Olympics serve as a global distraction for real-world problems

Fireworks, medals, athletes who look like Gods and the whole world coming together in a healthy competition is what the Olympic games are all about. It’s almost beautiful.

Have you stopped to think, however, that the morning crap you took here in America was in cleaner water than the drinking water in parts of countries some of these athletes come from?

Probably not.

The cost of hosting the Olympic games is estimated at somewhere around $14 billion.

Yet, in many parts of the world there are countless children starving to death because they don’t have squat to eat.

You know how many children $14 billion could feed?

If you’ve been watching the same commercials I’ve been watching, then you know that about 60 cents a day can feed a child for a month or something.

I don’t mean to come off preachy because I have to be honest, I’ve been paying more attention to the games than thinking about who’s starving in what country and who’s dying from what is an easily preventable disease, too.

It’s not because I don’t care about child trafficking, it’s just that Michael Phelps won all those medals and it’s very exciting.

As wonderful and unifying as the Olympics are, I think all this hoopla demonstrates perfectly how horrible people are at prioritizing where our time, money and focus should be.

If every four years the world came together on an issue that was actually important, and put $14 billion towards that, the globe would transform within decades.

Education, human rights, hunger, disease, just pick an issue.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to love the Olympics.

Just like it is completely fine to watch the Kardashians.

As hard as it is, though, we need to pay attention to the things that really matter too, because if the day comes where I’m drinking water that’s dirtier than what someone on the other side of the world is crapping in, I hope someone spends $14 billion to help me out.

I understand that it’s unrealistic to demand such a shift of global focus.

It isn’t unrealistic, however, to say to myself, “If $14 billion can be spent on hosting the Olympics, I can interrupt the conversation the homeless man on the corner of my street is having with himself and give him 5 bucks.”

Enjoy the Olympics, but be disgusted that billions are being spent on them and there are people going to bed hungry, just to name an issue.

Let’s do something about it.

Jack Chavdarian is a senior journalism major and the assistant social media editor for the Daily 49er.


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