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Game Over for the Olympics?

Charles Lane: "How many more such embarrassments must we endure before ending this corrupt quadrennial exercise?"

by
Stephen Green

Bio

January 25, 2014 - 2:00 pm

olympic-torch

Charles Lane thinks the Games have outlived their usefulness, if they ever had any:

have just one question: How many more such embarrassments must we endure before ending this corrupt quadrennial exercise?

The modern Olympics were founded by a French aristocrat, Pierre de Coubertin, who believed in promoting international peace and understanding by reviving the ancient Greek custom of periodic truces for athletic competition.

Whatever might be said for that idea in theory, it hasn’t panned out in practice. The ostensibly apolitical Games have been marred by several boycotts — of Montreal in 1976 (by African nations protesting apartheid), of Moscow in 1980 (by the United States and other Western countries protesting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) and of Los Angeles in 1984 (by communist countries retaliating for 1980).

The Games also have created a target for extremists, from the Palestinian terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at Munich in 1972 to ultra-rightest Eric Rudolph, who placed a deadly bomb at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. Consequently, these celebrations of international conviviality proceed under heavy military guard.

That last bit is certainly true, although it says more about the nature of terrorists than it does about the Games themselves.

The problem with Lane here isn’t that he’s necessarily wrong, it’s that he doesn’t provide any solution better than “end it, don’t mend it.” If we want the Olympics to be what they could be and should have been, then we’ve got to get governments out of it — and professional athletes, too.

The Olympics were supposed to be about amateurs competing for pure sport, and that got lost in a sea of Cold War rivalries and NBA stars.

Amateur, or bust. The same goes for government funding.

My interest in the Games has waned, the further they’ve moved from their roots. But I’d happily tun back in every four years if they’d get back to them.

Oh, and one other thing: NBC and Bob Costas have got to go.

*****

cross-posted from Vodkapundit

Stephen Green began blogging at VodkaPundit.com in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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When it gets back to being about sports, let me know, and I might tune in.

As long as it's mostly about beauty contests, it's mostly not about sports, and I don't care how fit you have to be to do a pirouette on ice skates, it's still not a sport.

Any event where the winner is decided on completely subjective assessments of how prettily a movement was performed, rather than on some kind of physical, objective, measureable achievement (ball moved across a line, time to complete a certain distance, etc.), is a beauty contest.

That includes synchronized swimming, figure skating, most snowboarding events, and yes, even gymnastics.

Throw it ALL out, and get back to real athletic events.

Yes, I know you have to be in fantastic shape to do some of these things.

It's still subjective. It's all about how you looked while doing it. It's still a beauty contest.

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
This horrible event combines body worship and a one world mentality with obscure sports that in which only rich people participate. The worst part is the 3rd Reich moment when all the athletes march into the stadium.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
> The worst part is the 3rd Reich moment when all the athletes march into the stadium.

They don't march, have you never been to a high school football game? They either walk in, during a scrimmage, or burst through a banner.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uh, Wibbins? We're talking about the Olympics, not high school football.

They DO march. Have you never been to or watched the Olympics?

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
When it was our amateurs against the rest of the world's professionals, I cared about the Olympics.
Now that it's our professionals against the rest of the world's amateurs, I don't.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
It still remains about the only time anyone puts ANY dressage on TV, and I do actually enjoy watching dressage ... all the equestrian events really.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure the politics of the terror and the boycotts have hurt the games some, but the biggest reason the games need to be done or totally changed is the stupid, corrupt IOC and the local committees that suck the life out of them. The whole competition between cities is massive bribery mixed with politics.

The politics of boycotts and terrorism won't ever go away simply because of the way the world is. But other things can be worked out to reduce the power, influence and corruption of the IOC and those involved in that.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I lost interest after the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles, where I was living at the time. The impression I got was that the only thing that mattered was that everyone turned a dollar.

The Olympics can end any time. They're not worth the effort.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Big advertising contracts for winners means that the games cannot ever be about amateurs competing for the love of sport. Drugs, money, and corruption can never be separated from the Olympics. I used to thrill to them too, but no more. I'd say end them, but that's impossible too.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some people think I'm to the right of Attila the Hun, but I hated to see the boycott of Moscow in 1980. With the Olympic boycotts, professional athletes and weird winter events with loud music, I've totally lost interest. For a while its been an over-hyped event, along with most other big sports nowadays.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Miracle on Ice remains great though.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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