Sport, Sisyphus, and Schopenhauer

A tumultuous week of sport presents the philosopher with a series of powerfully emotive images. The dizzying highs evident on the faces of the Indian cricket team as each of them realises a life-long dream of winning the world cup, in front of a packed crowd in their nation’s largest city; the terrifying lows of an imploding Rory McIlroy as he throws away the best chance that he’s ever likely to get to win arguably the greatest golfing prize going. We’ve all been there (in life I mean, not leading the Masters with one day to play) – well, most of us anyway – as our dreams and ambitions irrevocably slip away from us. For those lucky enough to have avoided that so far, there remains the undeniable certainty that one day they too will lose everything; in the great hospital of life we are all terminal cases, and one day we all must die!

Sisyphus: The first aspiring weightlifter

How very bleak this is, and no wonder so many philosophers have felt forced to accept a pessimistic outlook. We live, we strive, we fail, and we die. If we cannot find any hope of something beyond death, then it seems that life is indeed reduced to being little more than “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. That life is meaningless, or essentially comprised of suffering, is not a new idea, but it is one that is rarely eloquently expressed – the finest expression, in my opinion, to be found Continue reading “Sport, Sisyphus, and Schopenhauer”

‘Faster, Higher,Stronger!?’ What most of the Olympic athletes could learn from watching Curling!

The Olympic Games in Vancouver are well under way and as exciting and amazing as they are, questions about their ‘actual’ purpose seem to pop up here and there. Especially after the death of the Georgian athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili questions were raised if the Games should go on as scheduled. But to my great surprise, these questions were only asked by a few. It was taken for granted by most that a huge event like the Olympic Games cannot just be put on hold. And as logical as this might sound, it does leave a bad taste, especially after the many accidents in the women’s downhill race yesterday and in other disciplines as well. Is Faster, Higher, Stronger really the only most important thing about Olympia? Continue reading “‘Faster, Higher,Stronger!?’ What most of the Olympic athletes could learn from watching Curling!”