What Is the Significance of the Olympics?

What Is the Significance of the Olympics?

by Sarah Cooke

With the kick-off of the Olympics this  past weekend, there have been dramatically varying reactions to the significance  of the games and, in particular, how that relates to culture and politics in the  United States.

One typical reaction to the Olympics is the blindly patriotic one. Many  Americans have a tendency to view the Olympics as a stage for the United State  to boast its supposed superiority. Of course, this is a very narrow way to view  both the games and the place of the United States in the global community.

On the other hand, many Americans reject the games outright because they do  not support many of the policies of the United States. They feel that the games  promote nationalism and that to care about the Olympics is to demonstrate  support for policies with which they disagree.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I enjoy the games as a demonstration of human  accomplishment. As a nation, we should absolutely be proud of our athletes – not  because they are American, but because they have worked hard to accomplish great  things. To me, the Olympics are not about what country walks away with the most  medals. The Olympics are a manifestation of the strength of the human  spirit.

 

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