The Olympics Suck

Filed in National by on February 7, 2014

I don’t want this to sound like a “things were great when I was a kid, and now they suck” post, but the Olympics were great when I was a kid and now they suck. Seriously. The Olympics used to be awesome. It was Jim McKay’s ‘Wide World of Sports” on the steroids. Literally (Yes, I’m looking at you East Germany.) They showed all the sports including biathlon. Not because it looked like an American might medal in biathlon, but because when else were yo going to be able to see biathlon? Now its all skating and snowboarding. They’ll cut away to bobsled in order to set up a Lola Jones puff piece, but that’s about it.

Back in the day, it was amateurs who did it for the love of the sport, (Do you believe in miracles?!?). Now it is millionaire snowboarders making pretend snowboarding is a sport while they drink Mountain Dew on the medal stand to fulfill the terms of their endorsement contracts. (Do you believe in cross-promotions?!?)

It was once shrouded in the corny utopian vision of the brotherhood of man and the uplifting power of international cooperation. Now every f#cking story is about Olympic “security” and the dread of that security failing. Release the doves of war!

It sucks.

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (25)

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  1. kavips says:

    I was just thinking. It is good to have a bad Olympics. I think we all expected China to flub up, and the pollution story was run into the ground leading up, but they that nations blew us away over how well things ran. I certainly think on one expected Britain to rise to China’s level, but they did. In Winter, Salt Lake was worth watching. So was Norway…. And especially Vancouver. But every Olympic has to outdo the one before and it is pushing the sports to the background… I think after Sochi, we can start again a zero because it won’t be hard to beat next time, and just focus on the athletes, and that is refreshing…

    Btw, if you Google-map Sochi, there ARE a lot of dogs.

  2. puck says:

    Probably if you attend in person it is a much better experience than watching it on TV.

  3. Frank says:

    The Olympics has become the NCAA on steroids: marketing, corruption, exploitation, and hype.

    The Nation devoted a recent issue to the Sochi snowjob. Here’s the article I found most compelling:

    Everything corporations touch becomes a scam.

    And if you ask me nicely, I’ll tell you what I really think.

  4. Pencadermom says:

    Frank, interesting article. I wonder if the author noticed this “Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!” planted in the middle of her story

  5. Frank says:

    The Nation is the oldest continuously publishing magazine in the country, and it has always operated on a shoestring. A request for a subscription does not surprise me.

    My print subscription is money well spent. Every issue challenges me.

  6. Jason330 says:

    CNN reports ….OLYMPICS RESULTS: The United States clinched the first gold medal of the Sochi Olympic Games on Saturday when Sage Kotsenburg won the snowboard men’s slopestyle.

    Men’s slopstyle… Please.

  7. pandora says:


    “They showed all the sports including biathlon. Not because it looked like an American might medal in biathlon, but because when else were yo going to be able to see biathlon?”

    I agree 100%. The coverage is awful. We watched the Summer Olympics online the day after it aired – mainly to avoid the puff pieces and to see, you know, the actual events.

    Biathlon? What about Curling? 😉

  8. Joanne Christian says:

    Curling…..the only “real” event left in the Olympics. The rest is just career athletics that gets a seasonal Superbowl every 4 years. And a new hat.

  9. Dave says:

    The (insert subject of your choice – politics, Markel, Olympics, Carper, NFL, Flowers, beach, yadda, yadda) sucks!

    The damn glass is always half empty.

    Young people work hard on something they are passionate about; competing against each other and celebrating each other’s success. Most do it on a shoestring. Some of them manage to get rich in the process, most do not. And every four years the world gets a brief glimpse of that passion and all you can say is bah humbug?

  10. cassandra_m says:

    I think that the point of Jason’s post here is that you don’t really get to see much of that passion any more. You do get an increasingly curated experience (complete with music, special chyrons, and highly produced bios) that doesn’t do much to respect either the competition or the passion.

