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London Olympics 2012

Watching the Olympics I asked myself over and over again why an individual chose his or her particular sport, and what passion and drive moved them from a simple love of a sport to become an Olympic athlete? It's a question perhaps without one absolute answer. I've also been curious if innate talent is at the root of the decision as to which sport an individual chooses to pursue. Are great athletes born or are they nurtured and made? I've read repeatedly that it isn't necessarily that certain people are gifted and just naturally excel in a particular area.
2012-07-25-olympicbanner.png Well, another Olympiad has come and gone, and for the XXXth consecutive quadrennium, Canada somehow failed to top the medal count. But cheer up! Not only did we take home the most bronze per-capita (just in time for the coming penny shortage!), but the nation's editorial pages are practically brimming with encouraging sentiment about national pride and junk.
2012-07-25-olympicbanner.png With the 2012 Olympic Games over and all the results locked in, Canada has finished 13th in medal standings. So, was the London Olympic Games a success or a failure for Canada? Some may justifiably argue that since we did not reach our goal, Canada failed. But, I'm not so sure I'd agree.
This edition of the Summer Games have been a treat to watch in terms of style. From the colourful athletes' parade that kicked
2012-07-25-olympicbanner.pngThe Olympics have a great atmosphere, dedicated athletes and the spirit of goodwill. That leaves us with but one characteristic of the Olympics to explain why we don't care about the Olympics when the Olympics aren't staring us right in the face: the games themselves, and here, I think, is where the problem lies. It's that the sports competed in at the Olympics don't keep our attention. In other words, they are not interesting to us when not framed by the Olympics.
2012-07-25-olympicbanner.pngThe Olympics should feature unsuspecting citizens plucked from their normal jobs and forced to compete against similarly amateur athletes from around the world. It's simple to implement, and the benefits are practical for countries and entertaining for viewers.
2012-07-25-olympicbanner.pngAs he is the most decorated Olympian of all time, we may never see another athlete accomplish what Michael Phelps has in our lifetime. But, does that make him the ultimate athlete of the Olympic Games?  Since creating their Competitive Index for Sport, Mitchell and Stewart found that it was possible to rate the competitive quality of a given sport and the chances for success, whereby the lower the competitive index score the greater chance an individual stood to be successful at the Olympic Games. After seeing the index, it's no wonder why winning the gold medal in the 100 metre is one of the most coveted medals in the world.
2012-07-25-olympicbanner.pngIn two days, three Jamaicans won medals in sprinting. These victories mean a lot more to the country than deciding who can run fastest while stripped down to underwear. There's a marvelous symbolism involved. Even, perhaps, revenge. For almost three hundred years Jamaica was more or less owned by the British and ruled from London.
Monday, Aug. 6th 2012 was a holiday for some Canadians, offering a long weekend to relax and enjoy the summer weather. However
2012-07-25-olympicbanner.png Earlier this week three Sudanese athletes who had been part of their country's Olympic training squad also disappeared from the Olympic village and are expected to seek political asylum in Britain. There are certain to be empty seats on planes returning to a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa after the closing ceremonies. The Olympics are a tribute to human athleticism and dedication but they are also an anachronism in which some are competing for glory and pride whereas, others, like gladiators, are competing for the lives of their families or in fear for their personal security.