The Olympic Conundrum

The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming! Relax, they won’t be here for another two years—and by then, you’ll be ready again, I promise.Olympics

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had it up to here with the Olympics, not to mention the continuing saga of Ryan Lochte and company.  Who’s Ryan Lochte, you ask?  Seriously? Where have you been, living in a cave? Or, to quote comedian Steve Martin: “Excuuuuuuse me!”

The point I’m trying to make is this: How much do we really care about the Olympics?  The last time I truly cared was when a bunch of rag-tag American ice hockey players defeated the, then, Soviet Union’s, mostly professional team, in the semi-finals of the 1980 winter games in Lake Placid.  “Do you believe in miracles?” Remember? (Al Michaels is still making a living off that little piece of dramatic prose.)

swimmingThe problem with the Olympics—winter and summer—is that they are a mixed blessing for whichever country hosts them.  In 2018, it will be Pyongyang, South Korea’s misfortune to hold the summer games.  Why do I say misfortune?  Because generally the host country loses money—lots of money—in the process. Even before it is “awarded” the games, a potential host city must invest tens of millions of dollars in improvements to its air, land, and, if necessary, sea travel facilities in an effort to convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to grant it the “privilege” of hosting the games.  Chicago spent nearly $100 million in its effort to secure the 2016 summer games—and lost!  Imagine how much more they could have surrendered had they won?  In 1976, host city, Montreal, overspent by nearly a trillion dollars in putting on the games.

Another thing. gymnasticsThe games last too long. By the end of the first week, we’re already weary of trying to manage the recording settings on our DVRs, and then we must find time to watch such arcane events as the canoe slalom, badminton, or 10m air rifle (men’s and women’s)—sandwiched in between gymnastics, swimming, soccer, and track. It’s kind of like the Academy Awards, with a prize for every individual who ever snipped a piece of film, or carried a cup of coffee to a star’s dressing room. Enough already! Is it any wonder that hardly anyone watched—nor cared to watch—the closing ceremonies this year?  I know I didn’t.

soccerGranted, we had the women’s gymnastics team winning our hearts and lots of gold.  The swimmers (men and women) churned up lots of frothy victories. But did hosting the games change anything for the average Brazilian citizen? Of course not. The crime  rate continued to burgeon, and the Zika virus went on spreading (all the way to South Beach in Miami by now). And who will fill up those empty stadiums, now that the games are gone? No one. They’ll most likely be vandalized, or converted into “almost affordable” housing.

Back to Ryan Lochte. In case you actually have been living in a cave for the last few news cycles, he’s one of four US swimmers who managed to embarrass our country with their foolish behavior in Rio de Janeiro. The 32-year-old Lochte, a classic example of the entitled athlete, got plastered, along with his pals, trashed a gas station bathroom, and then lied about it in Olympic fashion, concocting a ridiculous story of being held up at gunpoint. When the truth was revealed, he lost four, major sponsors and untold millions as a result. Aw, what a shame. But America has a short memory, and, no doubt, he’ll recoup his losses and then some (last I heard, he’d been signed to appear on Dancing with the Stars).  See?

The bottom line, the Olympics are much like summers: they’re either too hot, too cold,  too rainy, or too dry—but we can’t wait for the next one!


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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of four books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, and Broken Promises. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at: http://www.joeperronejr.com.
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10 Responses to The Olympic Conundrum

  1. balroop2013 says:

    For me Olympics is just like any other game…only the sound should be mute otherwise I don’t mind if the T.V. is showing whatever faces or games! Seems weird? Well somethings don’t excite me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KiM says:

    I can say I’m thankful for a DVR! I do wish the media would have covered Kim Rhode and her accomplishments. I’m still not a sports person but, I like the personal stories of how the athletes got there and I loved seeing the comradery and national pride.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Allie P. says:

    I love the pageantry of the opening ceremony and the parade of nations. I love the national pride in seeing teams on the podium but I also love how the athletes seem to support each other regardless of origin. Best of all, I appreciate the Olympics for providing something on TV we can watch with our children without threat of swear words, violence, or thinly veiled attempts to sell some new toy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My interest in the Olympics this year was for Brazil! So many thought the Olympics would fail. I don’t believe they did! They survived fear of Zika, political corruption (like in our own country), police officers not being paid for over 2 months, and the thought of potential attacks by the ISIS. The statue of Jesus the Christ upon the mountain top overlooking Rio would have been a prime reason for an ISIS attack in a place where the whole world was watching. I agree they need to rethink the Olympics in its presentation. There were so many advertisements that after a few nights of watching, I gave up and just watched for results. I think it is a disgrace to have the Special Olympics not tied into the regular Olympics. If there is any way to say, “disabled people, you are not as important”, the Olympic Committee does that very well. I think they should be held at the same time. Are you allowed to watch two television programs that you just “love” but are on at the same time? In today’s world, yes, by recording one and watching later. And here, on the Pacific Time Zone? We didn’t get anything exciting until well after it was already over, like “hours” after it was all said and done. I love to see individual accomplishment, be it athletics, music, art, writing, or creativity that adds positive thoughts to this world. I was very proud of Brazil! Brazilians were proud of getting through it without all of the fears that led up to it. Congratulation Brazil! You had so very many obstacles to overcome with the World Cup and Olympics all in one year. Political stupidity? Yup!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, Joe, I agree with you . . . to some extent. Yes, the host city sponsoring the Olympics probably loses millions in $$$. And yes, the closing ceremonies become monotonous after the first five minutes. But my spouse and I love all sports and watched as much of the events as we possibly could. So for us the Olympics were a treat—in spite of the moronic behavior of Ryan Lochte, who at age 32 should have his **** together! Lochte’s high school-ish behavior aside, we still “can’t wait for the next one!”

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