Pensamentos líquidos 123

III. The Olympics: Rio 2016, the gold

Let me wrap up with a last post on the Olympics. And this post is a homage to a few athletes. So many more would deserve the highlight, but let me choose a few, from my biased viewpoint.
Michael Phelps. He is an outstanding swimmer and his comeback was out of this world. He was not as dominant as he once was, but he proved himself so brilliantly. 28 Olympic medals mean something terrific. For someone like me, who loves swimming, it is a pleasure to be able to witness his career.
Katinka Hosszu. She transformed herself into a magnificent swimmer. Yes, Katie Ledecky smashed world records and she is an amazing crawler. But Katinka swims medleys, which means she is more versatile. I do not want to discuss the effect of her partner and coach on her achievements, but since they started this type of arrangement, her marks improved immensely.
Simone Biles. How wonderful is she? The difficulty level of her routines is out of this world and she masters what she does. She might have had a slip on the balance beam (to me, the most amazing of her routines and, before her, I did not even like the beam), but her performance was superb nonetheless.
Oksana Chusovitina. She is 41 years old and she still made it to the vault’s final. That made me happy. I hope she does not get any injuries and continues challenging the ageing odds.
Mo Farah. I like him very much. Not only is he a magnificent athlete, he is, from what I hear, such a decent man. And his victory at the 10 000m, after the fall, has to bring a happy tear to one’s eyes.
Usain Bolt. He is probably the greatest sprinter of all times and it is a joy to watch him run.
I know there were other great achievements I am not mentioning. I am not minimising their worth, but I cannot keep on writing for days… and days and days…

And days...

Poemas 52


I’ll be all shattered and bruised
Once you’re done with me.

But for now I seem to forget
All the pain you will cause me
Because I can create perfect
Images of us together in disguise.

Is it hope? Could it be?
Is it hope? Such strange feeling
Is it hope? Expectation of faith
Is it hope? Or deceit?

Now you are the addiction
That overwhelms the senses
Challenging the probabilities.
Rising above the horizon.

Is it hope? How to see?
Is it hope? Fallen dream
Is it hope? Truth concealed
Is it hope? Not for me.

I’ll be all shattered and bruised
Once you’re done with me.

[Maio de 2016]

Pensamentos líquidos 122

II. The Olympics: Rio 2016, the ugly side

We have all heard about the Olympics’ curse: countries invest millions in infrastructures that later down the years are rubbish in ghost areas. Despite the theories of creative destruction, my take is that this is not intertemporally beneficial for the countries that organise the Olympics. But I do think it could be different. I fear it may not be different in Brazil, though. But I hope I am wrong.
Nevertheless, I would like to focus this post on what I disliked about this Olympics and that goes beyond the tardiness in the preparations and the unfortunate Olympics curse. The two sides of ugly: some spectators and a few athletes.
First, I want to talk about the spectators. I loathed the behaviour of some spectators.
For those spectators that booed athletes, that were noisy when silence was paramount, that misbehaved when others were trying to perform at the highest level, after years and years of effort and sacrifice, let me tell you bluntly: it is NOT ok! And do not disguise that foul behaviour in cultural clothes. It is simply not ok!
Do you know how it is to get up at 5 in the morning to do your first workout in the early morning, to then attend classes, to be in pain for months in a row because your muscles are torn with stress injuries, to undergo surgeries because those stress injuries took the best out of you, and to come back, with a lot of pain and sacrifice, and to do gym work in the afternoon and to study when you get home because, after all, you’re also a student, or a working woman or man? Do you know? Do you even care? Do you have any idea of the pain these athletes go through? Do you have any idea of the effort they have to put in to be competitive? Yes, the most famous get quite some money out of it, but most of them are not famous, most of them need to work on alternative careers for when their sports career is over. Do you have any idea? No, you just seem to think it is ok to mock their effort. So, this means nothing to you, I’m sure, but I have no respect for you as spectators and that undignified behaviour is something people will remember Rio 2016 for. I hope you are happy about that.
Second, I want to talk about a few athletes. Unfortunately, some sportsmen behaved equally bad. I fully understand the need to unwind after so much pressure, but some things are just not ok. And violence is not ok. From vandalism to attempted rapes: you should be better than that. Of course, athletes can also be bad people, and some are. Again, it is NOT ok! And again, you deserve no respect for those actions.

Pensamentos líquidos 121

I. The Olympics and why I love them

I love the Olympics. I love the Olympics because of what they represent: the chance for individuals to surpass their human fragilities and limits. 
It is just sports, do not think I see it differently. But in each of those individuals - those athletes - you have on person, one human, who wants to do more than what should be physically feasible. And they manage, they surpass themselves in ways one can only conceive. And that is as good as it gets for us mortals out here. The sense of surpassing our awfully human limits.
There are other great things at the Olympics: the camaraderie, the breaking of social and cultural barriers, the acceptance of the link that unites us all: humanity, no matter skin colour, no matter religion, no matter other beliefs. But, for me, there is something too special in having individuals surpassing themselves, individuals surpassing the greatest of all times, carving their names on history books, setting themselves apart, being recognised after putting so much effort and perseverance into one thing.
Yes, this is why I love the Olympics: athletes there transcend their human characteristics to elevate themselves to immortal achievers.