The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 29, 2014

The Olympic billboard


The Daily Item

— It is a shame what the Olympics have become. Instead of a positive celebration of the similarities in all of us through athletics, many nations and activist groups have made it a way to force their views to the world.

Recently, in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics, two suicide bombers have successfully caused disturbances and have gained attention on a global scale. The two attacks are still under investigation by Russian officials, but it appears as if the attacks are a part of a larger scheme given the recent threats. However, these devious events are the most recent of a long history of modern Olympic sabotage.

Three modern Olympics were canceled due to war in the last 118 years. Whereas the ancient Greeks had no political interference with their games at all. Despite many wars, they never cancelled the Olympics in 1100 years.

Other examples in the last century include the 1972 terrorist slaying of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. In 1980, Moscow held the Winter Olympics. The year prior, the USSR invaded Afghanistan and the whole world frowned upon them, especially the United States. In protest we boycotted their games and kept our hard-working athletes at home.

Before the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the USSR lead a multi-country boycott in retaliation. This was tremendously unfair to all of the athletes who trained many years, just to compete during their prime condition. Many people’s hopes and dreams were crushed just because Russia and the United States were in the cold war.

The Olympic games are the biggest billboard in the world. It was built by the athletes who train hour upon hour. However, the athletes are not the people who use it.

It is the governments, terrorists, and extremists who are using this billboard to convey their own ideas. The Olympics is not the place for this.

Aidan Snook,

Selinsgrove