Friday, August 08, 2008
The Olympics suck
London, ON, June 2008 [Click to embiggen]
Okay, the Beijing Olympics don't suck. Much. But there's a whole lot of odious feeling surrounding the sanctioning body of the movement, the International Olympic Committee. The IOC makes the classic image of the old boy's club seem positively warm and fuzzy by comparison.
I'm all for international gatherings of sport and peace and endless kumbaya. I support the ideals of the Olympic movement, the aspirational halo that it equally casts over the have and have not nations of the world.
Where I have difficulty is how politicized and bastardized the process has become. The incestuous group that dictates who puts on the games continues to define new lows in international sport, from botching the response to the 1972 Munich massacre to its inconsistent response to rampant doping to its blatant shows of clubbiness, nepotism and favoritism within its ranks. Now it casts a blind eye while China tramples accesses for foreign journalists, sweeps aside the tens of thousands of workers who built the facilities (thanks very much...now leave) and ignores the huge human costs associated with the games they awarded. We all saw this coming in 2001 when they chose Beijing. Way to go, IOC.
Were Baron Pierre de Coubertin alive today, he'd disown them all.
(And I haven't even begun to rant about NBC's so-called coverage of the games. If I ever need a definition for rampant jingoism, I only need to turn on the telly. You'd swear after watching one of their shows - tape-delayed, wouldn't ya know - that the only athletes competing in any event were American. Nice.)
About this picture: I was attending a decidedly more pure and simple sporting event in June. My daughter's school track meet at our local university stadium was wrapping up. As I headed home, I turned back and snapped this last view of the underside of the stands. It reminds me that sometimes, sports need only be about a little girl's big day out with her friends.
One more thing: This is another pattern picture as part of this week's Thematic Photographic theme. Click here to dive into the fray.
Your turn: Olympics pro or con? Am I being too much of a curmudgeon here?