I may have had enough of athletes wrapping themselves in flags and eagerly waiting to sing the state song. It is one thing to be proud of one’s accomplishment, but it’s totally different to believe that you are “representing” a country (I can say with confidence that no one is representing me in Beijing or in Albany or in D.C. for that matter).
Sadly, the Olympic games showcase not just amazing athletic achievements but also political relevance. Most media will keep track of who (by country!) has obtained the highest number of medals and declare winners in such a way. This “us vs. them” emphasizes the notion of the nation-state and its aggressive and arbitrarily established borders.
I don’t know how much different things would be in a free world, but I bet we’d see a lot less flag wrapping. And the ceremonies might not even feature national anthems.11:55 am on August 20, 2008 Email Manuel Lora