  11. Camptown Lady says:

    I hear that the electrician who was responsible for the lighting of the Olympic Rings during the Opening Ceremony was promoted to the position of uranium miner. His new abode is somewhere in eastern Siberia.

  12. Dana says:

    Last night was NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremonies for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, and the NBC commentators were doing their level best to make it about politics. Bob Costas had a short interview with President Obama, opened with politics — a question concerning the lack of high ranking Administration personnel attending the games — and President Obama, to his credit, said that the games were about sports and the athletes, not politics. So, what did Mr Costas do? He tried to turn it right back to politics, with a question about open homosexuals leading some sort of American delegation.

    At that point, I changed the channel.

  13. FenceSitter says:

    Totally agree with Jason, which is scary. My kids and I are watching Battlefield Earth rather than Olympic coverage. Nuff said.

  14. Dana says:

    To be fair, NBC just showed a women’s cross-county ski race in which no American skier finished high or was expected to contend for a medal. The top five finishers were from Norway, Sweden, Norway, Norway and Finland.

  15. Dana says:

    And now men’s speedskating.

  16. Frank says:

    In any event, not watching, don’t care. It’s not worth wading through the hype to watch sports I’m not interested in.

    By the way, here’s another link from The Nation’s Olympic issue. Meet the IOC:

  17. Camptown Lady says:

    I will watch certain events, despite the coverage; downhill, bobsled, women’s figure skating, luge, ski jumping, hockey, half pipe, short-track speed skating and the snowboard and ski races with four competitors on a banked course (whatever that is called). And for some reason, I sort of like curling. Oh, and the event where they ski off a big jump and do flips and spins (freestyle?).

  18. Linda says:

    I have struggled with this same feeling during the past few Olympics. Especially as they add new sports, like Snowboarding Slopestyle. But it occurred to me last night watching that event that a) it IS pretty incredible to watch and b) I wish I knew some history of when they brought in sports like Ski Jump (which is one I grew up watching in awe). I say the latter because I wonder if there was a time that people like us (who grew up watching one thing just to see new things added) felt the same way as we do now.

  19. jason330 says:

    and just when I was going to soften up and give NBC a few props for better coverage this year….

  20. Joanne Christian says:

    Totally get your wanting to support the “passion” of youth in their determination to excel. Something was lost along the way though since the 80s, and the intrusion of mass marketing, commercialism, NCAA, etc…..Had a cousin who left the US Olympic headquarters in Colorado Springs as a major development person suppporting that passion, post a certain Olympics year—altruism gone in that area.

    But here’s a thought–the Senior Olympics are starting to pick up some notoriety. Now there’s a remarkable reintroduction of a person going back into the thrill, victory, agony, and rigor of a sport AFTER laying low and being a workaday dog, parent, adult, for a good amount of time to discover/rediscover a physical/mental prowess of excellence. That to me now is an Olympian—not that incubated, groomed, relocated, isolated, funded, and marketed daredevil/uber circus acrobat/ ski bum wunderkind/ ice theatre dance queen that it has all morphed into.

    It’s all Vegas, pro athletics, or winter circus acts, akin to stock car racing, Monster Trucks, and the Blue Angels–that sure we all watch from time to time–but it’s a career dressed up as Olympians now.

    Watch the Seniors—until media /mass marketing does–and they start dropping out of life at 45 to “prepare” for the Senior Olympics.

    But curling is still the purest form of Olympic intent in my book remaining.

  21. Dave says:

    Mass marketing and sucky coverage aside. There remains something called the Olympic spirit. It was display once again a short time ago when an American, coaching the Canadian ski team, went out on the track and gave a Russian cross country skier a spare ski after he broken his in half.

    The glass may be half empty but there is something in the glass and I like to celebrate the little things, especially when it involves classy behavior on the part of human beings.

  22. Frank says:

    The shame is that the efforts of the athletes are sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed and nationalism.

    Do you really think that Verizon or Comcast or whichever cares about the athletes and the purity of their quests for excellence?

    They might as well be sponsoring the June Taylor Dancers for all they care.