Once upon a time,there was a girl living in a poor section of a town in an eastern country. She thought she could run, better than most. She tried to do some training
on the streets around her home. People shouted at her to stop and "go home". She persisted. Eventually, she went to a stadium and ran on a track. Her time was not of an international standard but she had a dream. Her dream was that she would run for her country
in the Olympic Games.
She continued to go to the track to run. Men called out abuse; even young boys, their brains already taken, jeered and heckled. Religious leaders called her "the prostitute of the Olympics".
Eventually, she made it to Italy to a training facility. It was two months until the Beijing Games. Then, she suddenly disappeared.She never went to the Games. She seemed to have taken her bag and passport. It was presumed that
she sought asylum somewhere else in Europe.
There could have been a fairy tale ending to this story. But, sadly, it appears there was not. She seems to have made a life choice. She chose to leave her family and oppressive
country. I doubt there will be any chance to go back.
I have a dream too. I dream there will be a day when this story will never be repeated again.
The Olympic Games are now approaching. This time they
are in Brazil. As often happens there again is a rising tide of anti- games sentiment. As usual, the focus of complaint relates to the massive costs of such a multi venue event. Most of this comes from politicians and certain segments of the media. They hope
to make political mileage from an issue they are sure will be hard to defend. They pontificate, "Brazil is in economic crisis. Poverty and crime are major issues. How can a country pour money into games when it is hovering on the brink of financial and
The answer is, you can and you must. We humans need to take a regular break from our usual fare of greed, jealousy, anger and hatred and do sport. Leaders of this world need to spend money on sport and music. Not on Armed Forces, rockets,
bombs and assault weapons.
How many have died either watching or taking part in the Olympic games? How many deaths at the World Cup of Soccer? European championships, happening now? Superbowl? World Championships of Track and Field? World Rugby Championships?
In August, you can watch the opening ceremonies of this XXX1 Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro. You will see the parade of athletes,over 10,000, from 206 countries. And you will learn that 4,700 of the athletes are women. Thirty percent  of the306 events are
for women. These include rugby, judo, wrestling, football and the Marathon.
You will see countries represented by one athlete.[ Sudan, Somalia, Togo] The United States and host Brazil each enter over 400. From the perspective of the athlete, he or she
wants to bring their best performance to their event; the "medal count" is a very secondary concern. Politicians and the media like to do medal counts. These folks have never been on the track, in the pool, on the field, with a number, waiting for the starter's
How great is the force that brings athletes together. They all share the knowledge of what it took to get where they are.They all have experienced failure and disappointment. Some have known the joy of winning. Above all, athletes respect each other.
See the body language among them, the consolation, the congratulations. The hug, the arm on the shoulder, the handshake.
An Israelite congratulates the Iranian. A Russian consoles an American. No idelology, no religion weighs in for anything at the Olympic
Games. See the closing ceremonies when thousands of athletes come together to celebrate the great accomplishment of being there.
For this short time you will see Homo sapiens at their very best.
Glorius Sport will have made it happen.