What’s Wrong With the Olymipcs?

Plenty. And it’s been that way since at least 1972.

It’s only day 2, and already I’m appalled at the commentary (um… would you please let me decide for myself if a performance is appealing or not? Hum?). But lousy sports commentary is almost a sacred tradition with the Olympics. There is a problem that goes much deeper.

And that is the lack of competition. No, I don’t mean the athletes are not competitive, I mean that the sports are not competition. Any sport (and this especially includes gymnastics) where the winner is decided by a judge holding up a scorecard (who’s based the score on a smile or a haircut or a backroom deal) has no place in the Olympics, or perhaps in any international forum. That leads inexorably to Munich, 1972, and should not be given such a venue.

Now please don’t get me wrong and think that I don’t believe that gymnastics, or ice skating or ice dancing or snowboarding isn’t great and athletic and fun to watch. All of those events are fun to watch and worth good money to see. But they should not be forced into some competitive-sport mold, when they are clearly art. There may be great art and lesser art, but to decide which is better by a tenth of a point is idiotic, and as we saw with the ice skating controversy in 2002, dangerous.

So how about this. If you cannot measure it, time it, definitively score a goal or a point, can we eliminate it from the Olympics? Please?

Explore posts in the same categories: General, Personal, post-modernism

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