Emad Barsoum writes: Inclusion and Diversity ( 4 ) .. Tokyo 2020
This time the Olympic games has unique conditions, the games that were delayed for a year because of the pandemic, the games that are held without spectators, the games that have strict measures for protection against infections with the Covid, that makes life hard for athletes, their coaches, judges, and the organizing team.
At the opening ceremony, Japan has shown the world its spectacular technological capabilities, as usual, yet mixed with a fascinating show that narrates the history of Japan, and how it was built by research, inventions, and progressiveness. Indeed, that is not obscure for a country like Japan. Though the message reached its climax when we watched a group of around One Thousand and Eight Hundred drones that appeared in the sky above the stadium where the ceremony is being held, and those drones have formed many shapes in a brilliant show, ended by forming the shape of the globe, telling us we are one united body made of billions of bonds, whether the modern highly sophisticated technology or united by the classical five circles, the flag of the Olympics.
Later, watching all the Olympic teams marching in the stadium from the four corners of the earth demonstrated a true portrait of inclusion and diversity, impartiality, and humanity. Even some teams from countries in conflicts have stood side by side in the arena of sports, forgetting their conflicts and their political disputes or racial and ideological differences.
One of the facts that demonstrated how sports and clean and honorable competition is elevated far above conflicts and crimes against humanity was the participation, for the second time in the history of Olympic games, of the Refugee Olympic Team that is composed of Twenty Nine athletes from Eleven countries but united by the Olympic Flag.
Contemplating this supreme illustration and thought, what if we can make the earth living in a daily Olympic games’ atmosphere! Wouldn’t be heaven on earth, nevertheless, the reality stroke my mind harder reminding me that we cannot even forget our differences and unit to reject any form of exclusion and bias in our community. Since we are still witnessing every day how different groups are trying to acquire more privileges over others by misinterpreting and twisting facts to serve individual interests. While the governments and their oppositions are playing the same non-Olympic game of hypocrisy and leading a double standard situation.
The reality is that the Olympic games are like watching a movie or going to a concert, where you spend the time of the show indulged in a different glamourous world, a fiction created temporarily by talented artists, where you forget about the real world during that show, and when it’s over we return to the agonizing realism of the absence of true inclusion and real diversity.
Whilst listening, during the opening ceremony, to the great eternal song by John Lennon “Imagine”, I wished to witness the day where such a legendary song would be the national anthem of the world…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
Imagine no possessions
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one