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“I was never aware of any other option but to question everything.” - Noam Chomsky

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Let’s look at what the Olympics represents in many people’s eyes. Ideally it shows a group of individuals who've developed an appreciation or aptitude for a particular sport and developed their skill, discipline, dexterity- which usually involves some form of physical exertion or even, on the rare occasion, some thought.

This idealistic view often masks the underlying reality that the nature of many Olympic sports, in terms of their accessibility to people, depends on the particular country an individual comes from. For instance, it would be difficult to imagine any of the poorer third world nations entering the dressage event or even providing the intense training resources required for most gymnastic events.

To obscure things even more, some countries go the other way – allocating a wholly disproportionate amount of resources through training, sports facilities and financial support to hopefully ensure their athletes success (this is, of course, apart from the host nation). For some countries achievement in sport acts as a contrived barometer for how successful they perceive their nation to be. To maintain this perception some countries will go to extraordinary lengths to train their athletes from a very early age, with the expectation of getting that near-perfect performance or simply winning on the world stage. More than a few people would find it abhorrent if we put an animal through the same experience. This partly explains the link between conditioned nations (partial to Olympic achievement) and proportionate medal success.

So, when a person watches the Olympics and whilst it would appear everyone competes on a fair playing field, each individuals' route to the games is often fraught with more hurdles than others-this is not even withstanding those who will never get the opportunity. In many ways, the Olympics is a testament to human inequality often dependent on a country’s wealth and/or its degree of government sponsored indoctrination.

If we take a step back, the whole concept of measuring individual, team or national success through sport is flawed from the outset. And yet, the really absurd part of this is how Olympic success is shamelessly promoted and beleived in by many as some defining factor which determines a country's standing on the world stage. 

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