David Schussler

Anyone who watched the opening ceremony for this year’s Olympics experienced the energy and desire of the Chinese people to be free. The artistry and pageantry were fantastic and all was performed to perfection. As the athletes paraded in, the cheers for the USA, for Australia, and for Iraq among many free countries were contrasted by the noticeable lack of cheer for Iran and the lack of solidarity with North Korea. Yet there were cheers for all. The artistic depiction of Chinese history and the music, dance, and song of tens of thousands of laughing, smiling citizens was heartwarming and you could feel that this is an opportunity for great change in China. A people that display such emotion and desire to be a part of the rest of the world will no longer tolerate oppression, having their newly acquired economic and social advancements threatened, or having their country’s leaders oppress or threaten others.

The Olympics and the Olympic spirit as perpetuated by world athletes serve as an example of how competition deserves to be performed on our planet. It does not matter what we look like or who we pray to, we are equals in sports competitions except for our depth of accomplishments. Competition on all levels of life should be fair with all players following the agreed upon rules. Good life convention.

Olympic athletes come from all walks of life and set a great example for us all. Some African runners run through the countryside to train with no track available. This year’s Lebanese swimmer has no Olympic pool to train in. American athletes have a high school and university system to train through. The Chinese athletes have no university system but have a state sponsored training program. Most all of the athletes come from diverse backgrounds and experience a variety of training opportunities yet they all compete equally and have the same opportunity to win a medal. All must follow the same rules. If only we could apply this simplicity to the rest of life.

By the time the Olympics are over, millions of Chinese will have experienced tens of thousands of athletes and visitors from the free world as they all mingle and interact together socially. Good or bad, American and European music, internet, clothing styles, movies and business attitudes (among many things) are already being emulated and sought by much of the population of China. The freedom of speech and expression is also naturally sought by all. The delight of yesterday’s crowd in the Olympic stadium with the diverse and happy crowd of athletes can only serve to excite the desire of the Chinese people for more freedom and peaceful interaction with the rest of the world. This year’s Olympics can only serve to be a catalyst for the greatest opportunity in centuries for the Chinese people to make a historical change for the good and by the passion of the opening ceremony crowd, they are ready.

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