The Olympics was so much that was good. It was a search for excellence in the human activities, the search for honor, and a search for competition for its own sake.
If you walk next to the original Olympic Stadium which still stands, you see a row of statues, names still visible carved into the bases, not to the victors to memorialize the greatness of their accomplishments, but rather to the cheaters, to record forever the shame of their cheating. The shame was eternal.
The winners received laurels which were wreaths around their heads to wear on the way home and thus show the honors of their victories. The gift was of fleeting moment, but the highest personal honor.
Now, we honor the winners with modern day statues in the forms of gifts of money and contracts, to try to give them everlasting fame, and we fleetingly shame the cheaters by giving them a temporary thistle of shame, which withers, dies and blows away, never to be remembered.
The Olympics were to compete in a field of honor, and politics were set aside, so as to allow safe passage through enemy territory for the purpose of the competition and for safe return.
Now, the politics guide the Olympics, wars are not suspended for their ceremony, and it is nothing more than a commercial enterprise on an international scale.
I am sad that wrestling has ended, but I am more sad that the Olympic Spirit died long ago, anyway.
As go the Olympics, so goes civilization, one a mirror of the other.
I thought it was a laurel, and hardy handshake.