These are off the cuff ramblings on the Olympic Games 2016 and my "sport," "hobby," "addiction" to language learning and teaching.
Those athletes put in hours and years of training to get to compete in the games. Their gruesome sacrifice and devotion to their sport is commendable. They are the best. And the best comes at a cost.
Rafael Nadal has been, and still is one of the best sportsmen in tennis. No question about that... but to hear him speak languages, even Spanish -his native tongue- is painful. He has not had the dedication and training necessary to speak a language passably well.
Sports go, fade away, but language skills stay.
If people worked as hard to learn a foreign language -or their own, for that matter- as they are willing to work for an Olympic Medal, proficiency in languages would rise.