ANNOYED IN ANNAPOLIS – Every four years I come home from work and there is some old dude with some significance to some other country lighting a big Zippo in a brand new stadium that no one will every use again. Usually, I just change the channel and hope Seinfeld reruns are on, while the rest of the world marvels at what can only be some crappy on-air version of Broadway’s Spiderman – in terms of expense and failure. Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded Opening Ceremonies that kick off the sham that is The Olympics.
The Olympics is the only organization I know of that throw the big party before anyone does any work. I guess that makes sense considering everything about the games is ass backwards. I can’t stand these “Amateur Competitions” on multiple fundamental levels and mark this as a rare occasion wherein my contribution to this site is going to be droller than crass and more angry than loose.
The whole idea of the modern Olympics is such a sham that it’s not even funny. From start to finish, each Olympiad is wrought with controversy. Years before the competition even begins, the Olympic Committee faces allegations similar to FIFA (international soccer’s governing body) surrounding the choice of host cities. The principal difference between the two is that FIFA is bought with dirty money (hence Doha, Qatar World Cup), while the Olympic Committee is bought with political geography.
If you look at the Summer Olympics host cities since the beginning of the modern games, only 4 of 30 games have been held outside of North America and Europe. Of those held outside of those regions (Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Beijing), one was essentially held in an American protectorate – South Korea. Are you telling me that no country in South America, Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia, the Caribbean or Antarctica have ever been worthy of hosting the “world’s games?” How ridiculous and self-centered does that sound?
Most infuriating for me are the many “international” athletes training in countries they aren’t competing for, or competing for countries they aren’t natives of. For example, many athletes come here to train and live in a western society that they come to love, then represent a flag that they either don’t want or are obligated – simply to make The Olympics. You should be a permanent resident of the country you represent – end of story. Nearly the whole gymnastics competition goes to school in Houston, which should indicate that change is needed. These girls are more American than they are Russian, Japanese, Belorussian, etc. If you want to represent a country at least have lived there long enough to have developed your own adult opinion as to what you are representing. Putting an athlete in a leotard/jumper/uniform/swimsuit to represent a country she/he knows nothing about is reprehensible.
The even greater contradiction is the fact that professional athletes are competing in an amateur competition. What is the frogging point?! I can watch Federer and Nadal any weekend. Watching NBA players when they are getting paid is bad enough. Watching their pro bono work is abhorrent. What happens next time when golf becomes an Olympic sport? Wait… That might actually be the only place – other than sailing (another of the many non sports in The Olympics) – where official Ralph Lauren Olympic Gear (affordably priced at an arm and Usain Bolt’s leg).
All this aside, there is one person that I will watch compete; Missouri’s finest – Spenser Mango (55kg Greco-Roman Wrestling). Go get ‘em Spenser! I am glad I was never small enough to wrestle you in high school.
That’s it for now, please tune in tomorrow for Different Matt…