Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come to shut down the Olympics. I’m not talking about anything that is partial or temporizing. I men it is time to cancel, negate, nullify, stop, cease and desist any, all, each and every activity that has to do with the Olympics. And the time to do it is now.
They were shut down for a couple thousand years and civilization managed to march forward somehow. Then the Olympics were resuscitated and civilization continued to move forward. No big difference here. Therefore, since the Olympics have become nothing more than a scandal ridden set of events run by a bunch of preening snobs whose only interest is self-interest, I say it is time to call another halt in the Olympics for another 2000 years.
I’m doing most of this from memory because – frankly – it is not worth the time and trouble it would take to go and look up all the recent articles on Olympics shenanigans and cheating and wastes of time and money. So there could be a name wrong in here or a date or something like that, but the idea here is to look at the overview. And the overview is that the Olympics are a giant mess of a scandal that costs billions of dollars to put on and provides nothing useful in return. So get rid of it entirely.
What are the Olympics good for? The glorification of amateur athletics? Spare me! There hasn’t been an amateur athlete competing in the Olympics since the 20s – and I may be very generous in calling those athletes in the 1920s “amateurs”.
Are the games good for international good will? Horse hockey!! In 1972 we had athletes murdered in the Olympic village. In 1980, the US would not send a team to Moscow to protest a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – which continued to go on until 1989 so you can see how effective that boycott was. In 1984, the Soviets refused to send a team to Los Angeles to protest something the US did in terms of its foreign policy that they did not like. (It may have been our support for the Contras in Nicaragua; I don’t remember; I’m not a historian.) Since the Soviet Union does not even exist any more, you can see how effective their protest was and how useful the Olympic games are in terms of bringing the family of nations together.
Many of the events are rigged. Please don’t tell me that you believe that the skating scandal of last year was the first time that the outcome of an Olympic event had been pre-cooked. Far too many of the events are not sports; they are athletic exhibitions where the subjective opinions of people who represent national organizations vote on who should win. Let me be clear about this. These judges and representatives of national sporting organizations have a cushy job and the thing that they want to assure more is that they continue to be in a position of influence. The “integrity of the competition” is so far down on their list of personal priorities that it is in danger of falling below “rearrange my sock drawer”.
In the events that aren’t rigged – and in some of them that are rigged too – lots of the athletes are juiced. And the reason they are juiced is that they see it as a way to get an edge in the competition; that is the way they put it. Where I grew up, it was referred to as cheating.
The Olympics will spend somewhere in the vicinity of $1B (yes, that is one billion dollars) for security at the games in Athens. Why is that a good idea? If these games are so dangerous and are such a magnet for kooks and terrorists, why not just stop doing them? Even with that kind of expenditure, the US State Department is not certain that the Greek government has the will or the resources to provide a secure environment for the games. Remember, the State Department is in the business of never saying bad things about anyone and so this kind of negativism from them equates to someone else saying that the security at the next Olympics game will be as impenetrable as a screen door. The US State Department is providing the Greek government with “policy workshops” and “security training”. Nothing like a good “policy workshop” to put the fear of The Almighty into some kooks/terroists.
Remember, some folks will still cash $1B in checks for all of that. And that money comes out of your pockets because it is the US TV contract and the advertising on US TV that fuels all of this. Cancel the NBC contract for televising Olympic games and the IOC might be able to hold a ping-pong tournament in a low cost of living area of the world such as Mali. They probably have enough money left in “savings” that have not been paid out to consultants and officials and international conferences to afford hotel space in Bamako.
The people who monitor the games and seek to keep up the façade that they are trying to keep the games “honest” are so mired in processes that they make themselves look dumb. They need no one else’s assistance. According to a Washington Post story about a month ago, the IOC has just now begun to hold disciplinary proceedings against US Olympian, Jerome Young, for a positive drug test that they had on him in 1999. It has taken 4 years to get here; that is something that should take 4 weeks. Forget about all the “explanations” and all the justification that procedures need to be followed for the protection of the athletes and the games and all that crap. If it takes 4 years to figure out what to do about an athlete who failed a drug test, what is the incentive for athletes not to use the “banned substances”?
What you have is a bunch of people – organizers and sports federation officials – who are living a luxurious life off your money without doing anything that gives anything back to you. To a lesser extent, so are the athletes. Remember, your taxes fund the USOC and the training center and somehow provide enough support to athletes that they find a way to “acquire” some of these banned substances.
It’s time to call a halt to all of this and just pull the plug. The patient looks healthy, but he is rotting inside. If you want to see some good sporting events, just hold some world championships and let all the athletes come as drugged up as they want and you’ll get to see new records in track and field and gymnasts doing push-ups with their tongues. At least there would be no patina of propriety here; you could announce from the outset that these would be the real world championships and that the Olympics would be for the wusses who want to pretend to follow rules – but don’t really.
And to all of those people who moan that the poor athletes will destroy their bodies with all these drugs and steroids, I say, “So What?” Take out the nationalistic nonsense and they will be choosing to take those things; no one will force them. They are adults; adults make choices; choices have consequences.
The US Congress is considering several bills dealing with the restructuring of the USOC based on all the scandals and thievery that went on there. I’ll bet that none of those guys will come up with the solution of just shutting the whole thing down. Could it be that they have some vested interest in these games too? Makes you stop and think…
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………