Friday Quote(s) – Five Reasons to Love the Olympics

Image from Google Images

Image from Google Images

There is no escaping the 2016 Olympics and Para-Olympics at the moment.  It has been thrust into our lives whether we like it or not.

So how can those of us who are not sporting superstars make the best of the Games?  What have the Olympics ever really done for us? With a nod to Monty Python’s ‘Romans’ sketch, from the film Life of Brian, here are five reasons why the Olympics and Para-Olympics are so brilliant for those of us who are not elite athletes.


1.   A sense of belonging

You belong to the world.  Don’t be afraid to be part of it.

~ Thomm Quakenbush, Flies to Wanton Boys

Many of us regularly follow particular sports.  For me and Hub, it is mainly cricket, rugby and tennis, with a spot of golf and snooker thrown in from time to time.

Both the summer and winter Olympic and Para-Olympic games provide the opportunity for total sport immersion, often in disciplines about which we know very little.  How easy it is to become instant experts in the differences between fencing with a foil or épée; the importance of a good pike in diving; and the advantage of an ankle pick in a wrestling bout.  Yes, we suddenly find we can speak with confidence over dinner about the finer points of the modern triathlon.  So what?  Without noticing, we have expanded our minds; learned new things; seen a broader vision of the world.  We might even be spurred on to take up a new sport, having been shown what is possible.  But most of all, we get to feel like we belong, as part of an incredible global community.

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“I have a bath once a month…

….whether I need it or not.”

Who do you think said this?  I have long been aware of the saying, but have usually heard it in comedic contexts.  In fact, it appears that it was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I who spoke in all seriousness about her regular bathing habit.  In Tudor England, the majority of people either could not afford hot water for bathing, or were fearful that communal baths might be responsible for the transmission of the plague.

Of course, the concept of bathing goes back much further than the sixteenth century.  Here is a potted history of bathing.  This site highlights the prowess of the Greeks and Romans in building elaborate bath houses.  One of the most famous and best preserved Roman baths in the UK, and indeed in the world, are the wonderful Roman Baths in the City of Bath.

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The Roman Baths, Bath, UK

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