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The Olympics

23/07/2012

Sport is an interesting thing. It is something so seemingly pointless, yet at the same time it is one of the greatest inventions of all of mankind. I think that no one would disagree with anyone who pointed out that sport doesn’t feed the hungry in Africa, or save lives in Syria. However sport fulfils something more, something that has ached within the collective consciousness of humanity since the day that those cavemen, upon discovering fire staggered out of their cave, looked out into the world, and said “yes, this is my domain, what shall I do with it?”

Humanity has long been the master of Earth, we may do as we please. But when those athletes stride forth on Friday, lead by the ever-shining beacon of hope that is that fire, that symbol of human achievement, of the collective achievement of all of us, that is when humanity is seen. Sure the Olympics will not save lives, they will not build baby incubators, and wars will not be stopped. However as a species, we are more than the individual, we are the collective, we are those who hunger and thirst for the sweetest of fruits, that of progress and brilliance.

I think no story of the Olympics sums it all up better than this. There is a man who is running in the 400m track and 4x400m relay who is a double amputee. He cannot walk like the rest of us, he has every reason to think he could never get anywhere near the heights sport. But here he is, running in the Olympics. Oscar Pistorius is the man who is the Olympics. He shows that undying spirit of humanity, that hope that Hazel finds in The Fault in Our Stars, that feeling that yes, as we go through life there are times where we can stand high. There are times that we can rise above the hostilities of our world, or the faults in our stars, because they can be overcome, they can be surpassed.

Sometimes I doubt, I doubt that I can achieve anything, I wonder whether I am the Patrick, eking out that meagre life while the sword of Damocles sways above my head. Humanity struggles with self doubt but for every moment of doubt somebody has, there is a man like Oscar, who had so much to doubt, so much to feel sorry for himself for, who will be running alongside champions who have been honed from birth, who have everything.

I really hope he wins, but he is better than any torch no matter what.

~Sean

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