For me, sportsmanship is the whole point of the Olypmics; it is supposed to remind us of the best humans can be and achieve. I always want everyone to do their best, no matter their race, gender, sex, culture, or even what nation they are from. I never want anyone to be injured. I never want anyone to be so consumed with winning, they forget their empathy or humanity. I never want people to let the politics of their nations, make them treat each other with disrespect or hatred. The Olympics is supposed to be a safe place for the best of human health, strength, speed, agility, and endurance to shine.
When Melissa Trudinger of Boho Bird Jewellery suggest a we find inspiration in the Olympics to make jewelry, I was a little hesitant. The coverage so far I felt had been sexist. I had seen athletes treat each other badly (judo) based on politics and there were stories reporting anti-Semitism. There were stories of Brazilian workers in Olympic Village being sexually harassed or assaulted. Don’t even get me started on the the lies and frat boy behavior of the U.S. swimmers who are an embarrassment–if not a good reminder that people aren’t “heroes” or role models just because they are winning althletes. Character is what defines a hero.
Which leads me to what I found inspirational during the Olypmics: the Dutch Dressage rider, Adelinde Cornelissen who stopped mid-routine, deciding not to risk her horse Parzival, who was recovering from the illness he had caught from an insect bite. Imagine you work and train hard, every day, for years and then your horse gets bitten by something poisonous. Your team is all counting on you to help medal. The vet says your horse will recover and should be fine. The money that was spent on getting here is an enormous amount. Your family and friends are counting on you. National pride is a huge pressure on your shoulders. But, only you have ridden and cared for this horse for 15 years so only you know what he is capable of, and so…she withdrew from the Olypmics to protect “My buddy, my friend, the horse that has given everything.”
I loved the thought that this women was putting aside her Olympic dreams for the health of her horse–but, is this just media hype that we are falling for? They medaled twice in London in 2012. The horse is 19 years old, was not scoring as well, and she had already scratched them in the European Championships the previous year. They were going to retire this year. Should she have even taken him in the first place? I don’t know.
There were bullets found in the area where the horses were being kept. Let’s face it–this is a sport only available to the incredibly wealthy. I can understand the anger and frustration of people in poverty being appalled that these horses are treated better than they are. In fact, the incredible expense of putting on these games is shamefully wasteful and could arguably be put to much better use. I preferred the Olympics when it was strictly amateur. At one time, I think the idea of sports reminding us of our common humanity through the victory and defeat, was a good one. Now, I’m not so sure. The greed and corruption is oozing out from beneath the curtain.
I can only hope that the Olympics is still a place for us all to be ambassadors for our nations. I can only hope people learn about each other, make friends, and help foster peace in our world. I can only hope the spirit of the Olympic Games is alive to help foster true sportsmanship among mankind.
I know this was not the “jewelry” post you were expecting. Sorry. I swear there is jewelry and I even used a hopeful, bright pink! The pendant was made by Gaea Cannaday. This is a very different look for me, although my favorite vintage Czech and German beads are in there. I even threw in some Greek ceramic as a hat tip. Here are all my hopes:
Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio is also disgustingly cheerful.
Linda Anderson of Cherry On Top Design has also tooted the fan horn.