Can I rant about the Olympics for a second? 

I so remember coming home after camp, racing home after camp, to see Olga Korbut and Mark Spitz.  I was so into it.  The excitement, the competition, the perfection.  I admit, I was looking forward to watching the summer Olympics this year.  Even after reading with disgust about China and the reality of the face they are attempting to show to the world and the reality of what goes on underneath.  No shit but you gotta believe. 

We got home from Edinburgh this afternoon, took a shower, and parked ourselves in front of the television.  Why NBC still hasn't figured out there is a reason that cable rocks.  Do we really care about all the behind the scenes nonsense?  At one point, for at least 45 minutes, we never saw a competition but a bunch of talking heads…who by the way look so awful that NBC should consider hiring a stylist and new makeup artist.  Ok, I will stop being caddy.

George Bush is there cheering the USA on.  Get real.  The world and his own country hates him.  He just wanted to get his last perk at a President. 

Here are my biggest pet peeves.  It began with a piece done by Marie Carillo being interviewed by Bob Costas.  Marie went to some small towns in rural China to see how they begin training the athletes at such a young age.   Marie is just awed on what the Chinese can do and how they support their athletes.  It is just phenomenal.  Ok, get over yourself Marie.  The Chinese Government embraces the young through their parents with bonus benefits such as a home and more money so they can move out of being complete peasants.  Hello.  Marie, why are you spinning the world some bullshit?  Then, we have the ads from Exxon telling us how they help with the eradication of malaria in Africa and why that makes them such a great company.  On yes, such a great company.  Did they get a tax benefit for that so they get create more customers interested in buying oil from Exxon who doesn't even pay for the mess that they created in Alaska so many years ago.  Still holding out in court to pay for their sins.  Bravo America.

Now we get to watch the gymnastics.  You must be 16 to perform.  Olympic rules.  Agreed that gymnastics does something to young womens bodies so they look younger than they are.  But, I'd bet a million bucks that the youngest star of the team isn't a day over 12.  But, hey China is putting on the Olympics so we should all turn a blind eye.  No remarks about how the Government built shitty schools in the rural areas so when the earthquake happened all the kids were killed.  That would be children from families that only are allowed to have one child but hey, who's commenting. 

Up next, Bulgaria.  NBC is commenting on how Bulgaria just doesn't have the gymnasts with the same drive at Nadia Commenici did.  Well, why would they?  At least Nadia had belief that her country was looking to the future.  Romania's economy isn't exactly rocking, there is no true leadership and the Government isn't exactly rooting for their athletes so why would they care.  Are we supposed to read between the lines or just say, oh, how sad.

I hate to be the cynic here but as much as I want to cheer on these athletes.  Their gusto, their drive, their desire to win, to be the best and how they have each dedicated their life to their sport….I am having trouble with the whole thing.  NBC is full of shit.  The Olympics have become political.  Maybe not as much in countries that don't use their athletes as pawns for the world platform called the Olympics.  But, I can't help myself as I sit here and yell at the TV.

The world watches the athletes perform.  Shame on NBC for their commentary.  Thinking that maybe this year, the old school methods will actually work.  Shame on them for not really stating the truth about what goes on in other countries.  Shame on them for acting as there are no politics involved and cheering other countries on with the "up close and personal" totally slanted towards happiness.

Watching the Olympics and the phony advertising and crappy journalism makes me pine for some serious change.  I hate being such a cynic but come on, there is something seriously wrong here that isn't being reported.  

Comments (Archived):

  1. rachel

    all i can say is ditto. we felt the same way while watching last night.

  2. Judy

    I find myself very moved by what you wrote…

  3. mckay

    I think you’re just choosing to see the part of the Olympics you want to see. did you watch the Opening Ceremonies? The artistry and creativity displayed was absolutely beyond excellence. These regular people spend years practicing for their miniscule part of the ceremonies. There’s no political interpretation possible – just appreciate the art for the art’s sake. how about the athletic accomplishments? Did you see the mens 4 x 100 relay? Their historic comeback of this 18 year old kid’s makes you proud to be an American, no matter who our President is. As far as your point about Exxon – it looks like you were in advertising and your husband has company’s in that arena. Should these companies not accept Exxon’s dollars, as you suggested NBC do? As far as your point about the Sichuan earthquake – that’s just borderline offensive. What point would talking about that tragedy serve at the woman’s gymnastics events? And if you watched the Opening Ceremonies you would have seen the Chinese flag was carrier by a 9 year old survivor who tried to rescue his classmates – standing there right next to national hero Yao Ming. i agree that NBC’s human interests stories are lame – but hey, they need more hours to sell ad time. Part of that, though, is the 15 hour time zone difference.

  4. gothamgal

    I actually agree with your comments. As my brother pointed out this morning, you are not watching a PBS show. Yet I can’t help being frustrated with the pomp and circumstance that goes on

  5. Ken Berger

    Strong words that echo many of the thoughts I can’t help having as well, try as I might.

    The Olympics has always aimed to be about taking time out from politics to foster friendlier competition. Of course it’s gotten horribly corrupted anyway throughout history.

    But if we always held each country accountable for its atrocities via Olympic participation, there would never be an Olympics. The US boycotted Moscow in ’84 (for invading Afghanistan– which we wound up doing too about 20 years later). This boycott was a total and wasteful tragedy to our own athletes.

  6. Ken Berger

    doh!– I meant in ’80.

    (hmm- w/ Disqus, I could just edit my previous comment!)

  7. ellen

    olympics not political? Germany 1936! The kidnapping of the Israeli team in the 1970’s!
    Of course it is not just about sport’s competition. Did anyone else get the feeling of the invincibility and power of China during all those powerful drum beats at the opening ceremony? With all China’s new money, I wonder how China will use it’s new global power and money against anyone who doesn’t believe in their politics and policies in the future.

  8. gotham gal

    Yes, I am now disqusing. Is that a word?

  9. jake