most likely as a result of the 2008 summer olympics beginning today (i just heard on npr that they planned it to start “on the 8th minute of the 8th hour of the 8th day of the 8th month of the 8th year of the millenium” b/c they like the number 8, wow!) and my recently growing interest in mma, i got to thinking about the ability of sports to bring people together.

just take a look at the cal student section or the raider nation or… the olympics (i mean that’s the whole point of the games right?) and you’ll have a hard time arguing that people will gather together and become unified over something as simple as people running or bouncing on a trampoline.

but i also think that sport has the potential to bring together not only people that are rooting for the same team/country/side but also people in general, as human beings.

this is kind of embarassing to admit but i had a really hard time relating to russia and thinking anything good about it until i started reading about fedor and saw him fight. as in, that mixed martial arts fighter was my entry point into seeing russians as real people (as dumb as that sounds). and it’s corny but sport transcends language and many cultural boudaries. running is running, whether you’re chinese, american, turkish, brazilian whatever.

i experienced a similar thing when i saw karam ibrahim suplex his opponent three times in a row in the 2004 olympics in athens, like all of a sudden egypt became a real (modern day, not biblical time) place with real people who have lives and interests and thoughts and feelings like i do (though ibrahim does remind me of a buffer pharaoh from 300 haha)

the image of hundreds and hundreds of sportsmen and sportswomen from around the globe congregating in a single place to compete in events that pretty much all able-bodied humans can do (though at peak athletic levels) is a really exciting and inspiring idea and i’m really excited to watch some of the events. i just wish wrestling were a prime time televised sport 😦 i bet it is in russia.


~ by justinhong on August 8, 2008.

One Response to “sports”

  1. Eight is a lucky number because it rhymes with “success” in Mandarin (and probably other dialects as well). I heard it’s only a Hong Kong thing, but I guess it has spread throughout Chinese culture.

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