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Foto: Maarten Zeehandelaar

I am not a professional athlete. Nor am I an amateur athlete. But most of all, I am not a sports spectator. ‘Bread and circuses’ is what I think, when I see a stadium full of people like this one. Don’t get me wrong, I embrace the spirit of the Olympics. Actually I am enough of an idealist to wish that we could all settle our differences by playing games, by competing in sports. But I am also enough of a realist to realise that sports, however popular they are, will never become the One deity that might unite mankind. The Olympic spirit is heart-warming and hopeful, but our wars will prevail. It’s simple really: In sports one has to excel, in an army one just has to kill; A coach has to bring out the best in people to defeat the opponent, a general the worst; athletes have to live for health and peace of mind, soldiers have to strive for death. But most of all, athletes get distracted by hate, whilst armies are fuelled by it. You see what I am getting at, don’t you?

Oh, I know what you think. Does he really have to be this negative and depressing about something so great as the Olympics? Isn’t this the one moment where cynicism and gloom should be cast aside, in order to be able to cheer freely, from the bottom of our rejoicing hearts?

That may be so, but you see, I am not the writer of this text. I am the woman you see coming up to the bottom of the photograph. And I can’t remember for the life of me how I got suckered into coming here.


Texto por: Peter-Jan Vermeij


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Copyright © 2010-2017 Maarten Zeehandelaar.