Guest editorials

We are inviting guest editorials from families, members of our care team, and others who work or write on issues that affect us. If you wish to contribute to this series, please send a short outline of your proposed guest editorial to

Guest Editorial nr 5, July 2012, Olympics Season

by Laurie, co-administrator of

Over the years the media has reported very traumatic stories for select people, and for the rest, just sensational scandals. The stories were about athletics competitions, the Olympics and other sports events and about people who were violated in the most fundamental and public way a human being can be. Even their DNA came under scrutiny. Their cells were investigated, and their basic nature was in question. It wasn’t enough for them to say ‘I am a woman.’ Soon, they had to prove it. It isn’t clear why a person’s sex became an issue because if we look at the Olympics Creed which was written by the founder of the Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, we can see that:

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.

The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

How powerful a message is this to people who go through life struggling to get along? How strong a message does it send to people who must consider every decision carefully so as to ensure safety, security and happiness for their families?

And if we consider the Olympics flag which was designed to be inclusive of all people, and to signify friendship, it makes me wonder why these human beings who were raised as girls, identified as women and entered the competitions that way could not be included. In describing the flag and the origins of its design we find:

The 5 colored rings are linked to symbolize friendship. The colors were chosen because at least one of them appeared in the flag of every country in the world.

This is clearly an inclusive event, surely. And by its nature, it should be the ideal place for people who struggle in life to be accepted for who they are.

And finally, if we consider the Olympics motto:

Swifter, Higher, Stronger

These amazing women should have been rewarded for being swifter than the others, not condemned for being different.

We should look into the fundamentals of the Olympics, not the fundamentals of someone’s genetic code. We should ensure that cheating is not happening, illegal use of drugs must be stomped out. But once it is evident that the competitor, whether male or female is not taking drugs, and that their bodies grew the way they are naturally, they should be given the highest accolades for achievement ‘in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams’, as the Olympics oath demands.