There are many cultural differences between members of separate nations. Often these differences come about because of the different sports that those nations play. I’m nearly an outcast in my own country with my knowledge of rally car racing and Formula 1, sports largely ignored by my fellow Yanks. While men and women alike yammer on about runs batted in, yards rushed by ends and the latest about Labron or whomever, I have an internal monolog about gurnee flaps, barge boards, and the futility of the FIA’s efforts to slow the field down by limiting tire technology. I wonder about backroom payoffs by Pirelli in the WRC. I know the new Subaru car will help Petter, but that his single world championship was achieved because Loeb was given team orders to slow down and preserve the Constructors Championship, something that made him cry when he knew he could have won the Drivers and the Constructors World Championship in his first real year of competing. I know that boycotting Formula 1 may not effect their bottom line, but it’s making my life better by not watching the silly drama off the track. I was falling asleep at the lack of passing anyway.
The point is, sports define a culture. Cities are brought together under the possibility of greatness from their formerly losing teams. The Olympics are coming to China and many in the world want to deny China the chance to host. The protestors hope to raise world awareness of China’s human rights abuses. But I challenge that the only people who aren’t aware of those problems at this point are probably those who will do nothing about it anyway. So what’s the hurt? Why not give China the opportunity to grow? Change truly comes from within. Why not give China a chance to change. Their Communism won’t last forever. And something like the Olympics may be one of the things that connects them more to the rest of the world and shows them the path toward freedom.