It would be tempting to say my anti-Olympic rants are driven by my continued dislike and suspicion of the Ruskies, and while there is some merit in that it does not tell the whole truth. Almost daily we hear of another story that puts the fate of the Sochi Olympics into question. Corruption, terrorism, homophobia. I’m assuming a locust infestation at some point.
But I want to make an argument for consistency. I think the Olympics in general have run their course. What was once a great gathering of nations showcasing their best amateur athletes, has turned into something quite different.
• Desperately poor countries spend billions on stadiums, venues and construction that do nothing to put food on the table of its citizens or educate its children.
• The games are increasingly being held in countries or regions struggling to enter the “first world” but are decidedly not ready for a global stage. As opposed to cities prepared to host an event of this scale, cities are being built in the middle of nowhere to drive economic development and tourism … or something absurd like that.
• What for decades was an apolitical event, has turned decidedly political, with the Games being used to show one race, religion or nationalities “superiority” over others to the point that countries recruit athletes for citizenship and pay them to bring home the gold!
• Heck, they started allowing professional athletes to compete because nations got sick of losing at their national sport because of a lack of non-paid participants.
• And the entire selling of the games can be condensed into a desperate attempt to find the “moment,” captured on film, that allows the corporate sponsors to cash in on an athlete “achieving victory despite (choose one: injury, upbringing, personal loss, etc) and becoming America’s sweetheart to better sell us cereal or soda pop.
I stopped paying attention years ago to this quadrennial marketing/political circus masquerading as an amateur athletic event a while ago. By the looks of ticket sales and TV viewers, a few more are coming around to my way of thinking.
I know it’s hard to say goodbye to something that’s been around for so long, but the Olympics as you know them (or wish them to be) died a long time ago and we are just going through the motions.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.