Olympics Begin with An Equal Chance

I love the Olympics!

From the first notes of Aaron Copeland’s, “Fanfare for The Common Man,” until the Olympic cauldron is extinguished at the close, the games enthrall everyone who watches.

The 2020 Summer Olympics officially opened this past Friday in Tokyo. Sadly, the COVID pandemic delayed the games for a year and muted its usual gala celebration. Yet, the artistry we all enjoy in the opening moments of past Olympics still came through revealing Japan’s breathtaking creativity.

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206 nations marched into Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, each with their own flag and represented by their athletes set to compete. These flags, these nations, came together under the Olympic five interlocked colored rings. The five rings, along with their white background, reflect at least one of the colors found in each of those 206 flags. The Olympics opened, as usual, highlighting the diversity of those nations while emphasizing how these games brings the world together.

Olympics follow a winning motto

The motto of the Olympics – Faster, Higher, Stronger – invites the athletes to reach their absolute best. Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, expanded the motto for this year to: Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together! He points to how the world has socially distanced, remained separated for a year, and now celebrates as one.

Bach’s addendum underscores the sentiment of the 2020 Olympics motto, “United by Emotion.” Certainly, excitement is high perhaps more than ever before. As each game is played, we are treated to the individual stories of dedication, discipline, and sacrifices made not just by the athletes but also by families and friends and neighborhoods. Emotions run deep.

The Olympic creed brings all of these nations, along with the deep emotions, together under one purpose:

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

An equal chance is the essence of the Olympic spirit

There is another mantra by which all of the games are held: Every athlete has an equal chance! Every athlete competes with an equal chance to take home the gold. Metrics to discern how high, how fast, how high, how strong – exactly – are carefully defined and recorded. Having an equal chance is the driving force that pushes athletes to compete fairly and binds them together.

Having an equal chance is a reason to participate and to celebrate. The Olympics invites us to the spectacle every four years, staggered every two years for the winter and summer sports.

An equal chance should also define our voting process

Similarly, every four years finds us voting for a U.S. President. We revere the idea of having an equal chance as we vote. The thinking is that each of us has an equal chance to be heard as we cast our ballots. This political contest should invite and rest on fairness.

Unlike the Olympics, however, the nation fails the test. Even now, as reported by the Brennan Center for Justice, eighteen states have already enacted 30 laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote. The spirit of the Olympics has much to teach those who support such laws.

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) echoes the Olympian spirit as it gives every voter an equal chance. EVV promises to make All Votes Matter! It does not matter in which state you live. It does not matter if you vote among the plurality of your state. Your ballot will play a part in the presidential election if EVV gets a chance.

The Olympics are now. So is the time for all of us to have an equal chance.

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team

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