Olympics politicized

The Olympic looks like a rich man’s game.
An exclusive country club of photogenic faces,
the exceptions of which stand out rudely against
the art-directed scenes and so are avoided by the cameras.

In this age of Tiger Woods,
African physical prowess on white turf,
where are the black swimmers? black gymnasts?
black beach-volleyball stars?

And it’s all stars. I saw an unknown come in second
in the bike marathon. The news people didn’t know
anything about him, there hadn’t been a profile,
his win was unexpected, he was a Portuguese.
They ignored him. Perhaps he had not been vetted.
We saw him only in long shot.

And all those chances the athletes get
in front of the camera, to say something,
to speak out against what’s happening in the world.
The diciplined and obviously intelligent athletes
no doubt have an opinion, a normal average consciousness,
but nothing.

The Olympics should not be politicized?
But they are politicized with the Iraqi soccer team.
The Iraqi soccer team was a “Rocky Balboa story,”
overcoming the odds, flown in by British troops,
no longer in jeopardy of Uday’s wrath.

The Bush people are using the Iraqi team in ads,
and the media are using them to drive a point home.
I heard an NBC commentator say -actually say-
when contemplating the Iraqi team:
“It’s as if the world were at peace.”

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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