All identity is transient and illusory, that’s one of the core teachings of the Buddha. In my experience, if you look at anything closely enough the edges of it gray. This applies to hard-held concepts like gender, nationality and disability more than anything. You can see it quite clearly at the Olympics.
These games have seen the Olympic committee setting testosterone levels as a gender marker, letting a South Sudanese runner compete independently under the Olympic flag, and allowing a double amputee to compete with prosthetic limbs.
The Olympics shows us the great capacity of humanity, and also our diversity. I mean, we take for granted that the games are separated into male and female, but what about transgendered people, or even women that seem ‘male’? We assume that people will compete for nations, but what about people that migrate, or are recruited across borders, or who are kept out of the games because of internal politics? We also say that there are the Olympics for ‘able-bodied’ people and the Paralympics for the disabled, but what if a disabled person starts beating ‘regular’ folk?
What’s interesting about these games is that they’ve adapted to these different conditions and permutation of humanity, I think, well. While it is fun to have everyone lined up and filed according to flag, name, and times or number scores, it is also nice to remember the incredible diversity and flexibility of human identity. Enjoy the Olympics everyone. Maybe I need to get a TV.