I realize that many people think the Olympics is a sacred ritual symbolizing a place where different cultures and countries can come together in the spirit of friendly competition and whoop on each other without causing the same long term impacts as going to war, but I have to say I'm sick of the hype and it bores the heck out of me. I especially think the Winter Olympics is right up there with watching water boil when it comes to entertainment.
It isn't that I don't enjoy watching sports. I will watch football willingly because I understand it better and believe it has a base quality not sullied by the pretense that it is anything but a sport for hire. Football players compete for the money and the fame. They are open about this. Olympic athletes imply that they are competing for their country's honor. But let's cut through the bull and admit it's about the endorsements and boasting rights that they won a gold medal.
I am sure that if anyone actually read my blog, they would be deeply offended by me dissing on the Olympics. But it is just one more sacred cow that needs to be put into the proper perspective. I believe people think they like the Olympics because it has been hyped into them every four years that they are supposed to like the Olympics. We are led to believe that it is downright unAmerican in a global kind of way not to like the Olympics.
Face it, the Olympics is a money machine. Cities compete with each other for the honor of hosting the Olympics know it can be a major boost to the local economy. When we first learned the Olympics were coming to Vancouver several years ago, I was dragged into several meetings in Seattle to learn how our local economy could figure out how to exploit Olympic bound people passing through to Vancouver. I even had to listen intently to a local business man who had been the official portable toilet contractor for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Apparently people who go to the Olympics generate a great deal of human waste.
And that is my point exactly.
I am particularly tired of the commercials featuring Olympic hopefuls I have never heard of competing interpretive bob sledding. McDonalds is even boasting that they provide the official chicken nugget dipping sauce of the Winter Olympics.
I bet you the original Olympics in Ancient Greece didn't have snowboarders competing. Come to think of it there wasn't an winter Olympics in Ancient Greece. They didn't have snow. They just had the summer Olympics with a bunch of naked guys wrestling and seeing who could throw a javelin the furthest.
I suppose I shouldn't be so critical of the whole thing. After all, I spent most evenings flipping through my FIOS cable looking for something decent to watch and inevitably end up watching Man Vs. Food.
Now if they add competitive eating of disgusting amounts of food to the Olympics I might change my mind.