April 09, 2008

The Olympic ideal

Matthew Syed in today's Times:
Is there, in the history of human literature, a document more spuriously idealistic, more breathtakingly drunk on its own self-importance, than the Olympic Charter? It is all “preservation of human dignity” this and “harmonious development of man” that, as if the quadrennial festival, so beloved of dictators and tyrants, is about something more than one talented athlete trying to deny another a place on the podium.

Even at its most gallant - with sportsmen competing within the rules and not doped to their eyeballs on designer steroids - the Olympic Games are about nothing more than the naked pursuit of personal glory.