Olympics vs Mennonites

So London has won the 2012 Olympics. I have mixed feelings. I did not support our bid though I admire the skill with which Seb Coe and his team put the final bid together and presented it.

Among my concerns: the likely vast investment and the likelihood that it will mushroom as public projects of this kind often do. The bid team talk about the wonderful things this will do for sport in Britain. I’d like to contrast this with this nugget that Rob Paterson reports today:

A study of Mennonite kids shows how having a life that has activity in it is much better for us than a life where physical activity is a separate program.

“Even without gym classes and organized sports old order Mennonite children are leaner, stronger and fitter than their counterparts in contemporary Canada, a new study suggested Tuesday.

The findings suggest that, even in the absence of formal exercise and sports programs, frequent physical activity during the course of everyday activities could be the key to achieving a fit and active life, researchers say.

These are the sorts of lessons we can learn from the old order Mennonites, Mark Tremblay, a kinesiology professor at the University of Saskatchewan who led the research, said in an interview.

They don’t get up in the morning and say, I’m going to milk the cows for a workout.’ It’s just part of life and it keeps them healthy.

Is our approach of emphasizing organized and separate activity working? No it is is not. Time I think to look to a more active life. My little bit? Biking to town a few days a week and loading the wood in the winter

At the moment, the media here are framing London’s success through the tried-and-trusted frame of putting one over on the French. I’m excited to see London winning something, and I also fear we’re being marketed a hyped and grandiose vision, where something humbler and simpler might be more satisfying.

Call me a naysayer, I can live with it today.

UPDATE: I enjoyed quinparker’s spam letter on the Olympic win. Here’s the intro:

My name is LORD SEBASTIAN COE, chief International executeve of the London Team GB Olympics 2012 Bid, and I am writing to you to help regarding important matters of business that I hope may be of advantageous benefit to the both of us mutually.

Our organisation has become into money to the sum of (£) POUNDS TWO POINT FOUR BILLION (2.4bn £) for the purpses of holding a great Game in the city of Londons at supreme direction of famous IOC LTD.

6 thoughts on “Olympics vs Mennonites

  1. Tom Guarriello

    I must say, in the end, I’d have enjoyed seeing a New York victory, as disruptive as it would have been. The consequences of that event would have catalyzed New York in unprecedented ways.

    Absent that, I’m very happy to see London win, because of the overall economic consequences. Oh, that and seeing the French lose something, which is a perverse, yet real, affect.

  2. Alexoid

    Didn’t you back Paris’ bid Johnnie? I was quite happy to see London win it. It will cost a bundle but at the end of the day it could be the kick in the nuts the city needs to fix its public transport. Athens, while having spent their budget many times over, is now a better (if somewhat broke) city for it — hopefully we can expect the Brits to make this more cost-effective.

    Everybody wanted to see us French lose out purely because, well, we’re French. I guess the fact that our president keeps insulting everyone can’t have helped. NYC was an oddity, I would like to see how many New Yorkers actually wanted the games there. Moscow could have benefited from the games I think, it would have been interesting to see how that would have panned out. This is all far more interesting than the games themselves really (which I hardly watch).

  3. Johnnie Moore

    Alexoid: Yes, I did, several months back. Largely in protest at the hectoring style of the campaign at the time.

    And now, well my feelings are mixed. A lot of people here are really overjoyed about winning and it’s hard not to get swept along. I hope these high hopes are sustained by what actually happens over the next seven years.

  4. Jack Yan

    I suppose I should not be giving the Nigerian 419 scammers any tips, but really: who do they think they are kidding with its Lord Sebastian Coe variation? These were surfacing with different names since the days of letters and telexes. Or are there still enough suckers out there?


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