Olympics could focus more on good ol’ human decency | TheUnion.com

Olympics could focus more on good ol’ human decency

I’m glad that the Winter Olympics finally came and went. Even though the games brought people, and their money, from the outside world to see a beautiful part of our country, they also brought controversy.

The games bring athletes to show their prowess. It is unfortunate that most of those that came were not considered good enough to be aired during NBC’s nightly airing of most of the games.

Sure, the medals are important, but the idea of bringing these young people together to compete with one another sometimes loses something in translation when the only thing that seems to matter is how many medals were won and what color they were.

It’s too bad that some of the bigwigs at the network news stations as well as the International Olympic Committee cannot take a little direction from the people who have made the Special Olympics so successful. Ribbons or medals for all that compete. The idea of just being there and competing is enough to show the world and themselves that they can do it.

A wonderful story came from a cross country skier that came to the games from one of those small ex-Soviet satellite countries bordering Afghanistan.

The young man and his coach arrived late, but without skis, or gear. A volunteer took him to the companies that were outfitting most of the skiers and got him all of the gear needed.

The greatest thing about this story is not that the young man won his event, but that he was the last to qualify for his event and did make it into the finals. He was not excited because he won, but because he was able to compete.

Now, that is a story.

I also believe that the opening and closing ceremonies have grown out of proportion. The amount of money spent on these ceremonies could easily fund a small nation for at least a year.

This winter they did utilize the athletes from previous Olympic games, and it could have come off really well if that had been the end of it. But, no. We must gather not only our athletes, but our singers and dancers, too. I could really see this coming off well if everyone did their little song and dance for free.

Donating your time and your expertise to such an extravaganza would do a lot for your psyche, as well as your public relations.

Here I go again, expecting the rest of the world to think that if everyone donated a little time or money, would be the answer to all of our problems. Strange as it sounds, though, it might just work.

The International Olympic Committee itself, is in a little hot water for accepting, and even expecting, bribes from countries that want to hold the games. Now that the little secret is out, perhaps there will be a better way of selecting the countries that will hold games in the future.

The judging of ice skating has been in a turmoil for at least 50 years. Now, with the Canadian couple putting up such a stink over the way their event was judged, perhaps something can be done there, too.

Believe it or not, somewhere in the middle of these Olympic games, I found myself comparing the games to life in Nevada City.

The City Council and the Planning Commission took over the roles of the International Olympic Committee and the judges, too.

Life in the city is much like that in the Olympic Village. All is well as long as what you want to do does not disagree with the General Plan. And heaven help us if you want to build anything that disagrees with a General Plan that needs fixing itself.

Ho, ho … Could that be the answer? So simple it almost slipped by. A change in plans that were made without a possibility of alterations is like pulling teeth from a donkey, but it can be done, and actually it is done occasionally, with placing the matter before the planning commission and paying the fees.

Here we go again, paying fees. And that in itself has risen to such an amount, that it is almost like paying payola. The only problem is, you can pay the fees, but that in itself is no confirmation that the “judges” will vote for your idea.

Rosalee Evans, a resident of Nevada City, writes a monthly column.

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