On the topic of mental olympics,
didn't anyone else (in the US only, I think) compete in
'Olympics of the Mind' as a kid? I think they later
changed the name to
of the Mind' (OM).
As for the 'real' Olympics, I haven't really watched them
since '84 (when I was too young to notice a lot of the
things that may well have been present then but are
certainly present now), for a number of reasons:
- Splitting the winter and summer games into different
years makes it too frequent to be noteworthy.
- I think they are used as an excuse to promote
nationalistic fervor, which I think encourages
viewing other countries as the enemy (I'd prefer
it if people just competed against people, with
country being irrelevant).
- Such serious competition isn't good for the
participants anyhow. I seem to recall hearing
reports of them dying a few years later while
still fairly young from the damage caused by
By the time you compete at that level, you don't
have good, balanced health. It
can be argued that anyone who would do that to
her/himself for a medal has the kind of personality
that would do it regardless, but why should such
people be encouraged and admired?
- The advertising has become more prevalant and
the 'exclusive' concept further reduces viewers
into not just consumers, but infant consumers who
need protection from the big, bad world.
- Watching sports bores me.
- The reported corruption of the Olympics committee
in determining location and in reacting towards drug
use just adds to the silliness of the whole thing.
- The limitations imposed on coverage don't help to
credit the concept of a world coming together to
celebrate blah blah blah... It just reduces interest
in the event.
- The coverage in the US is pathetic, from what I've
heard. I haven't watched any coverage so I can't really
rate it myself. In attempting to pull heartstrings
to increase interest--by telling about someone who
overcame paralysis, cancer, bad breath and ebola
to come in second-to-last in the 800 cm sprint with
a time of 2 hours, 45 minutes and 4.3 seconds, bravely
beating her arch-rival (since the '76
games) due to said arch-rival (who is also the hero's
second-cousin twice removed)
being disqualified because
she fell over the line before the gun went off due
to a drug-induced heart attack--all the network does
is desensitize people to the point that impending
nuclear war wouldn't rouse some from their apathy.
- I've never understood why professionals are barred
from participating. Either it should be about the
'best', in which case they should allow professionals,
or it should be about amateurs, in which case it
shouldn't be possible for some countries to put lots
of money into training. Maybe they should just pick
It might be hard to believe that I dislike anything more
than the Olympics, but I vastly prefer them over the
European football games earlier this year, which had the
added disadvantage of 'being in my backyard', which
meant I had to witness the insanity.