Now is the time to revive some of the old goals and to set some new ones. Some new events are needed for modern times, when human energy is still needed to complement energy from fossil fuels.
Further notes are available on all points, and regarding medals and medal tables
that have gone too far. India is in a good historical situation to turn around features of the Games that need to be stopped. Let us list them, and look at alternatives.
Costs in long-term intensive training of elite athletes and spectacle in staging the Games have become excessive, so far beyond the resources of most competing nations. Too many people and businesses jump on the bandwagon to rake in profits provided from the public purse.
Stop one-eyed chauvinist obsessions to win gold medals at almost any cost, calling other competitors 'foes' instead of friendly rivals. Remember the international value of the Games as Games, a meeting place to enjoy each others' cultures and performances. India's souvenir of their Games should celebrate every participating country, however poor. Stop winners chest-thumping, hugging and showing-off, and replace with the courtesy and modesty that has been traditional in both Asian and British cultures. Winning can still be a graceful spectacle for viewers to enjoy. After all, these are only sports champions, and their achievements are not saving the world, much as they add to our pleasure.
Breaking records in current sports is becoming harder, and at great physical and emotional expense to athletes. Too many young people are dedicating their lives to going up and down and round and round. These were not original aims of the Olympics. Spectators should be happy and excited to see talented amateurs doing their best, with training conditions and facilities that most of the competing countries can afford. Sports funding can then concentrate more on improving the health of the whole people, and the armies of professionals who are now devoted to grooming elites can be turned to giving everyone 'a sporting chance'.
There are drawbacks of focus on records attempts in events where records are now near the limit of natural human endurance or skill. Athletes are suffering too much physical damage, often permanent. There are strong temptations to illegal chemical assistance, which can damage them in body and mind. Spectators risk acquiring appetites like the Coliseum spectators, with a taste for voyeurism of suffering. They expect damaged athletes to still compete, at permanent risks to their health for what is not really heroic. Commentators and pictures at the Melbourne Games put too much of a focus on the strain and agony in the faces of the competitors - bad enough in the boxing, but malign when it extends to the peaceful sports as well. Athletes should be able to enjoy competing, rather than be on a painful rack to win.
Pleasure in watching healthy bodies in action should still allow athletes to preserve some modesty if they wish in what they wear.
Delight in our international variety and friendship should be an essential part of the Commonwealth Games. Preparations for the Games can including 'twinning' of wealthier countries and localities with poorer ones, so that the wealthy can send over some equipment, such as running shoes, visits by a coach or two, and help to improve nutrition and public help in the poorer country.
All competing athletes should have the chance if they wish to see the opening and closing ceremonies, not held outside as if they were merely gladiators. One at least of the ceremonies should be in daylight at the athletics track, so all the teams can go around the track and be seen by everyone and every TV camera.
Spectacle need not be so costly when it is realized that BIG, MORE, and MORE EXPENSIVE and LAVISH is not necessarily the best spectacle, and rivalry in expenditure is stupid. 100 dancers can be as effective as 1000; three seconds of fireworks as spectacular as minutes. TV can be used much better to show the details of what is going on (and see SkillOlympics). No releases of doves or balloons because of the consequences of what happens to them.
The entertainment at opening and closing ceremonies should be international, apart from say ten minutes of the host-nation's own presentation. For a country like India, this could well be a display of its regional variety. The host nation will have many other opportunities at the Games for visitors to see its national entertainments. At the ceremonies, all the competing nations should be able to contribute say a dancer or pair of dancers among a multinational dancing event on stage, to a musical medley that accommodates a variety of styles. They need not even dress up if that will be a problem for poor countries. Volunteers can help guide them to their place on the stage.
At the ceremonies, the teams could even enter with a national playing a musical instrument of their choice for the time it takes to enter and proceed before the next team comes on. Imagine! the different sorts of drums, pipes, fiddles, cymbals! anything inexpensive that can be easily packed and brought. If they have none, a team could enter singing a national song. A large team might have a variety - e.g. Australians playing gum-leaves or coo-eeing. Encourage national dress, which could be made to order in India beforehand if necessary. Tourists might like to buy national costumes to take home as souvenirs.
in Commonwealth Games need reconsidering, and new events are also needed. The original Olympic Games between the Greek city states were about the physical skills needed at the time to be warriors and hunters, plus contests in the arts of drama, music and poetry.
What are the physical skills that need to be encouraged today? Many remain the same. Running, swimming, pentathlons, and so on. But some events are like the hop-skip-and-jump, which fortunately has been dropped long ago. Let us think about what events are now desirable in an age when physical exercise and skills are still needed, not only for health, but to run the economy well and to save waste of resources and fuels.
