Going through life without values can be disorientating so, it being 2012, I sought the Olympic Movement for guidance. There are seven Olympic values – seven, by convention, being a spiritually significant number. And very noble they are too. Just don’t think about them too much – remember this is sport, and thinking feels somehow contrary to the Olympic spirit.
But I couldn’t help it.
The Olympic values are:
Respect for whom? It doesn’t say. Fascists? racists? drug cheats?
Excel at what? Once again, it doesn’t say. Bomb-making?
Friends with whom? I can think of a few people who are probably best not to be friends with.
The other four are not strictly Olympic, they are Paralympic. Para-athletes are not expected to respect, excel or be friendly – but these lucky people, presumably because they are more valuable, get to have four of their very own.
The Paralympic values are:
Courage to do what? Suicide bombers have courage. And that man who swum among the oars during this year’s Boat Race – okay so he’s complete dickhead, but you can’t say he lacked courage.
Now I wonder if this relates to those determined not to watch any of the Olympic games on television.
I hope I’m being very Olympian and inspiring people to switch off this Summer.
I presume they don’t mean equality of outcome or else the Olympic Games would be very dull indeed and it would contradict Olympic Value No 2. No, surely they mean equality of opportunity. Everybody should be allowed to compete irrespective of race, colour, gender etc. The Olympic movement is resolutely against discrimination. This brings to my mind that nutcase on the Norwegian island. Perhaps he killed indiscriminately because he was against discrimination. You could say he was an equal-opportunities psychopath. In fact, he embodied all seven of the Olympic values though perhaps scored low on Friendship.
I suspect these ‘values’ were compiled by a junior member of the Nike marketing department.
And what happened to Amateurism?