Oh sure, there’s some entertainment and spectacle in the Games depending on the event, but on aggregate, what a massively expensive boondoggle. Most people couldn’t give a crap about 90% of the events, and that’s not diminishing the skill, dedication and talent that these competitors bring to their event, but really… nobody cares about shot putting.
And in the end, outside of a couple of niche events, like Kenyans dominating the longer distance races, the medal haul is directly proportional to GDP x population size… so we can tell you already, the top 10 medal hauls will likely be the US, China, Russia, Germany, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Japan, South Korea and Italy (in no order). It’s the rich countries beating up on the poorer countries.
And then the cost… $20 billion for these London Olympics. Granted, they will earn a few billion from advertising and ticket sales and corporate sponsorship. But the difference is being made up by the taxpayers. And in the meantime we are subjected to stories about threats that anyone wearing a Pepsi shirt into an event will be tossed (Coca Cola is the official sponsor of un-healthy drinks), or the Olympic licensing committee coming down on some poor old Lancashire grandmother knitting doll’s sweaters with the Olympic rings on it for charity. Horrors.
Or how about the ongoing dispute over who will get the Olympic stadium after the Olympics – Tottenham Hotspurs or West Ham. Tottenham originally proposed that the stadium wasn’t good for much else other than hosting once-in-a-lifetime track and field events and not very good for soccer matches, so as part of their proposal for taking the stadium over post-Olympics, they were going to tear down half of the stadium, remove the track and then move the field closer to the stands on one side and rebuild the other side… tear down half of a $800 million new stadium – because it didn’t work for much else. And you know what? They were right. But lo and behold the Olympic organizing committee stepped in, and West Ham now seems set to get the stadium, so you’ll have a shit team playing in a field that will look a million miles away from the stands… This is the kind of crap legacy the Olympics leave.
We could go on. We haven’t even touched on the security.
But no – every two years, the Olympics, whether they’re Winter or Summer, get shoved down our throats by media networks whose executives in a fit of conformity and group-think bid billions for the rights to broadcast these games, and so they get artificially hyped and what was once a true contest of amateur athleticism, something we all should celebrate, has been sadly transformed into a saccharine melodrama of corporate advertisement, political grandstanding and diluted contests.
We’ll watch the 100m sprint. That’s it. Maybe the soccer final if we see it on TV. That’s it. We swear.
PS – Not that we find pictures of little kids shooting the finger all that funny… but it looks like a classy Feyenoord fan. Feyenoord spawned Robin van Persie. van Persie wants out of Arsenal. Robin van Persie definitely sucks. Full circle. Hakuna matata, baby.