Thursday, 23 August 2012
The Slow Olympics
I'm not being anti-Olympic events (except the ones I think are silly) but I am anti the ceaseless jabbering hype, the relentless trumpeting of nationality, the way our national team was "expected" to win medals, as if they owed it to us! (I write as a Brit.)
When I take over, this will be the model:
In addition to the Fast/Superfit/Relentlessly Competitive Noisy Olympics, and the utterly wonderful Paralympics, there will be a Slow Olympics. cf the Slow Food Movement, I guess. More of that in a mo.
For the Fast Olympics:
There will be no national teams. People will compete as individuals. When they wish or need to form teams, they can use totemic or clan-type names. "The Sea Otters." "Lightning Strikes." etc
It follows that there will be no national anthems, or grandiose pseudo-national anthemic "Olympian" tunes.
There will be no hyper-expensive artificial facilities, unaffordable by many countries, and so encouraging events that are much more likely to be won by people from richer countries. Bikes will race on roads, not in velodromes. If a country hasn't got natural white water, then there won't be a kayak slalom etc. Events will be tailored to suit the host country. If we don't do that, the Olympic Sybaritic Pomp and Circumstance Committee will run out of nations wealthy enough to put the Fast Olympics on!
There will be no exclusive deals with multi-nationals offering sponsorship, and no products damaging to health will be allowed as sponsors. Heads of state will only attend as private individuals. Celebrations will be only and entirely for the skill, speed, endurance of individuals.
For the Slow Olympics:
There will be a gathering of people interested in the quality of their own lives, and therefore of the lives around them. The goal of any activities will be calmness, understanding, and compassionate insight. The vehicle for such insights will be beauty. People will sort themselves into various activity groupings, and they will be transported to sites of natural beauty, where they will hike, bike, meditate, sing, dance, drink wine and chat, whatever is on offer. They could row, sail or canoe, provided they didn't race, provided the object of the exercise was - exercise, and living in the present moment.
At any sign of haste (eg jostling for the "best" spot, wanting to hurry on because something even nicer is happening an hour later) participants will be asked if they would like to start the activity again. After participants have completed a certain number of experiences, they will be given a certificate celebrating their work in the Slow Olympics movement, and asked to move on so others can take part. They will be invited to share contact details with other certificate holders, to form an international network of people seeking to live in the present moment, to show care for themselves and those around them, to integrate themselves with the powers of nature and the universe, to...
Good God, is that the time already? Must dash....