There are usually three ways people think about the Olympic Games no matter which state government hosts: Power Politics, Athletics and Corporate Greed. Athletics is the purest of these with a motive uplifting to humanity. The vast majority of athletes engaged in Olympic contests have worked to achieve excellence...the kind of excellence one imagines achievable by the very best. Each seeks to achieve perfection. Peoples throughout the world are inspired by the individual commitment, strength of character and mark of perfect success that athletes in the Games make their goal. Like dancers, musicians, sculptures, painters, composers, writers, and spiritual explorers, athletes have one primary goal: the perfect.
The "Games" have their roots in the nations of Macdeonia and Greece, but lest we forget the Mayans in their time invented "Games" too. A game similar to soccer or football has been played for more than three thousand years. The Uygurs of East Turkestan invented games involving perfection in horsemanship; and the Houdenousaunee invented the exacting and strenuous game: Lacross. The nations of the northern Pacific Coast have canoe races for which participants train for years to achieve the highest and best.
The Peoples' Republic of China hosts the Olympics in Bejing amid considerable controversy over its power politics: Treatment and invasion of Tibet, Treatment and invasion of Uyguristan (East Turkestan), Treatment of genocide in the Darfur region in the Sudan, and Treatment of Biafrans over Nigeria's oil policies. the PRC is deeply responsible for serious problems in places that benefit its economy such as in Indonesia, and Burma. Should these matters be ignored and set aside while the games go on? No, I don't think so.
Corporations like Exxon and Nestle benefit enormously from the Games when they shield their indiscretions behind the contests that inspire.
Should we all appreciate the virtues of atheletic achievement? Certainly. Should be ignore the hurt and desctructon policies caused by the Peoples' Republic of China that undermine the life and cultures mainly Fourth World nations? Definitely not.
Should we ignore the indescretions and greedy behaviour of corporations while the Games proceed? Absolutely not.
We must praise those who are praise worthy and condemn those who bring misery to the lives of our fellow human beings.
(c) 2008 Center for World Indigenous Studies