I love sports. Can’t get enough of it. I don’t care if it’s college, professional, or even little league, I love to see and partake in competition. A couple of things go into this. The first reason is because seeing someone sacrifice their bodies and almost defy physics with what they can do is not only mesmerizing, but truly inspirational. And the second reason, is simply because sports give people from around the world a chance to come together and celebrate something that they love.That’s one reason why I love the World Cup. For those reasons, watching and playing sports is one of my favorite things to do. But when I found out that the Winter Olympics were coming on for like a month, I shrugged, and continued to watch something else. Why? Because when there’s sports like Curling and Figure Skating, the only people you can really root for are people that look like you. And sadly, those people for me, don’t exist.
Now I understand why this is the case. With no real “snow” or “winter” seasons in some countries, it’s kind of hard to practice, let alone compete at the Olympics as a person of color in some cases. But my question isn’t why black people aren’t involved. My question is : how can you call yourself the best at something when not everyone is competing? With the exception of partially recognized sovereign states and territories, all 194 countries in the world compete in the Summer Olympics in at least 1 event. But the Winter Olympics only holds a little under 90, leaving over 100 countries out of the picture. This is like saying you can… jump rope the best in the entire world, but only a small group of people even get the chance to compete. This seems unfair.
To me, this seems like a matter of class rather than a matter of skill and athletic ability. In sports such as Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding, the equipment itself costs insane amounts of money, which is money that the next prodigy in Ghana or India doesn’t have. And for that reason, only the wealthier nations are competing. Whereas in a sport like Track and Field, all you need is legs and a desire to win (with the exception of Oscar Pistorius, the man with no legs who competed in Track and Field in 2012). This brings me to the answer behind my confusion. I feel like the Winter Olympics were made and to be enjoyed by rich people. Plain and simple. It seems like there is no way for people without snow/money/resources to compete, which only leaves the Germans and the Canadians. And let’s not forget the good old U.S.A.
So I personally try not to watch the Winter Olympics, simply because whenever I see the competitors with their speed skates and their shiny snowboards, I can only wonder what a kid in Ethiopia or a man in Thailand could do with the same resources and facilities. If only someone could make the equipment cheaper or teach kids in different countries how to play these sports! But that wouldn’t happen, because that would make it fair and they don’t want that. To be honest I don’t even try to sweat about it anymore. I’m just getting ready for Brazil. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go school my brother in game of soccer.