Olympian Friendship: it’s simple

It all works out. Last week, my computer crashed spectacularly, but I had inches left on Apple Care, so they fixed it, but still I couldn’t work but then I did that shrugging thing and just went to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival but then I missed being able to post a video, but THAT was okay, too, because I couldn’t decide between being uber-sentimental or unleashing invective anger about gay rights in Russia. Neither one is particularly helpful.

I have never liked the argument for gay marriage rights that begs the opposition to allow love but I’m straight and so can easily be impatient with and intolerant of anyone standing as an obstacle to rights – civil and the less legally concrete right to flourish. When there’s a deliberate squashing of a human’s spirit, there’s injury to the whole human spirit and sentimentality is small compensation.

But derision, contempt and unbridled disdain was not worth indulging in. It’s not what I want to invite into my head. Besides, I have less contempt for that Russian taste for oppression and more a sad pity for that rotting thing that persists in their psyche.

And so I had enough time to say something simple. Because it’s simple. I have known more than a few Olympians. Wilma Rudolph was my coach. Debra Sapenter, my coach. Although I’m sure there are exceptions, I have never known an Olympian who did not, above all else, value the human being with all its strengths and weaknesses. Because that is at the heart of sportsmanship. It’s what makes winning worth celebrating.

And now my computer’s back where it belongs, the film festival’s over and I posted a snippet of this on Instagram and the official NBC Olympics liked it and gave it a little heart.

So. As I said. It all works out.



2 thoughts on “Olympian Friendship: it’s simple

  1. I’m glad to hear you’re up and running again. You make reference to your coaches. In what sport? Have you competed?
    I’ve been fed up with all the emphasis placed on politics and discrimination surrounding the Olympics. People seem to forget that it is an occasion to honor the dedicated athletes, that it is THEIR time to shine, and that should be the only concern.
    As for the Soviet mind set, i saw enough of that when I lived overseas to convince me how corrupted it is.

    • Thanks! Luckily, I do a lot of work by hand (drawing, painting and writing), so I wasn’t entirely paralyzed by the computer crash.

      I ran – track and cross country. The year I might have attempted to make the team, the US didn’t go. Doesn’t matter. While I was good enough to be All American, I was a disinterested runner and a fracture in my foot, so – ha!- again, it all worked out. 🙂

      I like your idea of focusing on the athletes – I’m the opposite of a cynic, so I love all things noble and full of character. Still, I don’t think the Olympic Games have ever been an occasion to honor athletes and it’s never been the only concern. The very nature of the games, to be selected for teams representing nations and their collective sense of courage and pride, makes it political. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, not at all. Certainly, Olympiad after Olympiad, we have seen it as an arena to test the world’s resolve to include everyone – a test we haven’t always passed.

      The good news is that we can turn off or avoid any of the issues surrounding the Olympics that are off topic. It’s wonderful that the broadcasts really do focus on the sport of it all and the beautiful stories so many of the athletes come with.

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