Apparently the Olympic committee do raise funds to help promote sport in developing countries. This is great news!In addition, the stated and published Olympic ideals are also great: They concern human rights of everyone to play sports, a sense of fair play, encouraging youth, the harmonious of man and peace. The Olympic Truce is an expression of the yearning of mankind for peace, understanding, and reconciliation and for the noble notion of distinction, based on honest competition. In the search for excellence every athlete is equal; and victory is the result of ability, training, hard work and perseverance. Discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise is incompatible with the Olympic spirit.
Lets just recap! Ever since I was younger (!) I remember watching the opening ceremony. It was inspiring for me as it showed the dedication that athletes had to endure in the pursuit of excellence in their chosen support.
The sad thing for me was watching it from a different perspective. I applaud the ideals of the games, equality and the ethical competitiveness. I was amazed at the teams present. Consider New Zealand, with a population of 4Million people and apparently 6Million passport holder (!), the size of their team was commendable. Similar examples can be viewed with Holland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The proportion of population to size of team sent to the games bears no connection or correlation An exception maybe with China.
The Sudanese, Iraq and Afghanistan teams are presented in 04. Great for them and in one sense an achievement considering their recent problems. People need basic amenities to become strong and compete. This includes their stability to support education programmes and consistent nutrition.
Another observation I made this year was the inequality issue of women in certain countries.. Interestingly it was reported that this year there will be a Pakistani woman in the swimming sport category, obviously related to the single body piece swimwear that is now available.
I wondered also about the typical sports that developing country teams are entering. Volleyball, weight training and shooting.
India showed its team, a small number compared to their national population. Its difficult for anyone to consider sports if that nation has a less that 75% poverty threshold.
Another Olympic factor rather than ideal in recent years appears (maybe its just the UK) to concern itself with nationalism and commercialim. Its great to support and view the UK doing well but Id also like the BBC to show developing countries and their associated stars. Its encouraging for the participating country and the athletes self-esteem.In summary, its great to get the games back after their 4 year gap but it is sad to not see greater involvement from the countries that represent themselves with the five interconnecting rings.