EDITORIAL: Oympians deserve support

We could give up on the Olympics. We could say countries such as Brazil shouldn’t be allowed to hold such a lavish affair ...

We could give up on the Olympics. We could say countries such as Brazil shouldn’t be allowed to hold such a lavish affair if they can’t afford it, if they have mosquitoes that carry disease and if they have political problems, pollution and serious security concerns.

We could say, for example, that the Olympics are too big and have become too rich, too much of a spectacle. Some might also say it is nothing but a proxy war between Russia and the rest of the world, with the result being that blood doping is still a problem.

Should we then simply give up on the famous flag, held up as an example of harmony in sport between the world’s nations, becoming so self-satisfied in our cynicism that the Olympics is destroyed or is reduced to being a club that only wealthy can join?

Certainly, there has been enough controversy to sink this elite event over the years – from the Munich 1972 massacre to today’s concern over the Zika virus.

But in all the blame, finger-pointing, handwringing and grief, what people tend to forget is how important it is for young athletes to have something to strive toward.

The ideals of the Olympics uniting people in the brotherhood and sisterhood of sport is still a cause worth supporting as fans and funding with taxpayers’ dollars.

Giving up on the Olympic dreams of young athletes through our own arrogance, cynicism and distrust sends a poor message. It tells them that excellence is not worth striving for because the obstacles are not worth overcoming.

A better way would be to honour and support athletes such as Abbotsford soccer star Sophie Schmidt, volleyballer Steve Marshall and field hockey player Adam Froese.

They are shining examples of perseverance and excellence, along with their families, supporters, teammates and coaches who have helped them along the way.

Regardless of where they stand on the podium, let’s give them our support.

– Black Press

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