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COVID and the Olympics

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Did the Olympic Torch start its relay yesterday as scheduled? I’m sorry to miss the report on it, but I do hope it did. Nothing like the thrill of sports to make things normal again, you know. Even if it was a bad month for one of the world’s most outstanding athletes, it has been good to know that he is recovering. I am referring to Tiger Woods who figured in a car crash, and from the looks of his vehicle that was pictured lying on its side, it  must have been a miracle that he survived.

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But his injuries reportedly affected his back on which he had to be operated, as well as on his leg, so it may take a long time for him to heal completely. I don’t play golf, but from what I see of the game, players need to twist their bodies in order to swing the club and hit the ball. A commentator exclaimed that it was a miracle that Tiger survived the accident. Maybe his name figured in his survival, Tiger na, Woods pa! But how long will it be before he gets back on the green? His fans will surely miss him.

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I was surprised to see the instructions on TV regarding the relay of the Olympic torch, though. It said those in the areas the runner will pass are being asked not to shout or cheer, but only clap. Why not? There is little enough to cheer about these days, why deprive sports lover of their enjoyment upon seeing the symbol of the most celebrated sports event in the world? There must be some killjoys in the committee in charge.

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More than ever, I admire Vice President Leni Robredo for her reaction to the decision of the electoral committee declaring her the true winner of the vice presidential election, despite the claims of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a.k.a. Bongbong. No triumphant statements, no gloating. She knew in her heart that  she was the real winner, so it never worried her that the opponent was trying all means to grab the position from her. Even now, I doubt if he has given up or acknowledged defeat, but the people know.

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Which reminds me about what is happening in the United States also, where the loser, Donald Trump does not seem willing to admit defeat, so that his enemies have started digging into the mischiefs his family may have gotten into. Why is it that there are people who cannot accept that running for public office could end either in victory or defeat, and no one can be absolutely sure of victory? Ah, maybe one who has a cheating mechanism at work would be surprised that it failed.

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What has happened to the wall that Donald Trump had initiated during his presidency? Is President Joe Biden inclined to go on with it? The wall is supposed to be the border line between the United States  and Mexico. Why, wasn’t Trump friendly with the Mexicans? Or perhaps he wanted to imitate the famed Berlin Wall that divided West and East Germany, where one was democratic and the other communist? For years their people did not seem to be of the same race, but years later, the new administrations decided to break the wall down.

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I was very fortunate to be in Berlin shortly after the breaking down of the wall, and what an exciting time it was. But the difference between their people was quite marked, and I could sense some resentment from the West because those from the East, who poured into their territory were so different in behavior. When some crimes happened, the reaction of the Westerners  usually was “Someone from the East did this”. Our “den mother” was a very sweet and thoughtful German lady who pampered us and was very curious about the Philippines. I guess she had thought of us as uncivilized natives!

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The ladies were even curious about my clothes, asked where I bought them and were surprised when I explained that they were made to order. At the time ready-made clothes were not yet available, and you have to have your personal costurera, or dressmaker. That was new to them! My companions and I were very happy that we were able to disabuse their minds of the idea that our people still wore G-strings! I felt like smirking when I was asked during an interview about our mode of transportation and I replied, rather boastfully, that I drove my own car, which was a German made beetle!  I think that ended the condescending questions.*

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