Why I Am Not a Fan of the Olympics (As They Are)
I realize that I am taking an unpopular position on this subject, but in the end I really do feel like the Olympics do more harm than good. So, let’s dive in, shall we?
I read once that the Olympics were created to give a platform for sport without professional leagues with mass attention. If that is indeed the truth, then the premise of the entire event is now flawed. My friend replied to this point with, “they had to add the popular sports to gain the mass attention of the people.” It’s a good point if you don’t take longer than 5 seconds to think about it. I feel like with a statement like that, he’s making my point for me. If not enough people care about something then is it worth having?
I get that the whole idea of the Olympics gives something for young athletes to strive towards, and that it allows us the chance to be overwhelmingly patriotic, but is that enough to justify the negatives? Oh, and btw, I don’t know that winning anything by 0.00000001 of a second actually constitutes winning. On any other day, the other guy could have won by the same. The sense of community is very cool, and I hope that athletes from all over the world made friends in other nations.
First, let’s deal with patriotism. I believe this act to be one of the most evil elements of humanity; mostly because we don’t even realize what we’re doing when we’re being patriotic, and because it’s often at the expense of other countries. We’re striving to be better than another piece of the Earth, in hopes that we beat them to a pulp for bragging rights. Patriotism creates divide between nations, the same way skin colour has created divide amongst cultures. Dividing up Earth for the purpose of amplifying shortcomings is a slippery slope. It’s like Black History Month, Louis Riel Day, or any other celebration of difference. Every day should be Humanity day, and that’s that, IMHO. What Martin Luther King did for the civil rights movement should be celebrated side-by-side with what Lincoln did to free the slaves. The US space program’s journey to the moon should have been celebrated side-by-side with Russia’s creation of the first supersonic aircraft. Instead, we create divides with lines and colours on a map, then people take to the Internet to announce why their country is better than the other guy’s, and at the expense of the other guys.
The next, and most obvious point of contention is the cost. The winter Olympics in Russia have cost between $50b - $70b. That is absurd. As long as countries have that money to spend on sport, there should be no one going hungry, great mental health facilities, a jobs surplus, fair taxation, and cleaner energy. I get it, figure skating is beautiful, but c'mon, rationally, this isn’t rational. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be an Olympics, but don’t you think we should worry about the more important issues first? If a sport can’t support a huge private & profitable league then it’s a hobby, plain and simple.
Second to last, is the way people respond to the Olympics. There’s some really serious “amplification of evil” interaction happening. Social media sites saw plenty of tweets coming from regular, everyday people getting completely, and unjustifiably angry. I would love to see a unified algorithm where people can vote down negative stuff on the Internet, so it’s seen by less people. I know this comes with it’s own set of issues, but to be fair, it’s more of a passing thought. We put a man on the moon; I’m sure we could figure it out.
My last grievance with the Olympics is far less poignant but deserves an honourable mention. The games really screw up TV. Why does bobsledding have to pre-empt my favourite shows? In this modern age, we can’t just make an Olympic network, and be done with it? The nature of the coverage is antiquated.
At the end of the day the Olympics simply amplify the daily problems we have on this spec of water and dirt. Why put ourselves through that? The Olympics, “reality” TV & the constitutions of the countries they split all need to just go away already or seriously look at private funding. It stands to reason that with some good brand management, the Olympics could flourish as a private enterprise. I would also like to see some really solid “humanity” pride.
Oh, and McDonald’s? Really? They’re an official sponsor? You are what you eat, and none of those athletes prepared for the games by eating a Big Mac meal; hypocrisy at it’s finest.
But, that’s just my opinion … and on this subject, I actually believe that it is just my opinion.
WRITTEN BY JAMIE HALL Writer, Entrepreneur & Fan of Superman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada