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A BRITISHER’S VIEW: Earth’s Greatest Sporting Spectacle Endures Because of its Ideals – QNS.com

A BRITISHER’S VIEW: Earth’s Greatest Sporting Spectacle Endures Because of its Ideals

by Shavana Abruzzo

Competition is the ultimate fuel.Whether in a boardroom, in an alleyway or in a sports arena, the realm of rivalry is what separates the good from the greatest.Humankind’s psychological, technological and civic advances pale in comparison to the dominion of physical prowess, which has always commanded more attention and admiration simply because it is harder to stretch the limits of the human body than its mind.That is why professional athletes – some with the IQ of lint – are endorsed, time and again, by major conglomerates to act as their product spokespeople over a rocket scientist, a brain surgeon or a nuclear physicist.This fascination with feats of physical endurance – and the global unity it fosters among contestants and spectators, alike – is rewarded every two years with the most challenging physical competition on earth, known as the Olympics.The Winter Games, currently underway in Torino, Italy, are a testament to the world’s great love affair with the lure of the indomitable human spirit.The appeal of the apolitical spectacle is such that few people on the planet – from the young to the old – can lay claim to never having seen, or been interested in, the Olympics.Call it chicken soup for the soul but the sight of thousands of athletes from around the world, locking competitive horns in dozens of sports and culminating in hundreds of medal ceremonies over an extended period of time, has become a common social denominator for people everywhere.From the plains of East Africa to the urban jungles of America, the Olympics serve to showcase the strengths and weaknesses of the human body’s struggle for precision in a world forum, astonishingly free of bias and scorn associated with one-up man-ship.An Olympiad is a winner even when he or she is a medal loser.When Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games and helped launch the first modern day challenge in 1896 Athens, Greece, he did so to connect mankind on an independent stage.Since then, the Olympics have become a social phenomenon because of their ability to successfully summon the ideals of respect, tolerance, admiration, fair competition, sportsmanship and reward.What sets the games apart is that, throughout its tempestuous history, mankind has grappled with the very same principles, so very unsuccessfully.E-mail “A Britisher’s View” at

BritView@courierlife.net. All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.

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