Tired Torino

If this is true, then I take this back. I did qualify. I did say I could be wrong.

My family hails from Torino (and Genoa) and I would have loved to have seen these games financially profit the region. But it doesn't look as though it will end up that way. As far as the last several Winter Olympic Games go, I believe the Salt Lake City games were really the only winter games to be quite financially beneficial to the host. This all begs the question, why aren't the Olympic Games nearly as exciting as they used to be?

I have a few theories I've been hashing out with friends and family.

Theory Number One:
1. When the IOC, or whomever, decided to split the games into two year intervals rather than keep both winter and summer competitions in the same year, every four years, the games became a more familiar occurence. They used to be something highly anticipated due to the four year gap. Now, it feels like they're every few months. A case of "familiarity breeds contempt?" I think so.

2. Most of the world can't or doesn't participate in the events in the winter games. I can't name one Southern Californian who luges. There are only a few states in the union in which that's even possible. And most winter games are completely impossible in regions such as South America and Africa. You don't see Venezuela as the team to beat in the Men's Skeleton final. The inability to relate to many of the events must contribute to the lack of interest.

3. All the human interest stories and the contrived "spirit of unity" among the competing nations doesn't make for good competition. We don't want to relate to the trials of the Chinese figure skaters. We want to destroy them. Make us hate the other teams. That makes for good viewing. Enough of this "we're all the same" garbage. It may be true, but it's not interesting.

4. The state of the world right now would cause concerned citizens to worry about whether or not we're going to be attacked by Islamic regimes and taken over by pro-Muslim/anti-Judeo-Christian ideologies. When confronted with which might be a greater fear, the USA men's team losing in curling or the reality that your daughter could be forced to wear a burka in 10 years time, I'm thinking most people will go with B.

5. NBC. To reference Family Guy: "NBC: We used to have Seinfeld, remember?"
That about sums them up--they're basically useless. Everything's all pretty and polished, but the games aren't supposed to be pretty and polished. The Greeks would be a bit horrified. And not just because competitors are wearing clothes.

One more address to Mr. Gumbel. Sir, you said we should act incredulous when people compared these to the games of ancient Greece. You are aware that they introduced throwing large discs and wrestling au naturel as olympic events, right? I'd like to think they'd agree we've, how you say, evolved?

Posted by Portia at February 20, 2006 02:12 PM | TrackBack