Sunday, July 29, 2012
Let the Games Begin!
1) hypocrisy - on so many levels
The Olympics is about making money period. -- corporate sponsors, elite athletes, the IOC. The whole world is watching, so let's exploit the crap out of this baby.
Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the US and yet McDonald's and Coke are the leading Olympic sponsors. The irony is unbelievable.
Nationalism is another falsehood. I'm somehow supposed to feel patriotism if an athlete from my country medals. Some of the reasons I am a proud Canadian: public health care, multiculturalism, gun control, the CBC, campaign finance reform, natural resource conservation. Not taking pride in an athlete's performance-enhanced win, in a made up event I know nothing about. Sure I enjoy marvelling at other people's talent and hard work -- it's remarkable what the human body can achieve. It's just SO overblown.
2) wasteful - thousands of public servants have been laid off in the UK, yet there was still enough money to host the world. Surely $14.5 billion can be better spent -- world hunger comes to mind. If governments sponsored sports at the grass roots, more children would get to participate, which would improve public health. Is that not the point of honouring sport?
3) deification of sport - Olympians are not heroes. Humanity is not better off because of their sacrifice. Certainly their talent and dedication should be admired, but again, their achievement is completely inflated. I don't swoon over movie stars, so for me this is no different. Perhaps what's missing is a balance. Let's appreciate humanitarians, philantropists, scientists. I guess it's the deep-seated American-esque desire to idolize that burns me.
4) unfairness - the countries that do the best are those who spend the most money on their athletes -- the best facilities, trainers, programs. The US and China will bring home the most medals so why pretend that this is a fair competition?
5) drug testing - why bother? So much time and money is spent on testing and finding new ways to not get caught. For certain sports, it's a given. There's no place for moral judgments, so just call it a competitive advantage and let anything go.
There are so many other reasons to hate the Olympics (e.g. relocation of the homeless, police state, brand bans, etc.). I'd much rather the IOC be honest about the true force$ behind the Olympics. Hypocrisy is the one thing that really turns my stomach. Sad thing about this, is that I LIKE sports, especially participating in them. Being active, feeling your body move, developing skills and confidence, achieving goals, team work ... all made possible through sport. Too bad the Olympics kills the joy. Here's hoping I can bite my tongue long enough to let my friends and family enjoy the games and just get outside and swim, bike and run.