I have decided that President Bush should not go to China for the Olympic Games, and, No, I'm not proposing a boycott...I just don't want George W. Bush representing America any more.
Frankly, I am completely against a boycott of any sort connected with the Olympic games. It is an affront to the very idea of what these games stand for...The noble concept that there can be a starting point for a gathering of nations in peace. To suggest a boycott is to say that we cannot, as nations, set aside our quarrels to honor the achievement of some of the best among us.
I have been around a few of Olympic athletes over the years, and except for a very few in certain glamour sports, they work their asses off every minute of every day during a competitive cycle with both eyes on the stopwatch and the calendar, sacrificing much and receiving little.
Joe Jacobi and Scott Strausbaugh represented the USA In Whitewater C2 (two man decked canoe) in Spain, for instance. The American athletes trained every day for three years living on roughly $12,000 a year. They got some travel support and some equipment support but little else. They survived on dedication and commitment and won a Gold medal, in which all of America shares, and then went back to their lives very little compensation for their efforts except for personal satisfaction, a really cool hunk of metal upon which a beer fits neatly (I can testify to this), and a lifetime of afterglow resulting from that one moment in history in which they were the best in all the world at their athletic discipline with all the world as witness.
I recently heard that Joe Jacobi will be one of the announcers for the Whitewater events in China.
If you ask an Olympian they will tell you that all the training and suffering is worth it, just to get to walk in the opening ceremony. International politics have very little to do with things in the American athlete's mind, and I suspect that this is universally true.
Let the politicians boycott but please don't dishonor the effort and sacrifice of America's, and the World's, Olympians by making the actual athletic events themselves become a political statement.
No one on the outside has any business interfering with the competitions...The International Olympic Committee is quite capable of enough idiocy in and of itself.
And frankly, though I hold Jimmy Carter in great regard otherwise, as far as I'm concerned his Presidential order barring America's athletes from participating in the USSR Olympics is a black mark on President Carter's legacy and his soul.
It was an ignorant thing for an otherwise great man to have done. Let us not repeat it.
Today marks my 1100th post in the WhitesCreek Journal.
Thank you for your indulgences!