Take any sport, well maybe not every sport as cricket can last for 5 days), but the sporting event – AFL match, NRL match. Netball match, Hockey match, Rugby match, Soccer match – lasts for at most 90 minutes to 120 minutes.
That is the actual sport component. The question is an obvious one, in big sport, the actual sport event is not where the real action is.
The World Cup and the Rio Olympics is just around the corner. Each sport activity like the examples above have a limited time span. The 100 metres final example, less than 10 seconds. It's a little hilarious.
Consider the following – include in this Rugby World Cup as well ....
The World Cup / Olympics is where people meet from around the world
The World Cup / Olympics (or big sport) is a place where peoples of all nations come together, eat together, talk together, establish friendships that last a life time, build international bonds that are of lasting value and sell a global image of coming together as people belonging to the human race.
The World Cup / Olympics is where national leaders meet
It is also a place where national leaders meet together. There is no special meeting where leaders sit before the media in designer chairs with the world's media. Rather the Olympics / World Cup is a bit like a State Funeral where an international statesman's life is recognised after their dead (when it's politically safe to say nice things about the person). Leaders meet privately, quietly and behind the scenes, where issues might be worked out quickly and without fanfare.
The World Cup / Olympics is about big business
It is also about big business and making lots and lots of money. It hasn't really dawned on anyone much, due to the fanfare of a World Cup / Olympic Games, that small businesses do not fare that well when associated with the Games sites. The fees are exorbitant, the trade is minimal, the competition fierce and many a small business has lost out. But for the big players, the World Cup / Olympics is a gold mine.
Then comes Sport
Then come Sport. The Olympic / World Cup events. These are celebrated through the media and records are heralded, and this is the Olympic face / World Cup face - as it should be. For the athletes of that generation, the Olympic event / World Cup is remarkable, an experience never to be forgotten. The LA Olympics for me is like yesterday in my mind's eye where I cut my teeth as an international hockey writer for The Australian newspaper.
Along side of these four is Evangelism!
Christians too have celebrated the Olympics / World Cup as an Olympic event / World Cup event - provides a mass opportunity to greet people with the Salvation message of Jesus Christ. This is done on the street with various displays and plays and music and speeches. It is done through church congregations opening their homes to international visitors, it is done everywhere in the Olympic city / World Cup venue cities where Christians meet and greet people.
Moreover, next year's World Cup and Olympics will be no different.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html