Letter to the Future

Watched the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympics. Seems an inappropriate name, given that paraplegia is only one disability. Why isn’t it called the Special Olympics?

The theme of the ceremony was Letter to the Future.

So here’s mine.

I’m writing to you at the conclusion of the Beijing Olympics; a spectacularly staged event full of pathos and humanity.

Once again we focused (mostly) on the wrong thing; the winner. The truth is, competition is filled with failure. Glorious failure for almost all who compete. But the real gold here is people coming together and playing; sharing an experience. That is the beauty of sport. The one thing the Olympics is not about, is a medal count. Missed the point so badly.

Here are the words of Coubertin‘s Olympic Creed:

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

And while the event successfully symbolised China’s emergence as a significant world force, I draw attention to the failure of the Olympic Truce and the inability of the event to make any real impact on the Olympic objective; to make a peaceful and a better world.

Maybe next time.



  1. I should have known that. I wonder if it’s a common misconception.

  2. I just looked it up; ‘para’ means ‘beside’ or ‘beyond’ so ‘beside’ works.

  3. There already is an event the special Olympics. It is for people with intellectual disabilities.

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