Sports and the soul of competition
You look into the eye of your rival, he stares right back. With a quivering hand and a slight twist of your wrist, you serve. He steps back and unleashes a volley, which you parry. He smashes it back but it goes out. Point, to you. You win, he loses.
At the heart of every sport is competition. It is that will to win, to triumph over your rivals, to best them in the sporting arena that drives one to compete at the highest levels. Forget that rubbish about beating yourself; you had to master yourself if you wanted to beat your competitors. How could you face them, if you knew you weren’t fully prepared?
No, it is that urge to smash that ball down the table or court, to volley the football into the net, to power down the 100m lane into the first position. Top dog. Numero Uno.
That is why the greatest nations have always put an emphasis on sport. The smartest rulers understood this basic need for competition. Xenophon, who some say invented beauracracy, observed, whether factually or through fiction, how Cyrus the conqueror made it a point to always exhaust his soldiers when they weren’t on the battlefield. Whether it was a gladitorial bout or a simple sport of running and throwing, it was always a priority to keep soldiers occupied and fighting their own battles against each other while on the march.
And that is why in peacetimes, sports like the Olympics are greatly celebrated. It is the event to mark the greatest human beings on earth when it comes to physical and mental toughness. And it is no wonder why it is so prophetic to see China dominating in this Olympics. Forget the conspiracy theories of judges cheating or atheletes taking drugs. Those who have watched the Chinese compete know that they are deserved winners.
This is their Olympics and it marks the asendency of the one true Asian dragon. It is sad to see the US fade away; but a new world order is upon us and the 2008 Olympics is just the dawn of that new era.