Friday, August 19, 2016

Olympic Thoughts

Good Morning!

Sometimes current events make me reflect on the very soul of who we are as people.  I often write about how we treat each other as people, and how very important this is in regard to our special needs family.  I think when we are insensitive and uncaring in one respect it makes it easier to be the same way in the next.  

I have been watching the Olympics this year.  And as the games have continued there has been an unfortunate theme; a shocking lack of sportsmanship.  We have been watching athletes wagging their finger at other athletes, calling each other out for doping, refusing to shake hands, and worse.  Hope Solo called her opponents "cowards".  Ryan Lochte went out making trouble and then concocted a story about being held up at gunpoint, only to run back to the US and leave the rest of his buddies behind.  

It would be easy to dismiss this as boorish behavior by young athletes but I think it goes far deeper than that.  It shows that we continue to drift further away from empathy and sensitivity.  That striving to be the best is an excuse to act any way you please.  I always voiced the same opinion about Tiger Woods. Being the best in the world and being the most visible player in the world should mean you hold yourself to a much greater standard, not excuse you to be at a much lower one.

So what does this have to do with special needs?  I do believe that each time we accept behavior that degrades or disregards someone else, we make it that much harder for special families to gain the respect that they need.  One form of disrespect is never far from another.  Especially when our children are watching.

Athletes like Hope Solo, Ryan Lochte, and others should be immediately and publicly removed from further Olympic involvement.  Sponsors should declare such behavior as unacceptable and pull any endorsement.  The Olympic committee should uphold a code of conduct that any athlete or team that is found in violation should face disqualification and loss of award.  There has to be accountability.  

Be well and God Bless.  Tom

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