Friday, August 10, 2012

Reinforcement of Vocabulary

by G.Parker

If nothing else, the Olympic games reinforces the meaning of some words that we have grown up with.  Such words as sportsmanship, courtesy, commonality, teamanship, etc.

In watching several different events during the week, I was really impressed with several athletes and how they behaved.  One in particular, was the runner from Granada.  He was similar to Bolt in his abilities and exhibited a bit of pride, but you know what saves him from being boastful?  He's proud of his country and does everything to promote it and raise it up.  His country.  Not himself, like Mr. Bolt.  It was impressive.  And then, the young man switched name papers with the runner from South Africa who was the double amputee after the qualifying heat that he lost.  It was a touching gesture of respect.  That runner from South Africa was impressive as well.  He could have stuck with the paralympic games, and probably won gold handily (I have no idea how strong the field is), but he wanted to prove that people are only as disabled as they think they are.

It gives me hope every time I watch the games and see how the athletes interact.  How they support each other, like in the decathlon, where they want everyone to do well.  I cherish the words that float through my mind, especially sportsmanship.  Our society has begun to find ourselves lacking in several areas.  I mean, you have to remind people over and over again about cell phones in the theaters?  What's up with that?  Does everyone forget from one trip to the next?  It's like we don't use our brains as well as we should.  It's called common courtesy.  Courtesy is similar to sportsmanship.  It's not just about who wins, but how the game is played.  Everyone cannot be a winner, (another pet peeve of mine, sorry)  but everyone can be a true sportsman.  They can respect their fellow competitors and the effort they are making.

I guess it all comes down to one word, when you think about it:  Respect.  For each other and for a people in general.  As writers, we respect each other, and our respective genre.  Some people look down on different areas as less than deserving, such as romance, or chick lit.  Those authors are are still writers, (of which I count myself one!) still working at the craft.  Just because someone writes fiction as apposed to non-fiction, doesn't mean that what they write is any less important.

We are all worthy of respect from one another.  It's a big, big world, that's getting smaller every day.  It warms the heart to see nations step forward and claim greatness when everyone thinks the same athletes should be winning every time.  I was thrilled to see some of the competitors in the gymnastics that were not the typical teenager, struggling to show that age is not necessarily a definition of the sport.

Once again, the human spirit has dominated, and it's something that brings a tear to my eye every time the Olympic Flame is extinguished.  Sunday is going to be a sad day in my house.  And then we'll start looking forward to 2014 and the Winter Olympics.

Where in the heck is Sochi??


Jacky said...

As a former NCAA athlete, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've mentioned in this article. Respect is the root of all great competitions, whether in spirit or against your opponent. The Olympics, from the Opening Ceremony through the separate events and until the last flame flickers, is the ultimate representation of that ideal. Yet, more importantly, I think the Olympics are a reminder of the importance of unity of mind and body, and the greatness that can be achieved in finding that balance. To this end, we, spectator and competitor alike, are inspired with each new story that writes itself into history.

G. Parker said...

Thank you!