The 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England have everyone’s eyes on their television sets and computer screens. From those who wouldn’t normally pay attention to cyclists, long-jumpers or synchronized divers to those who train in the sports day-in and day-out – you can’t help but feel inspired by the athletes.
While Canada isn’t at the top of the medal count list, our athletes are doing well with, as of a handful of medals and many respectable fifth and sixth place finishes.
There’s another component to the Olympics as well.
Parry Sound Salvation Army Captain Peter Van Duinen is in London as part of an anti-human trafficking team.
While the world’s media and attention is all focused on one place, it’s a great opportunity to get the message out that the trafficking of people is prevalent in today’s world. The United Nations puts the market value of human trafficking at $32 billion.
It’s not as glorious as winning gold, but it is a very important message that a Parry Sounder is working to ensure everyone is aware of.
The Olympics are about honouring sportsmanship and the payoff of years of hard work and dedication to sports, and not about human trafficking. But it is a good opportunity to bring the issue to the forefront among a captive audience.
While side issues shouldn’t overpower the work of the athletes, let’s hope that the legacy of these games is more than which country brought home the most medals, but also that the life of even one person is saved from those looking to capitalize on the games, doing work like that being done by Van Duinen and the Salvation Army.