Many of us are glued to the television watching the pre-trials for the Olympics in anticipation of the day when the torch reaches London. Contrary to its origin, the Olympic games have become rites of national pride vetting one country against another with the occasional excitement of a Cinderella country that produces an unexpected champion. Obsessive tabulation of each country’s medal count is a reminder that these games serve political purposes.

Originally, the games were intended to provide a break from the relentless wars that raged between the city-states in Greece. It was a time to put down their weapons and focus on interacting with each other in a different key and they chose the art of sport to do it. The athletes were not branded as being from one country or another – they were meant to interact with each other in ways that did not include the brutality of one country trying to conquer another.

Isn’t it interesting how we have forgotten the original intent of the games to be purely outside of national interests, to be instead a vision of the world united in the same stadium enjoying acts of human beauty and strength? So I have been thinking lately what would happen if at just one Olympic Games, perhaps in this decade, we had no countries, only athletes? We have a planet to share, not just countries to outwit one another.