I have thoroughly enjoyed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Not just because this has been our best Olympics since Athens but it has provided a wonderful break from the doom of gloom of Covid 19 that has been filling our TVs.
Instead of daily scare cases and lockdowns our news has been filled with the exploits of our swimmers, stories of refugees who came to our country and our now making history, such as Peter Bol or the story of Cedric Dubler sacrificing his own race to help his teammate Ashley Moloney achieve our first-ever medal in the Decathlon.
We also got some excellent news before the Olympics began that Brisbane had won the right to host the 2032 Olympics.
This is great news for our country and a great morale boost for the millions of Australians that have been in lockdown during the Olympics.
One of the advantages of lockdown is that it has enabled us to stay home and watch what has been one of Australia’s best ever Olympic performances. It really was a good decision to not postpone we have needed this.
But there are so many more benefits to the Olympics
Forget winning medals for a second I feel like there is deeper spiritual connection that we all have.
Of course the Olympics have been around since before Christ in that famous passage in Hebrews when the apostle talks Paul about running with perseverance he is using the Olympics as his example and illustration of his message.
I look back to the Sydney Olympics and that great sense of joy, unity and pride in hosting the best Olympic games ever.
It brings waring nations together, it really is the best defence against a world war and I believe a good Olympics is a good defence against a World War.
But my favourite story involves a Belarussian
Belarusian Sprinter Krystina Tsimanouskaya posted a video to social media criticising the country’s athletics coaches are they tried to force her to run in the 4x400m relay in the last minute after they bungled the registration of their other relay runners.
Tsimanouskaya had no experience running in that event.
The Belarusian Olympic Committee then tried to force her out of the country and onto a plane back to Belarus despite scheduling to run in the 200m heats.
The Countries Olympic Committee is run by the son of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko who has ruled the country with an iron grip since 1994.
Both him and his son Viktor were both barred from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after Belarusian athletes accused Minsk authorities of political discrimination and imprisonment.
With the International Olympic Committee using their political clout got involved in her case and Japanese Police intercepted Tsimanouskaya at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
Tsimanouskaya is currently in Poland on a humanitarian Visa.
It is an example of how the might and strength of the Olympics can fight against injustice and bring hopefully lasting change in the ex-soviet state.
Which is why the Olympics are a very good defence against injustice and any world war.
Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist Church in Ocean Shores on the North Coast of New South Wales. He is also a Journalism graduate who has written articles in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.