The Daily Illini

Editorial | Keeping politics in mind during the Olympics

Back to Article
Back to Article

Editorial | Keeping politics in mind during the Olympics

During the politically divisive time we live in, the Olympics could either serve as a reminder to stay educated about the state of the world, or as a time to distract from politics and focus on unity.

Keep politics in mind while you watch the Olympics

Every two years, more than 100 countries come together to showcase each nation’s athletic abilities. This year, the Winter Olympics takes place in PyeongChang, South Korea, which comes with some controversy for its neighbors in North Korea.

While the world may be coming together to celebrate each country’s athletic success, it’s important to remember the political and social issues each country also brings. The Olympics happens for around three weeks, and while it’s fun and enjoyable to sit back and watch the talent, that doesn’t mean the world should forget what’s really important.

Over the past week, North Korea’s portion of the unified Team Korea has stirred up a lot of controversy that cannot be overlooked.

Countries such as China and Vietnam are still under communist regimes. Eritrea, which has one Olympian participating, is still the country with some of the worst press freedoms.  

While the Olympics is happening among arguably elitist athletes, people in Madagascar, Haiti and Kenya are still among the poorest countries in the world.

Viewers and Olympics fans shouldn’t overlook what’s really going on in each of these countries. The talent of each athlete is not an adequate representation of what each country is dealing with internally.

It’s something to keep in mind while you’re watching.

Watch the Olympics for the simple love of sports

Othe other hand, you might simply just love sports, a passion many Americans and other people around the world have in common. This is nothing to be ashamed of; viewers and sports fanatics are allowed to love sports without worrying about politics.

Some might even use sports as a way to distract themselves from all the horrific events happening around the world and in politics in the first place. We all need a little bit of a distraction sometimes, or it would all be too much to bear.

No one should have to constantly be worrying about the state of the world at all times; it isn’t healthy, and you deserve to be happy. Americans usually watch sports without necessarily worrying about politics and world conflicts, such as any NBA basketball game on TV, or even the Super Bowl a few short weeks ago. Why should the Olympics be any different?

The Winter Olympics only come once every four years, so when it is on we should all take a step back from politics and find a way to enjoy watching the different athletes from various countries without politics getting involved.

It isn’t the responsibility of every American to be aware of the politics behind each of the countries involved in the Olympics. Even if you were to know all the logistics, the Olympics shouldn’t be a time to reflect upon them, but rather a time to rejoice that sports have the ability to momentarily unify instead of tear apart.

Leave a Comment