Essays About

Against Athletic Pride

Watching Olympic swimmers paddling through the water with gangly legs and arms, heaving their heads up for air, unequipped with fins or gills, I question the pride of the champions. Goldfish in an aquarium move more gracefully. Is not a contest of humans swimming like a contest of fish running? If animals competed in the Olympics, few humans would win medals. An elephant or rhinoceros would hurl our strongest wrestlers from the mat like plastic dolls. Our fastest sprinters would lose the 50-meter dash to their cats. Schools of sardines would dominate synchronized swimming.

Feats of intellect should be accorded more honor than feats of athleticism. To be an Einstein is to comprehend more of physics than any other mind in the known universe. But to win a gold medal in the Olympics is merely to stand atop one's narrow class of competitors, human beings, who share the same evolutionary handicaps. The Olympics are really the Special Olympics.