Some examples follow, in no order of priority.
The present contests are off the mark, when in affluent countries the risk of back injuries can now prevent patients in hospitals being lifted by nurses, and cleaners from really cleaning. Weight-lifting events could include, for example:
Some of the present events are plain silly. Some alternatives:
Include a barefoot race. Many poor countries would have a good chance here.
These are very suitable for today's needs. There could be an event including cycle maintenance - changing and repairing a wheel.
Exercise that generates electricity - e.g. re-charging batteries or powering motors. As indicators speed up, the crowds could get very excited.
A 'fun run'.
After the marathons, a thousand pre-selected under-15s get the chance to run part of the way and around the arena, dressed at least in part in national costumes and waving as they go round the arena. No winners, just wavers!.
Running with kites in some wide-open place could be a fun-event, not taken too seriously because of weather variations. Kites could be made/assembled for the purpose.
India is now the nation with the most English-speakers and English-users, and so has a right to make its writing system more efficient. In a multi-lingual country with some very sensible writing systems, Indians are also very aware of the problems of written English - that is, English spelling. India is a leader in information tecnology, and so is well placed to give a lead in clearing up some of the unpredictable clutter in English spelling, because spelling is a basic element in comunications today.
Multilingual notices at the Games could be an exelent place to test out the value of clearing spelling clutter, with notices carrying both English and - call it say, English +- as an aid to pronunciation as wel as for faster reading.
For exampl, try out these alternativ Quik-English spellings.
This would arouse publicity. Even to discuss the idea!
Spellings such as gymnastics , bowls, squash, wimen , walk and weight might have to wait for an International English Spelling Comission - chaired perhaps by India?
Contests in useful skills for modern life, especially good for television
The problem. Modern Olympic sports have limitations that make them in one way obsolete. They focus on the skills of the warrior and hunter - the running and leaping and throwing and hitting, the records for going fast and high and far and hard, and for teams like hunting bands.
and see Melbourne Commonwealth Games, 2006, the OzOlympics that could have been
An exclusive view of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games
Melbourne has always led world firsts in many fields, such as the Eight Hours Day and um, um . . Now the Melbourne Commonwealth Games are another World First, with OzOlympic Medals, SkillOlympics, National Olympics, InvenOlympics and contributions to Olympoethics, Olympospeak, and WishOIympics, a Bedtime story for politicians to tell the children. (and even Graffiti medals)
You can find the News here, that was not on the official calendar.
Suggestions have been made for new events, such as Darts, Snooker and Foot-in-Mouth. Others include:
Useful sports. Such as
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1. The Table of Gold and The Goldest Medal
2. Medals for the Media - 1. Gilt or Mica 2. Tinsel 3. Brass or Brazen
3. 39 extra Gold Medals for the Melbourne Games, and one Laurel Wreath
1. The Table of Gold
1. The Table of Gold stands next to every final Olympic Medals Table and shows how much each country and sponsors spent on training hopeful elites for Olympics - Institutes of Sport, specialists, childhoods spent training, etc. These sums do not include what a country spends on sports open for the all the people's health and enjoyment. Some countries might concentrate all their Olympic funding on a few sports, but from an international point of view it is good if every country, however small, has a speciality to give it a chance to hold up its head in this international geffuffle.
The Table of Medals and the Table of Gold at present almost match - but not quite. The more gold you spend, the more Gold you get.
Cost per Medal. The Medal Table as a third column - how much each country effectively spent per medal on producing its elite Olympic Team.
The 39 Goldest Medals for the Honour of Nations
40 Gold Medals to be awarded at the Melbourne Games have never been awarded before, but by gumleaf, it is time that something was done to work for them.
Day and night, athletes round the world have been in strict training, exerting every fibre to win those 40 medals. Their trainers and supporters have been just as full of energy and enthusiasm, and their money-raisers too. They will have a whole Sports Page every day as the great Games event draws nearer, and their names are on everybody's minds and lips. All over the world, thousands, if not millions of youngsters dream of emulating these sports stars, and start disciplining themselves for the struggle too. Dreams, visions - the fruit of intense dedication of young lives. Goldest Medals for the Honour of Nations are each calculated as per 100,000 population.
As a high-point of the Melbourne Olympics, as many of the Gold Medals as can be presently are awarded to the countries whose 'social athletes' are most successful in the following events (to avoid invidious distinctions, listed in alphabetical order, not order of priority):
Any invidious recriminations about the awards are held over until the next Games, when disputers can show whether their own nation has really the right to the Gold.