Saturday, August 14, 2004

The Olympics? Yeah, Whatever...

Outside the Beltway has a good roundup of blogger reactions to the Olympics, most of them underwhelming. He points out some really good things that have turned them into just another marketing event, including
o Having Olympics every two years instead of every four - Having an grand Olympiad that stretched across two seasons every four years made them pretty unique. Now that the winter and summer games are staggered every two years it seems to make them less of a big deal.

o Historical changes - Just saying "East German Women's Track and Field Team" used to bring up laughs and hinted at those evil commies that we somehow beat, even though they cheated. The changing of "amateur status" also goes into this category, as watching pros like Roddick compete in some of the events changes the whole nature of the games.

o Soap Opera Versus Sports - The last time I sat down and watched an Olympic event there was more "human interest" footage than the competition itself. The original intent was to get "women" more involved, but I know plenty of women who also find these segments annoying.

o You Call That a Sport? - The Olympics used to be a showcase of athletes who spent a lifetime of intense training to reach the pinnacle of their field. Now, I am sure there is a lot of effort to become an expert in the winter sport of curling, and I sure as hell can't tread water long enough to compete in synchronized swimming, but are these really Olympic sports? Come on. Adding these just cheapened the value of a "gold medal".
There are a few other really good points listed, so just go read the post.

There are certainly those that disagree with this assessment, but for me, if it weren't for the fact that my wife, like 95.8% of all other women, will intensely watch gymnastics, I probably wouldn't watch a minute of the Games this year.

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