8.17.2005

Fuck the Olympics

That's right, I said it, "Fuck the Olympics". The Olympic Games have changed from being an global event in the spirit of international goodwill and fair competition and are now about money, money, money. In fact, in this recent thread on MetaFilter, I refer to the Olympic Committee as monetary terrorists because its really what they are.

They bestow the honor of the Olympic games on a country and then spend the next six or seven years making them leap through ridiculous and expensive hoops. The latest new hoops they want to force on the UK for the 2012 Olympic Games? They want to make it illegal to use the words like like "games", "medals", "gold", "2012", "sponsor" or "summer" in any form of advertising unless those using the terms are official (and by official that means they've paid for the privilege and paid handsomely for it!) sponsors. They want businesses with Olympic in their name to change their names permanently. They want a mountain range to be temporarily changed because its got Olympic in its name. They want to be able to fine transgressors as much as twenty thousand pounds.

The Olympic Committee is completely out of control, its a horribly corrupt and poorly managed group that behaves like a landless dictatorship in their proclamations and requirements.

And that doesn't even touch on the games themselves. One, allowing professional athletes to compete, as in the "Dream Team", pro baseball players (woops, don't have to worry about that anymore since they canned baseball and softball), pro hockey players and the like, letting these professional athletes compete with amateur athletes is the most agregious breach of the Olympic spirit I can think of.

These professionals have absolutely no business competing amongst amateurs. Its is an insult to the spirit of competition when the Dream Team players' salaries are more than some of the entire COUNTRIES they are competing against. How is that parity? How is that fair? How is that even competitive? Its not and the fact that they are allowed to play in the games is extraordinarily bothersome.

Two, dropping baseball and softball is ridiculous. These are two sports with monstrous followings around the world. And yet there are incredibly stupid sports left in the games like distance walking, handball (handball?), shooting (seems kind of stupid with the draconian gun laws around the world nowadays) and yachting.

I'm sure there are plenty more knocks against the Games but these are plenty to get started with. The Games are no longer about friendly competition, they are about huge, huge revenue streams, megamillion dollar tv deals and under the table kickbacks. As such, my interest has waned tremendously in the last few years. If I wanted to watch professional basketball players playing then I'd watch the NBA but I can't stand basketball. If I wanted to watch pro hockey, I'd, well, I'd wait until the NHL gets its collective head out of its butt and gets a season going again.

Is there any reasonable argument for allowing professional athletes to compete in the games? Or is just the same old lame crap that other countries were doing it? I think I will make an effort to avoid the Olympics from here on out. There's no point in giving the Olympic Committee more power than they have already assumed.
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