When I look at this photo, I don’t see an orgy of corporate branding. I don’t see a carbon footprint. I don’t see the gap between rich and poor widening. I see my friend Dan realizing his dream of carrying the Olympic Torch, a symbol of international competition and camaraderie.
This is not merely a burning piece of wood. Seeing the relay go past the homes, schools, and grocery stores we grew up with is something that can’t be quantified by poverty statistics or government debt clocks. Sure, our country has problems, but they’ll still be there with or without the games. We may even be in a better position to solve them with all the revenue coming into the country. Until then, the stadiums are up, the athletes are in town, and the snow is being trucked in from Manning Park. Let’s enjoy the show.