THE NATION OF SPORT

Sport always has been an individual undertaking, even if fit is done team wise. The fight is first of all with one’s own shortcomings, technically and in terms of condition. The nation of sporters is a nation of individuals who share this intensity and who compete as individuals.

 

So the mix of nation and sport is a mongrel. Sadly enough the reinstating of the Olympic Games in 1896, although with the motto of ‘participating first, winning only second’, fused nation and sport for ever. One fights for one’s country…

 

A sickening example of this is the English sports commentator who almost seems to ejaculate when a British athlete is winning.

 

The BBC has gone so far to send special camera teams to sports events. You see a race, you think: ‘Yeez, an Englishman is running well’, only to find out that the person in seventh place is singled out by the British camera eye as if he is no.1 in the race.

 

Although this annoys me, I am a sinner. Watching the snooker match between Liang and Fu – this very minute of writing – I cannot help myself. This is Communist China versus Honkong. It is also the aristocratic Mandarin countenance of Fu versus the clever farmer’s face of Liang.

 

Let me drown again in the play itself, fuse with the flow of the balls and forget things which are irrelevant. Not, however, after first saving this piece and putting it on this blog.

 

Sierksma

4.12.15

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Author: rjsiersk

contact: rjsiersk@xs4all.nl Sierksma was born in Friesland, a 'county' in the northern part of the Netherlands with its own language which he does not speak and with an obstinate population to which he both belongs and does not belong. A retired Professor of Social Philosophy and Aesthetics, as a Harkness fellow he taught at Rutgers and Berkeley Universities in the USA, and at GUAmsterdam and TUDelft in the Netherlands. In 1991 he was awarded his PhD from Leiden University on the subject of 'Surveillance and Task: Labour Discipline between Utilitarianism and Pragmatism'. His books include Minima Memoria (1993), Lost View (2002 with Jan van Geest), and Litter Scent (2013). He has published poems and articles in Te Elfder Ure, Nynade, Oasis and the Architectural Annual. Half the year he lives in Haarlem, the other half he spends in la France Profonde, living ‘in his own words’ as the house out there was bought with the winnings from his essay Eternal Sin, written for the ECI Essay Prize (1993). In this blog, Sierksma's Sequences, written in English, he is peeping round his own and other people’s perspectives. Not easily satisfied with answers nor with questions, he turns his wry wit to a number of philosophical and historical issues. His aim in writing: to make parts of the world light up in his perspective - not my will, thine! Not being a thief, he has no cook, one wife, some children, one lover and three cats.

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