The Olympics Don't Matter

The Olympics Don't Matter

Society and sports
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Every 4 years, countries come together in the name of sports. These athletes represent the countries they’re from and they are truly the best of the best. All the competitors in the Olympics are the best in their field. They are the best, runners, divers, gymnasts, swimmers… the list goes on. These are the athletes that set records and dedicate their lives to training..

Whenever it’s an Olympic year, a country hosts the Olympics and millions of people come from all over the world to experience it and television stations cut and change air times to show the Olympics, some channels literally show the Olympics 24/7. Our society rejoices in the Olympics and it gets the most news coverage and publicity.

But maybe it shouldn’t.

Sports have been the downfall of our society. Every year millions of people become obsessed with sports like baseball, basketball, and football. These national sports leagues make billions and trillions of dollars off of viewers. We are a society that has become so absorbed in sports; we are willing to pay the price.

I am a huge fan of football specifically and I spend plenty of money on tickets and merch, but every time the Olympics rolls around, I find myself unenthused. The Olympics is all hype. All I see and hear on the media during Olympics season is, the Olympics. The Olympics and other sports have become such an essential part of our society that we forget what really matters.

Many countries have the opportunity to host an Olympic event. Right now, the Olympics are being hosted in Rio. Since the Olympics is such a big deal, people are willing to risk their lives to go out of their way, fans and athletes alike, to attend the Olympics no matter where they are being held. Some of these countries could have dangerous civil relations that athletes and fans are putting themselves into. Other countries carry deathly viruses and diseases endangering the health of the people who don’t already live in the country.

When the Olympics are on, the news focuses on Olympic events 24/7, pushing aside other, seemingly less relevant, news stories. While everyone is focusing on the Olympics, people are missing out on major stories going on in their own countries.

Countries would live everything to have the honor of hosting the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics brings in a lot of wealth to the places hosting it. Rio, where the Olympics are this year, is a very poor country. The athletes and fans travel there for the events and are forced to stay and compete in very poor conditions.

Though the Olympics are very exciting and entertaining to watch, we cannot lose sight of what is important. Instead of absorbing ourselves in sports, we should pay attention to our own country and local news and events, not just sports.

Cover Image Credit: Open Clip Art

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Towson Swimming And Diving's Relationship With The Special Olympics Is So Important

Supporting such a great foundation has been an incredible experience.

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It is evident that people with an intellectual disability face a difficult, uphill battle to achieve acceptance and other benefits of society that most people take for granted. The Special Olympics is such an important tool for these people, which I have recently had the privilege to learn first hand.

Each year, the Towson swim and dive team helps coach and work personally with a Special Olympics program. We set aside a Saturday morning after practice each month to work with local Special Olympians in the pool. This consists of providing them with practice and helping them complete it to the best of their ability.

Through doing this, I have met so many lovely, genuine people.

Our team coming together to support such an important foundation is truly the best feeling. It is incredibly moving to not only meet the athletes, but actually get to know them. We spend so much time talking and working with these Special Olympic athletes on how to get better, and it makes the meet hosted for them at the end of their season even more heartwarming for us to witness.

This past weekend, our team hosted and competed against Drexel University's swim and dive team. We had a break during the meet to bring in all of our Special Olympians to each race in one event of their choice. From the moment all of them walked onto the pool deck, the joy they brought was naturally contagious. There is just something so sincere about each of these Special Olympians' smiles that when all of them were together sharing the spotlight, the place was radiating positivity. It made me realize that everyone was there to simply celebrate the ability of these people, instead of focus on disability.

The opportunity to help Special Olympians become better at the sport I love made me realize so much. After high school, most Special Olympic athletes do not get the opportunity to compete anymore on teams or individually as I do, which is why unified sports events are so crucial. Teaching these Special Olympic athletes how to compete and seeing how excited they could be reminded me to enjoy the competition I am so lucky to be surrounded with.

The image of our home pool exploding with joy and energy for these Special Olympians who were so proud to be competing in a race is forever engrained in my mind.

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