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The New Nude Olympics (Ideas Gone Wild #1)

Editors' Note: So the first week of Ideas Gone Wild has passed! We got tons of great submissions on the theme of the Olympics. So good, in fact, that we're publishing two of them!

We also got lots of submissions on the nature of time, alternative voting methods, and space flight. For now, for better or worse, we're sticking with the "theme of the week" idea, so just a reminder that your submission will only be considered for publication if it's on the theme of the week. Also, it should be a mini-essay of around 700 words – not much longer or shorter. Lastly –make it easy for us! Include your name, correct all errors, break the essay into paragraphs and give it a clever title. 

Next Week's theme: Climate Control

Click here for details on how to submit. 


The New Nude Olympics, by Zhenming Zhai

We all know that for a period of time in Ancient Greece, athletes in Olympic Games often ran naked. Nudity was later banned for some religious reasons. On this fact alone, we can pose a serious question: “Is the current ban on nudity in Olympic Games grounded on any legitimate reason?”

Humans, like any other creatures, were born naked, that is, nudity is our natural state. In today’s electronic language, nudity is our default parameter. We might have some reasons strong enough to override our default parameter in question in daily life, but whether the same reasons hold in a setting of Olympic Games is a totally different matter that has hardly been reflected upon.

Before a deeper probe into the issue, I am not sure whether the ban on nudity in public in everyday life is totally justified. But I am fairly confident that adopting rules such as nudity ban in Olympic Games that originated from a certain kind of religious ideology is very much in conflict with our established assumptions of ideological neutrality. Besides, Olympics is meant to glorify the strength and beauty of human physique as given, and thus any sense of shame pertaining to nudity is at odds with the motif of Olympics. Advocate of Nudity is very often linked to, or even taken to be the same as, advocate of open sexuality. Whether open sexuality or free sex is evil is, again, debatable, but equating exposure of sexual organs in sports with obscenity is totally nonsensical. Since almost every individual life starts with sexual intercourse, in my humble opinion, any sense of negative feeling towards natural sexuality is pathological, and possibly a result of ideological manipulation.   

But in Olympics there is no room for rules based on ill-founded ideology. After so many years of ungrounded ban on nudity, can we expect a legitimate change toward the recovery of nudity in Olympic Games? Can we begin to envision much more exciting and inspiring scenarios when we hear the word “Olympics” and speak of the Games? I have good reasons to believe strongly that nudity should be recovered in Olympic Games.

Read this week's other top entry: End the Olympics

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