Parting Shot: All the Glittering Prizes

Princeton Echo, 1 February 2018

-Sports At School Eliane
Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

When I walk into my son’s room one afternoon at 5 p.m., his friend Justin is sprawled fast asleep on the bed, still wearing his shoes and coat.

“He came to do his homework,” he explains, “but before he put down his bag he collapsed.”

“What happens now?” I ask.

“Let him sleep,” my daughter says. “Do not wake him up. He is exhausted. Tomorrow morning he has to get up at 4 a.m. for ice hockey.”

In America, sports are the religion of the masses. Every third-rate swim team is treated as if it were the Olympic delegation. Our Dutch national team would struggle to keep up with these boys and girls who have to train endlessly at the most impossible times between school days crammed with tests and exams and homework. When Justin is not asleep in our bed, his sister Julianne is often collapsed there.

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