Monday Discovery: Mind the Gap

Today’s Monday Discovery: A new series of writing challenges at WordPress called Mind the Gap. WordPress will choose a topic each week that’s trending in the news and issue a challenge to us bloggers to express our opinions on the issue. The focus of these “Mind the Gap” posts is to get us thinking and writing.

Here’s this week’s Mind the Gap question: Has social media changed how you view the Olympics? You can go over and take the poll and express your opinion there.

Here’s Mine

The title of the challenge, “Mind the Gap,” seems particularly apt for today’s chosen topic. I was not as concerned about social media and the Olympics as I was about the obscene amount of money spent to “put on” the games. All through the opening and closing ceremonies, especially, I couldn’t stop thinking, “My God, how much does this cost?”

I know how important it is for the host country to shine, and Great Britain did that. The games–which are, after all, the focus of the event (or should be)–went almost flawlessly which, considering all that could have gone wrong, is nothing short of miraculous these days. The athletes were astounding in their prowess and in their successful and heartbreaking moments.

Soup Kitchen
Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/Gary Alvis

The Least of These 

Here’s the gap that bothers me, though. According to our local paper this morning, the price tag for this Olympics was $14 billion! I keep thinking about how many empty mouths and scrawny bodies all those billions could feed and clothe. Could the world have done with a little less show and a little more charity?

How about, for every gold medal, a charitable contribution of $25,000 goes to a humanitarian effort in the winner’s home country (that’s what the gold medal winners get–taxable, by the way)? I don’t begrudge the winners their prizes. I just wish for a little more awareness and compassion and in our complicated world.

Think about it . . . Maybe you know of a charitable effort as an outgrowth of the Olympics. If so, educate me. And let me know your opinions here!