While you enjoy your Olympic coverage a little more before it's shipped off to Rio next time (man, I'll have a blast with the social-economic differences in that one!) Hey, let's take a moment to remember the 1904 SAVAGE OLYMPICS...
But in 1904, aside from the human zoos—exhibitions set up so fairgoers could gawk at Indigenous Peoples—that were on display at the World’s Fair, something else happened that made the games that year particularly troubling.When it comes down to it, the Olympic games just mimic a sort of battle between one nation and another. Instead of guns and bombs, we are one-upping each other with the extreme nature of the human spirit and pushing the bodies to levels that one probably shouldn't be pushed to.
James E. Sullivan, the head of the 1904 fair’s Department of Physical Culture—a group meant to promote American athleticism, decided to have some of the Indigenous Peoples from the exhibitions at the fair compete in sporting events against white athletes as a way to prove white superiority. According to Slate, Sullivan called it the “Special Olympics,” but it was officially dubbed the 1904 Anthropology Days because Sullivan brought William McGee, of the fair’s Department of Anthropology, in on the action.
Michael Phelps is now the record holder for medals and he's retiring. Such a shameless show of a useless talent. It's not like his off the air actions depict anything but gluttony. His use of drugs, while it's entirely his choice, do not really make him such a grand role model for the youth. As if "Swim really fast and you'll make millions" really does anything for our society anyhow.
So maybe we like to think that we've come a long way from the days when we were shamelessly throwing savages out there to show us who could throw the spear the furthest or who can shoot a bow and arrow in a loin cloth. But then again, we aren't. Both of those activities are held in the Summer Olympics among others.
It's a tragedy that we don't celebrate intelligence to this same level in making a spectacle out of it with a 43 million dollar opening ceremony.
Just some food for thought.