Olympic stories capture our attention
The 2018 Winter Olympics opened this past week in PyeongChang, South Korea! With it comes a focus on the competitions along with a plethora of individual and group stories. This year opened with two:
- A unified North and South Korea team entered the stadium in the Parade of Nations together under one Unification Korean flag.
- Two members of the mixed North and South Korean women’s hockey team carried the Olympic torch up the stairs to the Olympic caldron.
These Olympic stories underscore the spectacle of all nations coming together, presenting their best athletes to compete. Part of the Olympic creed proclaims the goal, “…is not to win but to take part.”
Olympic standards have consequences
The judging standards of the games are high. True, there have been judging disappointments in its history. Another story points to the corrective steps and consequences of unfair manipulation: No Russian flag was presented in the Parade of Nations noting Russia’s Olympic exclusion due to its state-backed Olympic doping program four years ago. Still, the Russian athletes participate this year as members of OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia).
Olympic stories begin with dreams
Olympics never are only about the multi-day events. No, the stories often begin the day after the last event of any given year. That’s when young aspirants begin to dream and prepare and strive to be counted among their country’s best. It was fitting that four Korean artists sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” to capture what could be.
Imagine winning. Imagine nations uniting, peacefully, to compete and show off their best efforts. This kind of aspiration is among the best we humans have to offer each other. The Olympics are a celebration of this best, this inclusion, and these accomplishments.
These stories are marked with hardship and disappointments and challenges few otherwise encounter. The “win” for these aspirant athletes is to compete—to be counted among the many who make it. It is a special bonus to return home with a bronze or silver or gold medallion to mark their specialness.
The dream visions emerge from an athlete’s hopes to be included, to meet the high standards, and to be counted. We who watch are treated to the strength and artistry, the technique and nuances, and the sheer grit these best of the best have to offer. It encourages all of us to imagine what can possibly be realized.
Olympic games can inspire our elections
There are lessons to learn here that can apply to our presidential election process. Perhaps we can take a cue from these young aspirants and the Olympic legacy carried forward through the centuries. Every Olympic athlete’s participation counts. Their home nations, large or small, compete equally on a world stage. Fairness standards apply to everyone.
Equal Voice Voting (EVV) promises similar values. EVV means every vote cast for a presidential candidate counts. It also means that every state matters. Voter inclusion, not voter (or vote) suppression, is vital for our democracy to be strong. The significance of every state’s voice underscores the importance of our republic.
As always, I urge you to become aware that our presidential elections can be more inclusive and fairer. Imagine your vote counting regardless of which state you call home. Equal Voice Voting requires neither Constitutional amendment nor participation in any interstate compact.
Allow your curiosity to discover how ingenious of a construct our Electoral College really is. I highly recommend a recently published book by Tara Ross, an attorney from Dallas, entitled, “The Indispensable Electoral College.” Few understand our Electoral College’s history and how it gives representative voting voice to citizens and states alike. This book helps fill that awareness gap.
Engage those you know about this issue. Encourage your legislators to step forward to make a difference for your vote and your state in our presidential elections.
Let the spirit of the Olympics make a difference for you—for all of us!