Olympic tradition bring out the best in humanity

Nick Kostezak

Another Winter Olympics has come and gone, and with these festivities I have rediscovered a passion for the occasion. There’s nothing quite like millions of people coming together for the same common cause (and that of a positive nature, in such trying times).

As I reflect on my favorite moments of the 2006 Olympics, I flash through visions of nature’s glory (the beautiful Italian Alps), humanitarian acts of kindness (Joey Cheek’s donation of Medal-Bonus money to disadvantaged youth), strength in the face of adversity (Vancouver’s mayor hoisting the Olympic flag), and just a general mood of goodwill in the air that was palpable from thousands of miles away. Torino, such a majestic city with history and prestige, did a flawless job of hosting such a reputable tradition. And for that, I speak to everyone involved in any fashion whatsoever, thank you for a spectacular Olympics.

There’s something about the character of your stereotypical Olympian. Dedication, passion, innocence; qualities that could get us all a little further in life are displayed earnestly and provide our youth with positive role models and inspiration for higher achievement. When you watch these events, you have to think about how much work and effort these athletes have expended to get where they are now. Just being there and getting the chance to participate is quite an accomplishment, and kudos to all that did.

That is why it makes me sick to hear all the nonsense about people “failing” if they don’t win a medal. Sure, you have your Lindsey Jacobellis, who just a hundred feet from a gold medal, did a little show-boating, which eventually led to her surrendering a gold medal for a silver. But that was her choice, and you can bet she learned a lesson. She was a good sport nonetheless, as right after the race, she was right there to congratulate the victor.

Then you’ve got situations like Bode Miller. Prior to Olympic competition, he was the favorite for a plethora of skiing events, and wound up falling short in all efforts.

Now you can’t watch a telecast without hearing about how much of a bust and what a big disappointment he was. And to these people broadcasting this propaganda, I say, “GET A HOBBY!” You think he doesn’t already feel like crap? You think he trained his whole life just to get a trip to Italy?

What if we ripped these journalists as they do the Olympians? “And Stephen A. Smith ran his mouth about these Olympics like a highly touted anchor but he comes up empty on the Pulitzer count?He sure is no Walter Cronkite!”

The bottom line is, the Olympics are a showcase of the goodness that people are capable of. Let’s try not to ruin them with petty squabbles over pride. See you in Canada.

Nick Kostezak can be reached at nick.kostezak.4@csun.edu