I’m just jaded, of the Olympics kind, maybe I’m missing the boat completely, it could be the drug cheating Soviets, the endless Rio dramas, the IOC corruption, but my interest in watching the “Greatest Show on Earth” is flickering on low. I think I’ve tuned in to the Olympics coverage for a total of 20 minutes in the first week of the Games.
What’s wrong with me? I’m usually sport crazy, sport sport sport! And the Olympics are the supposed biggest event out there, every four years, the best of the best. The bus driver asks me “Did you see the Aussies in the Basketball this morning?” “No, I missed it”, my coffee guy says “Did you see the Swimming yesterday?” “Nope, didn’t catch it”. Everyone else seems to be into it, except me.
The fact the IOC completely botched the Russian doping scandal after they got handed on a platter the McLaren Report really irked me. The report proved state sponsored doping was rampant through many sports. The IOC tells the world, ‘Nothing to see here, keep moving people’; we’ll just pass the ball to the individual sport federations and let them deal with it. Weak. At least the Paralympics stepped up and banned all the Russians, I’m sure Vlad wasn’t impressed; although he could be too busy cheerleading Trump to even notice.
Maybe its that I’m saving all my TV viewing energy for the NFL, which started today with its first preseason game, the Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears. Yes, that’s it, I’m energy saving. Then there’s the concerted grab by the IOC to muddy the waters by adding a slew of sports over the years. “Oh yes, viewing public, not satisfied with traditional Olympic events like Track and Field and Swimming, lets bring back Tennis and Golf and while we’re at it, lets add Surfing”. Can anyone say, “Cash grab”, they must be desperate to keep relevant.
Ah yes, the impurity of it all. Not that any sport is immune from Political meddling and rampant corruption, but its rare one sporting event can send a whole city bankrupt, sorry Rio. I know there is a sun on the horizon though, it’s the Men’s 100m in Track & Field, and Bolt will bring me back.
As a boy who ran Track & Field I could name every Men’s 100m winner from all the Olympics, all the way from American Thomas Burke winning in Athens in 1896 to the great Valeriy Borzov in Munich in 1972. I’d be at my buddy Marcus’ house and we’d rattle off every name, Jesse Owens in Berlin 1936, Bob Hayes in Tokyo 1964, it was a fun game we’d play.
So, all is not lost, midway through week two I’ll tune in, who knows, maybe I’ll even enjoy it, check out other sports and forget all the outside issues, either way I know my beloved regular season NFL is nearby to keep me warm.