The controversy of daring

The idea is simple, and reminds me of something I heard many times while learning how to drive in Paris: if you do not dare, you die. Of course, that sounds pretty extreme and dramatic. Yet daring to break boundaries, not (necessarily) to be noticed, often opens up to other doors, and paths, mostly unexpected, and sometimes upsetting, when not disconcerting or discouraging. Playing safe is probably nice, and taking risks has also its rewards. Daring to go against the majority, however that majority is represented, understood or perceived, becomes political. So, to the ones, for instance, who decided to go and work for the 2014 Winter Games, how was it to manage the daily life knowing what some media had spread?

Like any other Games, being backstage comes with a mandatory Louis CK - Offendingcommitment to remain “e-silent” about what is happening. Maybe it is to “save the surprise” to the world audience. Well, for Sochi, politics got in the way, big time. Regardless of the Games, Summer, Winter, Commonwealth, etc., etc., the world community will regularly fuss about something prior to these events. Then, almost logically, it becomes political, because it touches everybody (or maybe just the ones who actually know of and have access to them). Any movement, demonstration (for or against) such large events bring some awareness, and some hopeful transparency. How these situations are depicted and translated to the rest of the world is another story. Friends of mine refused to go and work on the Games in Beijing and Sochi: not because the projects were not interesting, more because their personal values were not matching the ones from the host countries. Or, at least, they were not in sync with the perceived said values.

It is tough. It is life. As a spectator (or a consumer), it seems “easier” to boycott such an event, and I am still unclear how it does not fuel the controversy even more. I witness a lot of “anti-xyz” spreading their beliefs on various social media to protest against ideas that just do not fit with theirs and hope for a larger attention, and an eventual buy-in. Compared with the often massive power of the (political) machine they are fighting, the task is heavy, demands an indescribable courage and, sadly, sometimes giving up their own life. As a professional working in the Olympic family, the choice may be a bit more complicated. Contributing to any Games is a combination of crazy stress, exhilarating adrenaline and child-like excitement towards the delivery of something bigger than anything else, where the goers forget about the rest to enjoy a few days of international fun. Maybe it is a funnelled view of a sheltered bubble: this can be said of other perspectives too. How about we talk…