I loathe the Olympics. My hatred started with the fact that it’s not entertaining yet it dominates TV every 2 years when it’s on. Then I started reading about how corrupt the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is and I really hated the Olympics. We become rabid nationalist cheerleaders when it’s on and are blinded to the fact that these games only cause pain, suffering, and boredom.
The Events are Mostly Unwatchable
Let me ask you a question. When’s the last time you watched ANY Olympic sports outside of the Olympic games (excluding basketball)? Exactly. Sports are entertainment. When they lose entertainment value you’re left watching a bunch of people vigorously work out. Just go to the gym on a regular basis and you can skip the Olympics, get in shape, and get the exact same entertainment value. Do you honestly care who the best cross-country skier is? Or are you just happy that America is the best at something?
Football, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball (to a lesser degree) have profitable, professional organizations because they’re exciting to watch. The reason swimming, track, decathlons, canoe yoga, that weird speed walking event where that guy shit himself, underwater hurdles, and the other 99% of the events aren’t on TV is because nobody cares.
The Olympics summed up in one photo
But because of the “Tradition” that started with a bunch of naked Greek dudes wrestling to pass the time, we’re forced to have prime time TV taken over every 2 years by sports we don’t like with athletes we don’t know from countries we don’t care about.
“It’s about the athletes and their inspiring stories of accomplishment.” Fair enough, but what is the real accomplishment? You’re the best in the world at something very few people care about? Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Shaun White, yes, but A. that’s two people out of thousands competing and B. They had to shatter multiple world records for people to care. You know how those other Gold Medalists get recognized by most of the world for their accomplishments?
The Culmination of their Life’s Work
If you haven’t seen the recent documentary Icarus yet, give it a watch.
It’s a compelling, extremely well-made documentary that details how Russia had a state-sponsored doping program that goes back decades. They’ve cheated at every Olympics since steroids existed. Which begs the question, who didn’t get caught? It’s easy to demonize the Russians because they’re terrifying people, but I’d bet money that China, the U.S., England, any country that has a seat at the global superpower table have been doing the exact same thing.
As Brian Fogel, Icarus‘ director, explained on the Joe Rogan Experience, Every country that’s hosted an Olympic games gets to provide the drug testing personnel for those games. You’re basically trusting global superpowers, who have every incentive to cheat and dominate the Olympics, to use the ‘honor system’.
And what did Russia get for their decades-long cheating scandal? They aren’t represented at the 2018 Winter Games. They can still compete, but their country isn’t recognized. That’s it. No long term ramifications, no bans, barely a slap on the wrist. At least with Russia, they’ll probably learn their lesson. They’re reasonable people who definitely don’t exploit any sign of weakness.
If that doesn’t show you how little the competitive aspect of these games matter, I don’t know what does.
The Purest Form of Competition
The IOC has more corruption than Somalia
The IOC’s mission statement should be “Supporting the Advancement of Corruption, Greed, and Human Rights Violations”. Their track record over the past 25 years is abysmal.
They sell hosting countries on the economic and social benefits they will receive from being the focal point of the Olympic games, that it will leave a “lasting legacy” for future generations. That last part is true, but the legacy it leaves will not be a positive one. Let’s take the most recent games in Rio De Janeiro. It cost Brazil $15 BILLION DOLLARS to build the infrastructure, including the outlandish stadiums, facilities, and other amenities that the IOC demands. Oh, and the IOC makes incredibly outrageous, non-negotiable demands.
Not only that, but Brazil had to demolish the homes of tens of thousands of it’s citizens to make room for the venues. Not to mention the tax burden Brazilians will endure to pay for all of this now worthless stuff. After all of that, the Rio games were still marred with controversy because their country was too corrupt and in disarray at the time to take on such an event. Remember the horrendous athlete accommodations, how they forced athletes to swim in giant toilet bowls filled with poop, or the uncontrolled zika virus outbreak?
Not to mention the non-stop Bribery, Slavery, and Corruption scandals the IOC engages in at every Olympic games. I hesitate to even call them scandals because that would imply there were consequences for the IOC’s actions. There weren’t.
It’s a Global Dick Measuring Contest
The Olympics are just a cheap, easy way for world leaders to stir up some nationalism. If you’re looking for a new conspiracy theory, “The IOC is the Illuminati” carries some weight. Free, effective nationalism for every country involved? What self-respecting world leader can say no to that?
This can also explain why the countries themselves don’t want to boycott the games, it’s a win-win for them (as long as you don’t host it). It’s a great way to unite the people and distract them from whatever war, political scandal, or election tampering that’s going on. It’s like a big ‘reset’ button on the news cycle.
It also explains why everybody is cheating. The Olympics is a reflection of your country’s power, the strength of your citizens, the size and might of your athletes. It’s why Hitler was so pissed when Jessie Owens ran circles around his Aryan supermen. Or why Russian judges game the system even though all of their athletes are already roided up monsters.
It’s one of the few events the whole world is (forced to be) watching, so convincing your citizens how awesome your country is, and how much better it is than other countries, is the main objective. Well at least the athletes get paid well for their contributions to boosting nationalism. Oh, wait, no they don’t.
Let’s put an end to the madness
Let’s recap: Systemic corruption by the IOC, horrendous outcomes for the host countries, and roided out athletes competing in unwatchable events. This is worldwide propaganda, an archaic way of trying to prove superiority and praise “winners”. An event Donald Trump would love in theory but inexplicably doesn’t tweet about.
Let’s stop watching this farce and go back to arguing over who’s city is better at football, like real Americans.