Olympics Week: The Fortnight the Earth Stood Still

This week is Olympics Week!! A full week of all things Olympics. From posts about Olympic athletes to posts about personal reactions about the events to posts about the pageantry itself, this is your virtual one-stop-shopping center for the XXXI Olympiad. Why not dedicate two weeks? Well, I’ll run out of material. I’ll probably run out of material this week. Read on and let’s find out together….

These next two weeks the world will come to a halt and all eyes will be focused on Rio; the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Edit: These next two weeks the world will still rotate around the sun, all cosmic forces will behave as expected, and some eyes will be focused on a small subset of the games of the 2016 Summer Olympics. But what is uneditable is that they are in Rio.

Anyway, I always found the Olympics a rather odd and hypocritical occurrence:

  • The underlying corruption of the IOC makes FIFA look like members of the Good Sam Club, yet the Olympics are advertised as this benevolent event for all to enjoy.

  • The Olympics are supposed to represent all that is good about competition and sportsmanship yet. Cheating runs rampant all over each sport (with the exception of skeet shooting….I think).

  • This is an event that should bring the world together, yet everyone is encouraged (if not forced) to exercise their hyper-nationalism and pretty much pay attention to only your country’s athletes.

  • Every 4 years the host nation is woefully behind on prepping for this massive world event, funneling all sorts of government funds towards erecting large stadia that will rarely be used post-Olympics; money that could be used to help out the citizens in such a more beneficial way. Yet every 4 years the spectacle is so grand and beautiful, we all forget about all of those details.

  • We revel in the enormous sacrifice and talent the athletes bring to every event, yet completely forget about all of them 3 weeks later.

  • Professional athletes (IE: tennis players, NBA stars, etc) seemingly have nothing to really play for other than some medal made from metal, yet there is great emotion in both victory and defeat.

In other words, everything about the Olympics is both beautiful and ugly. It is sort of like the movie Blue Velvet or a young Elizabeth Taylor; underneath the pristine exterior is a vile and ugly underbelly that no one ever wants to be a part of.

This makes me think is everything that is awesome on the outside really flawed on closer look?

Beethoven is the greatest musical mind ever, but to say he was a crotchety old man that no one liked would be putting it nicely. Isaac Newton is a psycho who used to burn his eyeball with a needle to keep himself up to complete his mathematical innovations. Star Wars is even mired with issues, from the cast not fully embracing the success of the franchise to George Lucas’s constant meddling with his magnum opus. The NFL is an absolute mess behind the curtain; owners cheating players out of money and completely ignoring head injury issues for decades. And Lord of the Rings……well……maybe not all things are flawed. :)

Anyway, maybe it is too much to expect anything (sans LOTR) to be as good as advertised. So the Spew will officially endorse the overall concept of the Olympics, warts and all. I guess if we start rejecting all things that are not what they seem, we would live a barren existence.