one out of a thousand, if that many. I feel such remorse, such sorrow, as I realize that we have used young people as pawns for entertainment. It feels like Hunger Games to me.