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The Olympics and Modern Culture

Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil

For the conservative, every day feels like a sinking ship, constantly having to plug new holes in unexpected places that seemed sturdier than they appeared. With the rise of political correctness, common sense seems to have been thrown out the window.

The Olympics almost fell to such a fate, with early commentators wondering why we allowed Michael Phelps (arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time, but nonetheless a white male) to carry the flag in the opening ceremony instead of a female Muslim fencer who competes in the traditional hijab. Thankfully the rest of the Olympics were not plagued with such silliness and instead had much to offer for the still sane among us.

Family Matters

A recurring theme I saw throughout the Olympics was the tacit emphasis placed on the family. Whether it was the stress of Aly Raisman’s parents while she competed or the adverts of the American athletes thanking their mothers for all they had done, family seemed to play a central role in the success of the athletes.

Most of the gold medal athletes I saw had a traditional family structure of a mother and father. Even Simone Biles, who was the anomaly in my statistic, was raised by her adoptive grandparents. For me, this continues to show that human excellence is best achieved within the framework of a traditional family structure. Having both a mother and a father not only provides the financial wherewithal to achieve success, not just in sports but life in general, but also a stable and balanced environment that is best suited for personal and emotional growth.

Christianity Matters

For our secular society, Christianity (and religion in general) has taken a back seat in popular culture; however, it seems to be extremely influential on the best athletes in the world. Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps are arguably the two greatest athletes ever and are both Christians. Bolt is an outspoken Catholic, making the sign of the cross before each race, wearing a medal featuring Mary, and previously being invited by the Vatican to speak at a conference on religious liberty.

Phelps on the other hand, has given his life over to God after a particularly dark period in his life. Along with this, it was a touching moment when Simone Manuel won gold in the 100m freestyle and addressed the reporter with the pronouncement, “All I can say is all glory to God…and I’m just so blessed to have a gold medal.”  I cannot help but think that the success these athletes have attained has something to do with their Christian faith. It should also be noted that out of the top 10 countries in terms of medal count, 8 of them are Christian-influenced Western democracies.

Excellence Matters

You won’t hear this much in the mainstream media, but America IS the best. America eviscerated the competition this year. Our closest competitor, China, was 51 medals behind us. America, however, is not just dominant because of the medal count, but because even though we don’t like to say it much anymore, we cherish excellence.

George C. Scott in his role of Patton says “Americans love a winner, and will not tolerate a loser,” and I still believe that is largely the case today. We expected to win, and we did. Even though we are apparently “citizens of the world,” according to progressives, no one cheered for other countries, unless the individual athlete was excellent in his or her own right.

Americans did not cheer for Usain Bolt because he was Jamaican, they cheered for him because he is the fastest man in the world. Even when there was an American running against him, we were torn because we cherish excellence that much.

Over the years, progressives have tried to erode the family, religion, and excellence from both our language and culture, yet they cannot be expunged because they are true. They are built into our individual and societal fabric. Even if these principles are to be suppressed and eroded, they will take shape in unnatural forms: government will replace the family, pleasure will be deified, and mediocrity hailed as a victory.

Instead of being bitter about the trajectory of the modern world, we must take solace in each small victory that comes our way. These three examples show that modern society cannot fully escape the fundamental truths of the past and that they still have a home in our culture. We will not reclaim the culture by fiercely proselytizing or retreating in on ourselves, but instead, must go out and be living examples of the truth that once was and always shall be.

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About Nicholas Bartulovic (4 Articles)
Nicholas is a senior at Ashland University, studying Political Science & History, with minors in Philosophy and Music.

4 Comments on The Olympics and Modern Culture

  1. I’m glad my family is more inclusive than you seem to be. What matters most is that we are family first. Politics, religion, and success just don’t matter to my very diverse family. Having just attended a large family gathering this last weekend, I am so clear that it’s Love that matters.

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  2. Angry Feminist // August 23, 2016 at 9:06 pm // Reply

    This article is absolutely repulsive. I don’t know how someone could possibly think these things. A traditional family is not important. What is important is that a family provides a child with love, support and teaches them proper values. Having a mother and a father does not guarantee those things. Obviously your family did not instill proper values in you. Love is love is love is love and it is what truly matters. Those Olympic athletes talked about the LOVE they received from their parents and that is why their parents are showcased. A child with only a mother, only a father, two mothers or two fathers is equally likely to succeed if they are brought up right.

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  3. Thank you Mr. Mitchell and the Angry Feminist for your comments I always love feedback. So to get to your points…I would like to point out that no where in my article did I critique other family structures, I simply said that I believe that the traditional family of a mother and a father is the ideal structure for personal growth and development. Ideals do not transfer into the world unfortunately and I recognise that there are other types of families out there that provide love and nurturing for a child and I wouldn’t wish to change that. And there is nothing I can do but love those families and wish them the best, but that does not mean that I give up on the ideal for the rest humanity. I will continue to believe that sure children can be raised properly and become successful by a single mother or even a gay couple, but I will still maintain that the best situation for a child to be in emotionally and financially is a traditional structure. Really hateful, I know. It is very ironic to me that you two seem to be the champions of love yet your comments are filled with vitriol. You seem to hate me for having an opinion. I thought it was all about love?

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  4. Another thing I was thinking about…why must I be forced to accept your opinion. Why is it always incumbent on advocates of traditionalism that we must accept your opinion. It is always instead that we get called “evil,” and “disgusting,” instead of being faced with arguments. I love both of you even though you seem to hate me. I love you because you read my article and that you gave it enough thought to comment on it (even though I believe you wrong). Again, I have a right to my opinion just as I have a duty to uphold yours. So if you would like to argue without personal attacks I would love to entertain that, but until then, quit advocating love by insulting others.

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