The Olympics represent a beautiful example of the contradictions of our world today, displaying both rampant nationalism and occasional moments of the redemptive power of humanity. One such moment of the power of humanity to transcend political tensions occurred in the Freestyle wrestling competition in the Olympics.
The sports story was fairly pedestrian: American Jordan Ernest Burroughs won the gold medal in the 74kg wrestling, the silver medal went to Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the bronze went to Soslan Tigiev of Uzbekistan and Denis Tsargush of Russia.
The American coverage of the story line dealt with Burrough’s confidence in having predicted a gold medal, and his profile on Twitter.
But the rest of the world saw a very different story, and one image has come to capture people’s imagination. The image is one of champions coming together in excellence, in friendship, and in fellowship. It is of the power of humanity coming together to transcend political tensions—even if for just a few precious seconds.
This image has been circulating on many Iranian blogs, to remind them of the possibility of human unity and community. Here is the image:
it is of Jordan Burroughs (left) putting his arm around his Iranian counterpart, Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi (right), whom he had just defeated. We don’t see a gold medalist and a silver medalist, we simply see two human beings, two champions, coming together in friendship.
It makes you wonder: why don’t we live like this all the time?
Image is from the many Iranian blogs that have shared the photo.