Historically, the Summer Olympic Games create one lasting image that is remembered globally for years and years. Jesse Owens in Berlin in ’36. The ’68 games in Mexico City with Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their black power salute. Nadia Comaneci’s dismount pose in Montreal ’76. The Munich Olympics with masked terrorists on the balcony.
It is my hope that the one picture we all remember from the upcoming Olympics is the picture of an athlete in a gauze mask, beneath a gunmetal gray, iodine-infused sky. This lasting image of the pollution in Beijing might just wake up enough citizens of the world so that we unite and act to reduce pollution and global warming. The image of the earth’s most finely tuned physical machines, our athletes, rejecting the noxiousness that is Beijing is a fitting symbol and that change is sorely needed.
I pray for poor weather so that the smog does not blow away and the world can really see — in hi-def — what we are doing to the environment. Peace!