The modern Olympic games are based on competition between individuals, the exacerbation of national identity and the cult of the performance… It’s interesting to see that sport is indeed the new model for management in economy : competition, performance, devotion of the individuals for the company… and give the best of yourself otherwise someone else will quickly take your place !
Against those values of competition, we would rather promote cooperation, solidarity and sense of the common interest.
On the other hand, the Olympic games have turned out to be a giant advertisement operation and a war between all the major brands to catch the public attention. Astronomic amount of money is spent in marketing and television spots to make people consume even more than usual. Do you have the same shoes or the same T-shirt as your favorite athlete ? Do you have a TV large enough to fully enjoy the competition broadcast ? Isn’t it so cool to drink the same sodas and eat the same chocolate bars that are officially supplied to your national team ? And so on…
The stadium today is the “New temple of the mass consumption”. But we know that this mass consumption, synonym of infinite growth, leads to dramatic shortage of resources, increasing amount of wastes and pollution and exploitation of the major part of the world for the exorbitant needs of a few ones.
Any convinced ecologist should refuse and denounce such a commercial exploitation of the Olympic games, as well as most of the other sport events contaminated by money.
The next Olympic games will take place in summer 2004 in Athens. Chiche! has imagined that we could use this opportunity to claim our values and our political project, in organizing a counter-event called the “Ecological, non-violent and cooperative Olympiads”. The goal of this event would be to present cooperative games in which there is a common objective and only winners (or losers if we fail !). The cooperative games could be parodies of classic sports (like cumulative jump or slowness contest) or represent real achievements of common interest (build a solar panel, travel by bike instead of car, select our wastes etc.).
The main idea is to demonstrate 1) the superiority of cooperation between human beings against competition 2) that an ecological way of living is possible, without going back to caverns ! If we successfully fulfill our entire objective, we can imagine that all the participants will receive at the end a chocolate medal (from fair trade of course).
Obviously, the best would be to organize this in Greece, a few weeks before the official games, at the moment when the focus over the Olympics is building and when the media are desperate for original subjects. This supposes that a Greek organization would be willing to participate. If this condition is missing, or if it’s too complicated to coordinate, than other European country could be selected.
This project is for the moment just an idea. I’ve written it to see if the FYEG members react positively and if other people are interested to participate to such an event. I already have received some good comments during the FYEG national meeting in Ghent but Chiche! will need more support if we want this project to succeed. So don’t hesitate to contact me !