The Rio Olympics were over this morning our time here in SL, at the closing ceremony, that was televised live on Channel EYE.
In my view the significance is that 87 Countries won medals, with 10 Countries winning Gold for the first time, and included, Fiji for Rugby sevens and Puerto Rico for the women’s singles in Tennis, a wholly unexpected delight to them.
It is about participation. Qualifying for the Olympics alone was a feat let alone participating and winning a medal. It is about effort, dedication, hard work, and a bit of luck. Being hail and hearty on the day, all play a part. It is hard on all those whose expectations were dashed. They are the ones who will have sleepless nights about what might have been. It is no difference to exams, especially the students finishing their A levels this week, whose life at school seemed with this goal ONLY in mind. It is NOT the end of the world. I am planning on a series of seminars with youth to explain to them, that it is actually a blessing in disguise not to gain entrance into the Sri Lankan University system, as the previous blog entry will illustrate, as one’s misplaced hopes may not materialize.
I wonder if anyone realized that the President of the International Olympic Committee spoke in French, even though he is a German. That is because English and French are the only official languages of the Olympic Movement, and along with the language of the Host Country of a particular games, are the languages used for the announcements.
While English is universally understood as a link language internationally, it is anachronistic to have French being used, when hardly anyone at the games understands it! However that is the way of the world right now, and there is NO campaign to hurt French pride!
This then follows that the two principal English speaking Nations of the World, The United States and the United Kingdom, (for the Olympics they use the word Great Britain to prevent confusion) came first and second respectively.
It was a stellar effort on the part of the UK which is the first Country to Host an Olympics, where they bettered their medals at the next one. That is an especially creditable achievement for a Country of 65M people. The US coming on top with NO Russia to threaten their dominance was expected! After all they have 324M people as the third most populous nation. China with 1378M is still the most populous, so they must be disappointed with their 3rd spot on the medal tally.