Wednesday, December 1

The silence of the athletes

The “Olympic Games of Silence” they are called to those who are celebrating these days in Japan. There has been much controversy about the advisability of not contesting them to avoid the spread of the pandemic among the very large public who come to witness this sports show every four years. But in the end the commercial commitments already signed were stronger, especially those related to televisions and advertising, which are a business of planetary dimensions. Due to all this, the International Olympic Committee agreed to celebrate them on the scheduled dates, although without an audience in the stadium stands and provided a strict security device with continuous analysis of the health of participating athletes. That they were warned of their immediate expulsion from the olympic village if a virus contagion was detected. The bet was risky and the organizers of the great world sport festival feared they would be forced to suspend a competition already started by the appearance of an outbreak that decimated the participants. The athletes are young and happy people, they are very healthy, and on the eve of a performance at an optimal point, which requires immediate relief to release the accumulated energy. Every yearFrom the big sporting events we get news of sprees on site where the athletes (they and they) are concentrated and contrary to what ordinary people think, these games are not detrimental to their state of form but on the contrary very beneficial, according to specialists tell us in sports medicine. And especially among those who participate in speed races, which are explosive. Although the fears and the preventions, The first Olympic days passed with relative normality and except for a few cases the contagion of the coronavirus respected the program. Another thing is the effect that silence can have on physical performance of the athletes given the absence of the public. And there we must also make some distinctions because the “administrative silence” (positive and negative) is not the same as the silence of convents, that of the deep sea, that which precedes a shooting, the one with the footballer that advances towards the ball before taking a penalty, that of the student who is left blank after a question from the court, that of the military man who waits for the moment to enter combat, that of the thief who hears the snoring of the inhabitants of a house in which he enters to steal … Anyway, the kinds of silence are many and varied, but if we circumscribe ourselves to the Olympic Games in Japan we have to agree that some specialties were developed without the noisy accompaniment of the public who jellies their favorites. To give just a few examples, archery, karate, judo, javelin, discus and weight throws, the high jump, long jump and the triple jump. All these only admit as company noise the screams that encourage personal effort. And a digression about the need, or not, to have an audience in the stands remains for another day. An expendable presence because its participation is limited to serve as animation.

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