Sunday, August 10, 2008

On Nationalism and the Olympic Games.

I really dislike the Olympic Games.

Yesterday evening I was more or less forced to watch the highlights of the first day on BBC, which consisted almost exclusively of highlights of British athletes and British victories. The host of the show even worked herself up to proclaim that "Britain Rules the Waves," when referring to the yachting events!

Throughout the show I had to remind myself that the media of other countries, including the Danish media, is just as biased and ridiculus. While Article 6 of the Olympic Charter states that the games are "competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries," the reality is that all nations are completely focused the achievements of their own athletes. The real interest in the Olympic Games the Medals Table and whether China or the USA is going to come out on top, whether Britain will win more medals than France and whether the Australians can continue their role as the new East Germans of overachievement.

The Olympic Games are therefore just an overhyped and expensive exercise in nationalism, which I consider a disease that has infested the world for nearly two hundred years. Nationalism causes division and ultimately wars, it makes rational individuals loose their minds and is a tool of manipulation for politicians and demagogues.

As for the Olympics, I will do my best not to be watching or reading newspapers for the next two weeks!


At 11 August, 2008 19:05, Blogger karlund said...

I was so much waiting for this blog post, guess I know you ;-)

I do like matching some of the sporting events at the Olympics, however purely because some under-exposed sports suddenly gets telly-time. But I too share your disgust of the nationalisation of the events, and I try staying away from that hype, however difficult that is...

At 11 August, 2008 23:24, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

OK, OK, this post was quite predictable, I admit it... I actually think I went a little overboard...

The reality is that actually like the Olympics. Particularly the fact that minority sports are given such prominence. I just get all angry and bitter inside when the games are made into contest between nations and the headline of the Newspapers go "Adlington strikes gold for GB!

I also have to admit that I've fallen off the water-wagon. Today I got all caught up watching the GB vs Pakistan hockey (i.e. 'field hockey') game!

At 24 August, 2008 06:32, Blogger marat said...

National flags should be banned from the venues along with national anthems. The Olympics has a flag and an anthem. Let's stick with that.


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