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Politics or Sports?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Go or no go? We are talking about the Olympic Games that until now – as of the time of this writing — did  not have a final decision as to whether it will be held this year, cancelled of just postponed. Reports say that its officials are still for pursuing it, but other factors are coming in that seem to block its holding this time. Of course, not only athletes are disappointed over the hesitance, but then participating countries are apparently not all in favor of taking chances this time.

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And it is understandable, because whether we like it or not, there are risks to be faced  that are more dangerous than just missing a championship or losing a game. This time, as in no other occurrence of the Olympics, there is a factor called COVID, a new disease that does not seem to respect any country or race. It is not surprising, therefore, that several participating countries are hesitant, although some are still working for its occurrence, but, so far, we cannot tell yet what the general decision will be. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope and pray for its leaders to make the right decision.

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But is it true, as reported on TV the other day, that the cancellation of the games will cause a loss of some $16 BILLION, which organizers have allegedly said will be bigger  than the amount that would be spent holding it? I admit I cannot understand the logic of that, but I am sure others have heard that same report on TV, too. So far, too, I haven’t  heard of any proposals for postponement, which could be more expensive to participating countries. But the chances are stronger that we will not have the enjoyment of watching the international competitions this time.

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In the Philippines, perhaps we can enjoy the political competition instead of sports. Already, tandems are being presented, and one of them even has the names of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte with his daughter, Sara. But I think the President will brush aside the idea, since he has been noted as hinting that he is no longer interested in a “replay”. So maybe it will be Sara he will support. But will our people accept an inherited presidency? Sara has proven her worth as a public official, but does she have the exposure necessary? As the Spaniards would say, “Vamos a ver”, or “Let us see”. And will anybody start saying “Sobra na, tama na”?

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Now what is this talk in the United States about their President Joe Biden having a list of Chinese companies in the U.S.? Aha! What have his “spies” uncovered about the activities of Chinese residents, especially businessmen, there? Seems he has a list of Chinese firms linked to the military, and engaged in surveillance activities! So why does Mr. Biden not send his own spies to China? This will not be the first case of “Spy versus Spy” in the military area, you know.

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Meanwhile, some people have been taking off their masks and shields, thinking they no longer need them after having been vaccinated. Not so, says the Department  of Health. Even if you have been vaccinated, it will still be prudent to keep that mask and shield on. Anyway, you have them already, so don’t grumble against the advice. Anything that can save you from infection should be welcomed, this is no childhood disease we are dealing with now, in fact, the world has never yet encountered it before. So don’t gripe about the inconvenience, just keep on praying that Mr. COVID will be conquered by science and medicine soon.

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By the way, the Olympic torch has been lighted and, as of this writing, must have started its usual route, passing from one country to another. But is the enthusiasm as bright as it has always been? Several countries have reportedly withdrawn from it, and who can blame them? Even if their officials are willing, what about the players, the athletes, and especially their parents? It has always been considered a great honor to participate in the Olympics, but this is a different climate they will be facing now. I wonder if a time has passed when the world missed these games?

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But as I write this, news on TV shows that Tokyo is still upbeat over sponsoring it and I believe the chances are that it will go on. I do hope so, if only to show that some kind of normalcy exists, especially in the world of sports. But of course, it is understood that all participants, be they performing athletes or officials, are fully vaccinated and “safe”!*

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