Recently, we had a nice discussion on Facebook about the Filipino dream of hosting the Olympics. Raffy Alunan initiated the discussion. He said that if we can get our act together, we might be able to bid to host the Olympics 24 years from now. Of course, we all want to see our country host the Olympics but we also know what that would entail if we are to be awarded that distinction. As early as 2007, the London 2012 Olympics budget had already increased to $14.4 billion.
If we’re anything like the Japanese nation — industrious, united, team players and patriotic — then 24 years would be more than enough lead time. Japan hosted the 1964 Tokyo Olympics — that’s 19 years after World War II ravaged Tokyo and other major Japanese cities. The Tokyo Olympics was more than just a statement that Japan made — it heralded the rise of Japan as top world exporter and technological titan. Japan went from the devastation of war to become the world’s second biggest economy, dislodged only recently by China. Like Japan in 1964, China used the 2008 Beijing Olympics as its statement to the world that we’re now into the so-called China Century.
Just as Japan overcame the devastation of war, we too must overcome our personal and national hurdles if we’re to aspire to host the Olympics two decades from now. Why personal and national hurdles? That’s because many of our national hurdles — poverty, lack of social justice, lack of nationalism, lack of infrastructure and so forth — are mere products of our collective personal failures as Filipinos. We’re our worst enemies if we cannot reform ourselves and repair our damaged culture.
The 1954 Asian Games that was held in the Philippines could well be the biggest sports event that we’ll ever host. In the 1954 Asian Games, we met all the organizational and logistical requirements and we even placed second to Japan in total gold medals won (Japan — 38, Philippines — 14 and South Korea - 8).
With the immense requirements to be able to host the Asian Games these days, with more participating athletes and more sports events compared to that of 1954, the Philippines would need to undertake a major transformation to be selected as host country. That transformation involves character change as well as financial abundance. We must also have the technological standard that has become a major consideration in selecting Asian Games host countries.
It will require lots of money. Even if we have it, there’ll be the usual carpers that’ll question why that money shouldn’t be spent on other projects that directly benefit the poor. It’ll require a good national security situation to get the nod of other Asian Games countries to compete here. These points are more than enough to discourage any administration to make a bid to host the Asian Games. It could become politically costly.
A recent revelation about rampant sexual activities among the Olympic athletes could present another complicating factor that will prevent us from playing Olympic hosts. It turned out that in this London staging of the games, they ordered 150,000 condoms in order to keep 10,000 competing athletes safe.
According to Daily Beast’s Henry Krempels in his July 20 article (“What goes on behind closed doors after the events are over”), “At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, the Australian organizing committee distributed 45,000 free condoms in the village. Eight years later in Beijing, 70,000 condoms — labeled with the phrase ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ — were exhausted and 20,000 more were ordered. This year in London, the Olympic organizing committee is providing 150,000, using special dispensers which contain a message promoting sexual health.”
How do you think our Catholic Bishops will react to that?
Krempels added: “In May, US hurdler Lolo Jones admitted that maintaining her virginity was even harder than training for the Olympics. By July, her US teammate Hope Solo, the soccer team’s goalie, had taken to the press about her life as a professional athlete, recalling rambunctious all-night partying with the actor Vince Vaughn and sneaking back to her room with another celebrity she declined to name.” Per Krempels, Solo estimated that 70 percent to 75 percent of Olympians are having sex during the games.
It’s easy to imagine how prone the athletes are to irresistible sexual urges. They’re one of the finest physical specimens. They’re in peak condition and all that tension and frustration they encounter during competition will naturally gravitate to the best stress reliever – sex. Another report said that some couples did it openly, even in grass lawns between buildings.
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) had opted not to interfere with the sexual activities of the Olympic athletes and preferred to promote safe sex instead. They released a statement on the issue saying “Leave it up to the discretion of each athlete, as it is a private matter.”
Who knows – two decades from now the IOC might even decide to make fornication a regular Olympic sport. The sexathon would theoretically top all spectator sports and rake in the revenues.
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Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”