There's a lot of comment here about the politics/commercialism/restrictions of the Olympic event
. Most of it reasoned. But there's been little comment about the participants, apart from a few comparisons like unto The Hunger Games
I watch the Olympics. I enjoy the Olympics. There is no more beautiful sight to this old cripple than to watch some young body, male or female, surpass what we consider our physical limitations. Doesn't matter why they are there, what their reasons might be - they press the borders of human frailty by performing feats heretofore unimagined. Maybe they want the money from endorsements and merchandising, maybe they have ulterior motives for later activities, maybe it's just plain pride. These kids - for the most part they are kids
- put a lot of blood, sweat, & tears into getting there. Maybe they're being exploited, but that does not reflect upon their art, their expertise, their ability.
I cannot imagine anything more beautiful than the floor exercises or the bar exercises. They demonstrate what the human engine can do, given practice and will and a dream. La misma
with the diving and the track events. Say what you will about the venue, these participants are physical and mental ideals to be lived up to. (I say mental because, no matter their ability to speak or do mathematics, they had/have the mental ability to continue, to force their body into exertions that the body wanted to deny - if you don't like mental
, call it force of will
.) These folk have learned a discipline very few of us will ever know - or have ever known.
Why have they done what they have done? I neither know nor care their personal reasons. They are proof positive that the human body can be more than compulsive consumption, more than sex organs and opinions. And they give us dreams of grandeur that we'll likely never achieve, but at least know to be possible. They give us dreams
So, I watch. Mayhap I cannot create art
, but I can damned well appreciate when I see it