While I watch the fabulous participation of many athletes from all over the world I wonder about how we fragment human actions into different compartments and look at them as isolated from each other.
We would like to believe that every one of those competitions was done on level ground for each one of the participants, but that is not the case.
According to the Olympics data, 204 countries are participating in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, but as I write this editorial on August 17, 2008, only 65 of them have achieved any medals.
When we take a closer look at which countries have the most medals, we see that the first world countries are leading. Is it that the third world countries do not have good sportspersons? Or is it that they have not had the opportunity to develop their own capabilities.
Does the young boy or girl who wishes to do gymnastics in a third world country have the place, technical support and means to dedicate their time to that specific discipline? Has he/she the medical assessment to train without hurting their bodies? Can they exclude themselves from the loaded carbohydrate meals that usually feed people in the third world countries? Can they consume the high protein, vitamins, etc to acquire excellence while they train?
I do not know the specific personal stories of people from countries like Jamaica, Cuba or Togo, but I do applaud louder for them since I firmly believe that it took a lot of effort to arrive where they are.
As I said before, we would like to believe that the Olympic games are only about sports, and the physical and mental challenges involved in jumping, running, swimming or whatever sport an individual is participating in.
The real sporting Olympics will take place when the human race has achieved a degree of development that acknowledges the right to equality of every human being, the right to live in a peaceful environment where each child has the opportunity to learn and grow to fulfill their full capabilities.
Some day each child will have the right and access to loving care, nutritious food and teaching that will enhance their opportunities. Meanwhile as I watch the competitions, I rejoice seeing so much agility, gracefulness and dedication.
I just wish the same luck for the Iraqi children in the midst of war, the Colombian children affected by violence, the Nicaraguan youth hindered by malnutrition, and the list grows before my eyes.
I know that many of us applaud the current athletes, and we also pray for those able bodied ones who will compete some future day under fair conditions.