12 May, 2021

From Olympus To The Arena

Simulated to exhibit the best in the human ­spirit, sport was the site of ideal competition. Now, ­individual glory is the one rule of the games.

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
From Olympus To The Arena

What is sport? Is it an activity that is an end in itself, or is it a means to an end? Can we put a professional sports­person on par with a corporate honcho and say both get wages for the acts they perform, the better the performance the greater the money earned? Is sport today just like any other job or is it the pure pursuit of excellence in a given discipline, where life begins and ends in performing a physical act with great skill that awes audiences worldwide. Is winning an Olympic medal or a cricket world cup the ultimate reward for these set of skills, or is becoming the highest buy in an IPL auction the ultimate dream?

Before I confuse you more and more by bombarding you with questions, let me make the reasons for becoming a quiz master clear. My brief is to explore whether there is any idealism left in sports as we know it today, or is it just another commercial activity where money, cheating and corruption are as much a part of life as is professional expertise.

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