The opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games have become events themselves, bookends to the highly anticipated competitions they bracket. Given the estimated billion people who watched both the Beijing and London opening ceremonies, the pre- and post- event spectacles arguably attract larger followings than the competitions themselves. During these non-competitive portions of the games, we experience national pride in our "home team" combined with the collective joy that accompanies a veritable international carnival, along with the aura of seemingly indestructible confidence radiating from human bodies at their physical peak. As delivered through our televisions, everyone gathered in the stadium appears to be friends, and once again we’re reminded of the humanistic spirit behind the modern Olympics — the creation of the "why can't we all just get along?" vibe that arrives the moment the first team enters the venue.
Is This the True Peace?
The five interlocking rings which brand each Olympic gathering contain symbolism toward this noble goal of world peace, "represent[ing] the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic games." For athletes from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceana, the two-week window of competition attempts to temporarily transcend the social and political realities facing them at home, offering a “union” that illustrates the humanistic hope of a life lived in peace under the global sun.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]