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Two Cents Worth

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We are one week in.

For a sports fan we have 16 days to overdose on every conceivable summer sports competition during the Summer Olympics being held in Brazil. For non-sports fans it’s 16 days of grumbling because there isn’t anything but sports on TV.

I am not a big fan of the opening ceremonies but I watch as the athletes enter the stadium. It’s fun to see the different outfits designed especially for the event. I also love to hear the back stories of the various athletes. They are all so much more than we are, physically and mentally. They become so much more inspiring to the rest of us when we know what they went through to get to this stage in their lives. It helps us to realize we, too, can achieve much more than we think. It encourages us to try to work hard, to dream.

I love to watch and cheer on the Canadian athletes especially our own Evan VanMoerkerke. Also enjoyed watching our Canadian men’s volleyball team defeat the US. Come on, you know you want to beat the States more than any other country. I don’t like pretend volleyball so don’t watch it, but I think since the women were told to wear bikinis the men should have to wear Speedos and see how they like getting that sand all up in there. But that’s just me.

I can’t get over the countries participating. There were quite a few I never even heard of before. Is it that I am so ill-informed or they just never qualified to send people to the Olympics before?

I did some research. Isn’t the Internet great? Most of the unknown countries are on or near the African Continent and have been around for a while. Pjibouti gained independence in 1977 but is still ravaged by warfare. Eritria in 1993 and has one of the worst human rights record. Gabon 1960, whose earliest inhabitants were Pygmies. Birkina Faso 1960, has a history of bloody coups. Cape Verde 1975, is made up of a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Although it has no resources, is isolated and suffered devastating famines, is a stable democracy which has the highest standard of living of most African nations and is one of the most liberal nation in the world.

Comoros 1975 is an archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is politically unstable with bloody coups and assassinations. It has the worst income inequality of any nation with half the population living below International Poverty Line of $1.25 a day. Maurintonia 1960, has 90 per cent of its land in the Sahara, 20 per cent of its citizens live on less than $1.25 a day and 20 per cent of the population is enslaved. Ethnic tensions, poverty and drought plague the country.

There are a few more interesting countries but I have run out of room so will tell you about them next week. Keep watching and cheering, trying, working and dreaming.

twocentsworth40@hotmail.com 

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