The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics China team and a still from Unsilenced‘The Heroes of Beijing’: A Sonnet for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, by Evan Mantyk The Society January 21, 2022 Beauty, Culture, Human Rights in China, Poetry 6 Comments . The Heroes of Beijing on the Jan. 21 movie premiere of Unsilenced, just days before the Beijing Winter Olympics As great as it may be to send those hockey Pucks on icy wisps of air into A net as sweet as tightly guarded honey, It is, at root, a childish thing to do Compared to sending just one truth-filled flyer Through fatal chills of government oppression Into a hand and situation dire. Ice skating spins and jumps do not impress Next to the strength it takes to risk it all For faith, tradition, what you know is right, While on a globe as huge as you are small Ignored by TV crews’ high-powered light. __On Mount Olympus whispers say something __And laugh: “Who are the heroes of Beijing?” . . Evan Mantyk teaches literature and history in New York and is President of the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Tamara Beryl Latham January 21, 2022 Dear Evan, A wonderful sonnet that reminds us how things should be on a global scale, but unfortunately are not. Your couplet fills our plate with a portion of food for thought and the time to reflect on those few heroes in life who go against the natural grain. 🙂 Reply Margaret Coats January 21, 2022 Good sonnet with a great question. “Mount Olympus” at the end reminds us that the ancient Olympic games began, and later were revived, partly as a sacred festival of high values. The history of the modern games has worked out as a struggle to keep any focus on what is above, “while on a globe as huge as you are small.” Reply Joseph S. Salemi January 21, 2022 It’s absurd that our government has decided NOT to boycott the Chinese Olympic games (in the sense of allowing our teams to go there and compete), but WILL boycott the games “diplomatically” and “unofficially” by paying the games no attention and declining to comment on them. Is there anything more typical of liberal cluelessness? This need to support two contradictory approaches to reality, as a way to avoid dealing with any reality at all? Liberals are glandularly compelled to cover all bases, in order to congratulate themselves on their breadth of vision. Reply Brian Yapko January 22, 2022 Evan, your poem is insightful and appropriately cutting. Sports heroes are idolized and yet make very little difference in the scheme of things. It’s awesome that they have the skills that they have but television glory and applause are shallow and fleeting and few champions are true heroes. One man who dares to share the truth while facing dire potential real-world consequences is far more impressive. Your reminder of what real heroism looks like is quite memorable. Reply David Watt January 23, 2022 The Australian government has also decided to boycott the Beijing Olympics on a diplomatic level only. The Chinese authorities responded with “Who cares?”. Talk about a half-hearted, pointless exercise. It seems that sending athletes takes precedence over sending a message. Reply James Sale January 23, 2022 A poem with many technical surprises – eg rhyming hockey/honey – and beautiful lines too – eg. While on a globe as huge as you are small, a very impressive performance. The invocation of Mount Olympus at the end is especially powerful. For myself I am now at the point where watching any sport is a matter of supreme aversion, since where is the sport in the sport? How can one take seriously the Australian Open tennis without the number one world player in it? In just about every field either money or politics diminish the sport in the sport. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.