I don’t just hate the Olympics, I loathe the Olympics. Every 4 years I’m subject to the same inane conversations about this snoozefest. Everybody claims they “love the olympics” until you ask them why and they can’t name a single thing they like about it.
I’m sure deep down we all want to love the Olympics. I know I do. A competition where amateur athletes from every country compete against each other to see who is the best at every sport. On paper, it sounds compelling. But the Olympic games have turned into such a corrupt, boring farce that even “fans” struggle to name 1 likable thing about them.
So when you say “I love the Olympics” what you’re really saying is “I like things based on popularity and don’t form my own opinions.” That’s OK, we’ve all done it. As the games begin in Tokyo, I’m here to set you straight and save you from hours or worthless content.
The Events are 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 supposed to be entertainment. They have stakes, there are narratives, we can feel the tension in the air. When you remove the entertainment aspect, you’re left with the WNBA.
Men’s football, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball (to a lesser degree) have profitable, professional leagues 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.
At least this made the event worth watching
A bunch of ancient, naked Greek dudes wrestling to pass the time has snowballed into 2 weeks of watching sports we don’t like with athletes we don’t know from countries we don’t care about.
If you haven’t seen the 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 cheated at every Olympics since steroids existed. As Russian “Steroid Czar” Grigory Rodchenkov explains in the movie, they easily figured out ways to sidestep all of the piss tests and laughed in the face of all the safe measures the IOC put into place.
Director Bryan Fogel’s documentary was supposed to show the effect steroids had on him as a semi-pro cyclist. He ended up stumbling into Russia’s doping program because he found the right guy and asked a few questions. He’s not a tenacious investigative journalist, this was right in front of our faces this entire time and nobody cared enough about the Olympics to ask or look.
Which begs the question, who didn’t get caught? It’s easy to demonize the Russians because of movies like Rocky 4 or Rambo 2 or Goldeneye or Air Force One but China, the U.S., England, any country that has a seat at the global superpower table have been doing the exact same thing. Rodchenkov says this is absolutely happening and you have to be a special kind of gullible to think it’s not.
As Fogel 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 to police themselves instead of having a competitive advantage which is like trusting a heroin junkie to house sit for you.
The big climax of Icarus has Fogel and his crew meeting with the IOC to show them the library of evidence they have against Russia. The IOC staff looks shocked and horrified and confused, which proves they’re either great actors or really stupid people.
How did they punish Russia for their decades-long cheating scandal? They weren’t represented at the 2018 or 2020 Winter Games. That’s it. They still competed, but Russia as a country wasn’t recognized. Competitors from Russia were labeled as the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) which is actually pretty funny.
No long-term ramifications, no bans, barely a slap on the wrist. I’m sure Russia learned its lesson. Their government is made up of reasonable people who definitely don’t exploit any sign of weakness.
Do you still love the Olympics? There’s so much more!
The IOC is the Worst Organization on the Planet
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 isn’t 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. There were not.
It’s a Pointless Global Dick Measuring Contest
The Olympics are an easy way for world leaders to stir up some low-cost nationalism. What self-respecting world leader can say no to that?
It’s a win-win for powerful nations (as long as you don’t host it). It unites the people and distracts them from whatever shady shit the people in government are trying to cover up. It’s like a big ‘reset’ button on the news cycle for 2 boring-ass weeks.
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 and the perfect opportunity to prove your country is superior to everybody else’s. At least the athletes get paid well for their contributions to boosting nationalism. Oh, wait, no they don’t.
Let’s All Hate the Olympics Together
Even if you don’t believe anything about the corruption or the IOC, these games fail on the most basic level, they’re really fucking boring. A 20-hour marathon of Pawn Stars carries infinitely more entertainment value than the Olympics.
Stop lying to yourself and claiming you like it. There are easier ways to make friends.
The only way to save these games is to revert back to the rules in the early 1900s, like in this video from the 1908 London games. They didn’t even have a landing mat for the pole vaulters. You had to clear the bar AND avoid breaking your legs. And tug of war used to be an Olympic event, WHY WOULD WE REMOVE IT?!
It looks like pure insanity but I would watch an entire month of Olympics with no safety measures. Let’s prove who really cares about the Gold Medal.