Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Blast From The Past

I'd long assumed that my fervent interest in the connections between sport, politics and history first started when I read Beyond A Boundary by CLR James (peerless among sports books). I was clearing out my room today, though, and came across a few speeches I'd made when I was in the sixth form, running my school's debating society. Here's an excerpt from a debate opposing the motion "This House believes the Olympic spirit has gone up in flames":

"The Olympics also create moments which transcend sport. The four athletes who entered Stadium Australia to represent East Timor signified something special for their nation. The rapturous applause they received both in the stadium and the crowds gathered round whatever TVs could be found back home was the first sense East Timor had of being a nation since voting for independence. To them it was recognition of their struggle, not to reach Olympic standard, but of their battle to become a nation."

I'm not sure I could put it any better myself now.