OPINION

The challenge of Homo Olympicus

We have been following the preparations for the Olympics and in particular the handover of new roads and modes of transport with a sense of relief. At a time like this, we should be looking at our new Olympic venues and appreciating the effort that has gone into creating them. Generally, we should be dressing ourselves up in Olympic colors over these last few weeks leading up to the Olympics – taking on the role of Homo Olympicus, however pretentiously romantic this may sound. This should apply especially to people like me, who are not particularly fond of the «Olympic circus» but who respect the effort that has been made, the money which has been invested and the sheer determination needed to complete this project without losing face. But instead of celebrating and counting the number of days until the Olympic opening ceremonies, the average citizen is moaning about the poor organization and the handover of less-than-perfect public works – works he regards as a kind of Olympic handout rather than projects he is entitled to as a citizen. Meanwhile, the great celebration that the Olympic Games should be has been lost in a haze of grand delusions, glitz and a systematic attempt to cast the public in the role of Hollywood extras…