Monday, August 25, 2008

This is Why We Have The Olympics

Let us forget the critics and naysayers for a the Olympics has drawn to a close we often ask ourselves why the hell were going through this every four years...

A Somalian runner and her last-place finish, ironically, provided me the answer.

Suddenly, the half-empty stadium realized there was still a runner on the track, still pushing to get across the finish line almost eight seconds behind the seven women who had already completed the race. In the last 50 meters, much of the stadium rose to its feet, flooding the track below with cheers of encouragement. A few competitors who had left Samia behind turned and watched it unfold.

Read about it here.

Aside from the opportunity for the Somali athletes to raise their flags as equals among the other nations, I believe that Samia's run was the defining moment for this year's Olympics - spectators rising to their feet and urging on a struggling athlete could be seen as a metaphor for the whole world coming together, urging each other on, offering support, cheers, encouragement for their fellowmen who needed a boost as they struggle on to surmount their own challenges.

This Somali runner has reminded us why we gather every four years for the Olympics. The world should do well and take heed...

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