Politicians can learn from Olympians

Published 7:23 pm Saturday, February 20, 2010

Athletes of the Olympics have lessons for us all—compete because you want to win, push yourself to your limits and in then end, smile and shake the hand of your competitors.

Even with the sporadic drama of complaints of unfair judging procedures, I think these athletes set a prime example of international relations.

Every competitor starts from the same spot, moves through the motions of the same course or rink and medals for an excellent performance with above average skills, all without tainting themselves with falsehoods such as steroids.

Email newsletter signup

If only heads of nations could take a nod from Olympic athletes.

These people relish in every moment of the two-week event.

They display national pride and camaraderie within teammates and event competitors.

Many of the medalists have competed against the same people for several years, albeit the Torino Olympics or other qualifying and year-round competitions in each sport.

They’re friends off the course, but when it comes down to the events, they get focused. They focus on doing the best possible performance achievable.

They focus on a gold medal, or just finishing at a personal record.

But, in that last moment before the event starts, I’d like to think that they are focused on how to better themselves rather than cut others down.

What if American politics, whether local or international, based issues on “may the best viewpoint win?”

Then, maybe, issues would focus on how to best help the people, and less about alliances and grudges based on a history of the choices of leaders in previous terms.

Maybe if elected officials listened more to the community on issues of importance and relish in the time that they sit in a position of authority because their peers wanted them to be there, more would get accomplished each term.

Instead, many issues sit at a standstill.

I ask that all Selma political leaders learn from the athletes.

Rid yourself of the steroids and skeletons of your past and work together, doing your best to improve the Selma community.

Laura Fenton is education/general assignment reporter for The Selma Times-Journal. Call her at 410-1744 or e-mail her at laura.fenton@selmatimesjournal.com