Ban Russia from the Olympics?

An arbitration court confirmed that Russia’s track and field team, which was caught in a major doping and cover-up scandal, can be banned from the Olympics.  The ruling also opened the door to banning the entire Russian delegation, if the International Olympics Committee so decides.

Do you think Russia should be banned from the competition? [Read more…]

Olympics woes

The Olympic games in Brazil start in about seven weeks.  The state government that includes Rio de Janeiro has declared a “financial disaster,” reportedly enabling the state to funnel funds to the troubled games.  Rio is also at the center of the world’s Zika plague, causing many athletes to refuse to attend.  Russia’s track teams have been banned from competing at the Olympics, due to a previous doping sanction.  Two world boxing federations have forbidden its members from attending the Olympics.  Many of the biggest NBA stars are refusing to compete on another U.S. “dream team.”

Some people are calling for the games be cancelled or postponed.  Do you agree?  Or should we just let it happen, despite the problems, even if that means a less than perfect event? [Read more…]

The case against the Olympics

The Winter Olympics begin February 7 in Sochi, Russia, and people are getting nervous over terrorism threats, anti-gay laws, the toilet situation, and whatever Vladimir Putin might do.

Columnist Charles Lane argues that the Olympics have gotten too politicized, too expensive, too drug-saturated, too corrupt, and too corporate.  We should just end them.  Read his case against the Olympics here.

Does he have a point?  Or is there still value in having virtually all of the countries of the world come together in a huge athletic event?  Might the Olympics be reformed rather than killed?

Olympics choose Tokyo & wrestling

Tokyo won the 2020 Olympics, beating out Istanbul and Madrid.  I’d say that was a good choice.  Also, the International Olympics committee voted to re-instate wrestling as an Olympics sport, beating out baseball, softball, and squash. [Read more…]

Olympics post-mortem

The Olympics are over.  The United States took the most medals (104), including the most golds (46).  China came in second, with 87, 38 being golds.  The television ratings were huge.  I resisted at first, but every time I would surf by, I would be drawn in.  What were the high points?  What were the low points?  Any other observations about the games and their significance?

Pride vs. Gratitude

When Gabby Douglas won the gold medal for individual women’s gymnastics, the first thing she did was shift the glory:

“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” These are the first words 16-year-old gymnast Gabrielle Douglas tweeted after she won the all around gold medal at the London Olympics yesterday. On the stadium floor, Douglas also told a reporter that ”the glory goes up to Him, and the blessings fall down on me.”

via Gabby Douglas Wins Gold, Gives Glory to God | Urban Faith.

It seems to me that this is not saying God made me win, as some athletes seem to, but a perfectly appropriate expression of faith at a moment of great personal joy that could easily be a celebration of one’s self.  That strikes me as a valuable spiritual discipline, the ability to do that.   When a person achieves something great–in sports, in a profession, in life–it is possible to respond with pride or one with gratitude.

HT:  Sarah Pulliam Bailey