We're approaching the end of the London 2012 Olympic games. Millions of people have had their eyes glued to their television screens for the past few weeks, indulging in the lavish but oh-so intense and inspiring careers of the world's best athletes. Records have been broken. Heroes have been made.
What's not as endearing are the millions of dollars invested for this two week event. Take the 157 million dollars spent by Adidas to knock out Nike as Brits favorite sports brand. Or the opening ceremony budgeted at $42 million dollars. But hey, the world is together to "play" and "unite" shouldn't it be celebrated?
Most people would probably agree. But then we see a satirical image, a minor shift occurs. Although blaming capitalism for all the world's problems is ineffectual -- if not counterproductive -- the image highlights a certain inequity and injustice in the world, especially in the face of such lavish celebrations. And a question is elicited: Just how honest and honorable are the Olympic games?
Is it really about a world uniting in healthy harmonious competition? What isn't underlined is the racism, discrimination, greediness and shallowness of which the Olympics reek. Our "happy and unified world" seems to be a disappointing and expensive illusion.
The Olympics shouldn't be undermined in its entirety. After all, they are an amazing organizational and athletic feat. And if an alien landed on Earth, and we explained that every four years almost every country regrouped to play games, its jaw would probably drop to the floor with amazement.
Well what if we could tell that very same hypothetical alien, that these games also contribute to saving the world? Wouldn't that be truly incredible and inspiring? What if the money invested by the Olympics' corporate sponsors wasn't only for visibility but actually benefited a cause? Wouldn't adidas gain a lot more positive press and gain significant consumer loyalty if their 157 million dollars went towards a societal contribution rather than shameless self-promotion? Not just dazzle; but engage and help.
Wouldn't that truly capture the Olympic spirit?
*For more photos visit Wonder JLaw Wall