George Hale February 7, 2014

Updated 8 months ago

THE EYES OF THE WORLD ARE ON RUSSIA…IN THE NAME OF SPORTS.

LET THE OLYMPIC GAMES BEGIN…HERE’S GEORGE HALE…

EVERY FOUR YEARS, WHEN WE ARE DEEP INTO WINTER, THE TORCH IS LIT, THE FLAME BURNS BRIGHT AND THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT IS ALIVE AGAIN.

THE WORLD, AS SPLIT AS IT IS SOMETIMES, COMES TOGETHER IN THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION NOT ON A FIELD OF BATTLE BUT IN ATHLETIC VENUES.

THE SOCHI WINTER OLYMPICS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE LESS OF A SYMBOL OF PEACE TO ONE OF PROTEST.

ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

GOING INTO THE GAMES MOST OF THE MEDIA COVERAGE HAS BEEN ABOUT ISSUES OTHER THAN THE EVENTS.

WE’VE HEARD ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS, ANTI-GAY LAWS, HOTELS THAT ARE ILL PREPARED FOR THE CROWDS PLUS GRAFT AND CORRUPTION.

THOSE OF US WHO ARE NOT THERE WILL CONCENTRATE ON THE COMPETITION AND HOPEFULLY THINGS WILL WORK OUT.

THERE ARE SOLDIERS, POLICE, EXPLOSIVE SEEKING DOGS AND ATTACK HELICOPTERS OVERHEAD AT SOCHI.

BUT THERE IS ALWAYS THE GAMES.

THE MODERN OLYMPIC GAMES HAVE BEEN IN DIFFICULT PLACES OFTEN IN THE LONG HISTORY OF THE EVENT.

JUST LOOK AT THE BEIJING OLYMPICS IN 2008.

AS A COMMUNIST STATE THERE WAS A STARK CONTRAST BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA PARTICULARLY OVER HUMAN RIGHTS.

BUT THE GAMES WENT FORWARD.

POLITCIAL CONTROVERSY HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THE SCENARIO.

RUSSIA WAS HOST TO THE SUMMER OYMPICS IN 1980 BUT THE U-S AND OTHER COUNTRIES BOYCOTTED BECAUSE OF AFGHANISTAN.

SO WHILE THE SOCHI WINTER OLYMPICS PRESENT A HOST OF PROBLEMS ITS NOT HISTORICALLY DIFFERENT.

HOW CAN WE NOT REMEMBER MUNICH?

WHO CAN IGNORE THE 1936 GAMES, HELD IN BERLIN, AS THE NAZI REGIME CAME TO POWER?

HITLER USED THE OLYMPICS TO SHOW OFF HIS ARYAN VIEWS.

IN ONE WEEK JESSE OWENS, THE GREAT AMERICAN SPRINTER, HUMILIATED THE MASTER RACE WITH A FOUR GOLD PERFORMANCE.

SO POLITICS AND DIFFERENCES HAVE ALWAYS GONE HAND IN HAND WITH THE OLYMPICS.

BUT IN THE END IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO THE ATHLETES.

THE COMPETITORS HAVE NATURAL TALENT, DEDICATION AND SPIRIT.

THEIR YOUNG LIVES ARE DEVOTED TO A SPORT AS THEY HOPE TO BE THE BEST IN THE WORLD.

THE AVERAGE OLYMPIC ATHLETE SPENDS AN AVERAGE OF EIGHT HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK TO TRAIN BODY AND MIND.

AS WE GET CAUGHT UP IN OLYMPIC FEVER ITS TIME TO REALLY FOCUS ON WHAT IS HAPPENING.

THE STORY IS NOT ABOUT THE CONTROVERSIES OR WHAT HOTEL WASN’T NICE OR TRANSPORTATION THAT IS SLOW.

OUR FOCUS SHOULD BE ON THE COMPETITORS WITH THEIR TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS.

WE CHEER FOR THEM WHEN THEY WIN MEDALS AND TAKE GREAT PRIDE AS THE U-S FLAG IS RAISED AND WE HEAR OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM.

BUT WE SHOULD ALSO BE CHEERING FOR THEIR FAMILIES, FRIENDS AND OTHERS WHO MADE THEIR APPEARANCE POSSIBLE.

FOR THOSE OF US WHO NEVER HAD THE TALENT OR TRAINING TO STAND ON THE PODIUM ITS HARD TO IMAGINE, BUT FOR SOME YOUNG PERSON, PERHAPS FROM AN OUT OF THE WAY SMALL TOWN SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD, IT’S A MOMENT THEY CAN NEVER FORGET.

YES THERE MAY BE TROUBLE.

YES SOME THINGS WILL LIKELY NOT WORK OUT AS PLANNED.

FOR ME I’LL JUST WATCH AND ENJOY YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WORKED SO HARD TO REPRESENT THEMSELVES AND THEIR COUNTRIES.

WE SHOULD ALL BE SO DEDICATED,

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS


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