The 2010 Winter Olympics are being held in my province. I am of a mixed mind about this. While I am not overly involved in winter sports and I do not enjoy watching it on television, I struggle with whether I should actually be proud that the Olympics are here and what exactly do I teach my children or do I just gloss over it like it's not happening.
You see I think the Olympics were originally supposed to promote friendship and unity and a coming together of many different countries, cultures and nations.
Does it still stand for that? I think not.
The Olympics are only for the elite.
For the first time since 1988, the Olympics are being held close by. Close enough that I could hope aboard a ferry and take my children over to Whistler and watch. Watch what? Well anything really. Who cares, it's the Olympics! I'd go to just about anything just for the experience of being there.
But is this actually a real possibility? No. The tickets are so far beyond any ordinary person's means that doesn't even begin to define the word expensive. Some tickets would take a month's worth of work. Six months of food out of my children's mouths. You get the picture.
Who then can afford to attend? The volunteers maybe, I don't know how it works for them but I live to far away to volunteer. The wealthy? The celebrities? In short, the elite.
So we spend millions of dollars improving the roads, building venues, advertising, marketing etc.. just to be told that I can't afford to actually go to one of the events? Does that really make sense? I think not.
They say the Olympics will be a big economy boost to the area and there are lots of outside benefits to holding them in your country. I don't see how that can be. They've spent so much money, our already congested city will become even more congested with tourists that I really think we'd be lucky to break even on the debt load of hosting.
So again, I struggle. I should be proud that my province was chosen to host the Olympics, that international attention will be upon Vancouver and Whistler and in part I am proud. I see others in my community that go all shiny eyed as they talk about the importance of the Olympics and what it means to me and I wish I wasn't so cynical. That the Olympics isn't just about getting a higher brand recognition by Corporate sponsors. Kind of like how Christmas is over commercialized. They've over commercialized the Olympics.
The other part of me... well I'm tired of society being divided into the haves and have nots.