The Olympics as the "U.N. of the spirit" -- what an uplifting idea in a great article by Gary Kamiya. If the two Koreas can march as one, even if only symbolically, there's hope for us all.
A friend in Brazil e-mailed me in Australia to say she cried when she saw the Koreas together in the opening ceremony (so did I). She said she's a believer in humanity.
I think belief in humanity permeates all that is good about the Olympics and is something Americans and Australians share. It explains the optimism of our countries.
-- George Finlay
I was going to suggest to some American friends that they try to catch the torch-carrying finale to the Olympic opening ceremony which moved me to tears. Then I remembered that not only are we Canadians watching the coverage live, we also have commentators whose contracts are not based on payment by the word.
As the torch came into the arena attached to the wheelchair, our commentators fell silent and stayed silent for 20 minutes except to mention the names of the torch bearers. We were thus able to experience the moment as it happened, unfiltered by the embarrassing blatherings of American commentators too emotionally constipated to allow themselves space to reflect on what we were seeing.
Wonderful moment and I am genuinely sorry you Americans were not allowed to share it.
-- Eric Eales
Gary Kamiya's coverage of the Olympics is world class. Give him the Gold!
-- George D. Chapman
I think Gary Kamiya would profit by taking a trip away from the Olympic hype and seeing a bit of real Australia. As a "Yank" who has lived her for two and a half years, I've seen the face Australia wears daily, instead of the one they paint on when company is over.
I'm amazed that there is no mention of all the Aboriginal protests he passes on the way to the Olympic Village. Perhaps a trip to Towoomba, in Queensland would be edifying. I'd suggest that the main feature of his visit should be to the Toowoomba Athletic Oval, where he could take a photo of the E.S. Nigger-Brown Stand. (Yes, you read it right.) On the way, he could stop in at some Aboriginal dwelling-places and see the squalor they live and die in. Perhaps he could take a look at the deaths-in-custody figures, along with average life span, infant mortality rates and other data which shows just how horrid the average Aboriginals' life is. Then he could compare these figures to those which apply to the indigenous peoples of the USA.
The "bow" to Aboriginal culture and history given at the opening of the Olympic Games bears as much relationship to the real history of the genocidal treatment of Aboriginal peoples as a Disney movie does to real history.
-- Paul R. Gunter