Floods are rampant worldwide just at the present. There has been one disaster after another between the flooding in the northern Australian state of Queensland, South Africa, Brazil and the Philippines. The spectre of the 2010 Pakistani floods in everyone’s minds. One wonders how much more flooding the world can take, and at the extent of our collective capacity for endurance.
Actually, it isn’t the collective the world is concerned with here precisely. I’ve barely heard a televisual or newsprint word about the situations in South Africa, Brazil or the Philippines, but a lot about Queensland. The thing is, while things are terrible in Queensland, the state is getting a lot more attention in the international media than are those three nations.
As a sports fan, I absolutely love watching the Olympic Games and have done so since the Grenoble Winter and Mexico City Summer Games. I love the fact that when the Games are happening, we are reminded that, despite competing on national teams for the ultimate prize of an Olympic gold medal, we are one species and one planet.
To me, the Olympics are an enjoyable, drama-packed microcosm of life in many ways. You can train for years to be an elite athlete in your sport, but your best may not be good enough to win an Olympic medal on that particular day. You can be sailing along and headed to ultimate victory, but a small mistake, badly timed injury or failure to execute at a critical juncture ends up costing you a spot in the medal round.
On the other hand, there are athletes who show up completely unheralded, but step up their athletic performances to defeat the odds and become Olympic champions. And, unfortunately, there are also those will stoop to cheating and other underhanded measures to win at all costs.
It was announced that Rio de Janeiro will be the host city for the 2016 Olympics, and I have to say that it is disappointing that Chicago didn’t get it.