Tag Archives: 2016 Olympics

Rio 2016: An Olympics I Cannot, Will Not Support

Never in a million years did I think I’d be writing a post like this.  The girl who grew up wanting more than anything to become an

coubertin

Olympian, who instead became the biggest fan of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement, is experiencing heartache of epic proportion. It’s over.  

At least for now it’s over.  I won’t be so bold as to say that the Olympics and I are “consciously uncoupling,” but I have made the decision to step away.  We’re on a break.  And I’ve got to do some soul searching over the coming months to decide what happens next.  

I’ve been watching the Olympics for as long as I can remember, watching them religiously since I was 10.  I’ve never failed to watch an opening ceremony.  I’ve never missed the key events I wanted to watch.  When I began this blog six years ago, I was able to write about all the feelings the Olympics bring out in me.  I was able to share my excitement with others through my writing, on the radio, and in social media.  It made me love the games even more than I thought I could.  Until now.  

On a personal level, 2016 has been a really tough year.  Surely the Olympics–the one thing I’ve relied on to escape the pain of real life–wouldn’t let me down, too?  It did.  In fact, the IOC had been letting me down for awhile, but I was too naive or stubborn to realize it.

I really wanted to support an  Olympics in South America.  I wanted to see the Olympics expand to other continents.  I wanted the 2016 Olympics to help energize the Brazilian economy.  I was crossing my fingers for a Rio Games that would be recognized for environmental sustainability, an Olympics as green as the Brazilian flag.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.

The reasons behind my painful decision stem from the level of corruption within the IOC which continues to grow.  Cities are being awarded Olympics in exchange for money and other favors.  After the deals are done and the Olympics are awarded, the bulldozers come in, destroying people’s homes, leaving innocent residents homeless.  Those who protest are beaten, imprisoned, or silenced in other ways.  It happened in Beijing.  In Sochi.  And it happened again in Rio.

There is raw sewage flowing directly into the water where athletes will be competing and where visitors will be swimming.  Trash, dead animals, and other large items are also floating around in the waters surrounding Rio de Janeiro, which directly impact the safety and performance of athletes competing in the waters.  (Did I mention the bay in which swimmers will be competing contains raw sewage?)

There’s also this tiny thing called the Zika Virus.  While the source of Zika is a mosquito, the virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.  It’s the Olympics.  There’s a lot of sex at the Olympics.

Maybe it’s a delayed part of growing up.  Maybe this year’s US Presidential campaign awoke a voice in me, and I cannot in good conscience condone the atrocities occurring in the name of the Olympic Movement.

I still don’t believe Olympic athletes should be paid.  Yet I also disagree that they should be banned from certain privileges while the IOC rakes in billions of dollars.  The IOC isn’t just receiving these gifts directly to its non-profit organization, but individual members of this governing body are pocketing millions of dollars and receiving other favors, profiting off of the trials and tribulations of the Olympic athletes.

This is not the Olympics I grew up watching.  Or, maybe it was, but the level of greed, corruption, and harm inflicted on the innocent has increased.   Because of this, I can no longer feel good about watching the Olympics.  It certainly isn’t the Olympics founded by Coubertin.  

To any doubters or naysayers, I encourage you to watch the most recent episode of “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.”  Some of what Gumbel and his fellow journalists reported I knew about, but not all of it.  My eyes are now fully open.  I am heartbroken.

Some of you might say, “But in a world full of so much despair, don’t we need the Olympics?  Don’t we need them to give us hope?  Why such negativity?”  Yes, with the current world in which we live, we need something every few years to distract us, dazzle us, and offer an escape.  But we need the Olympics of old.  Otherwise, by watching and supporting the Olympics Games of the 21st Century, we are only aggrandizing the amount of suffering and despair in this world.

The one thing I thought I could count on has failed me.  It  has truly and fully succumbed to the powers of human greed and evil.  My heart is heavy.

Faster, Higher, Stronger.

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Filed under 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Uncategorized

The Most Forgettable Winter Olympics?

Perhaps some of you noticed that I didn’t blog during the 2014 Winter Olympics.  No, my computer wasn’t broken.  Nor was I tucked away somewhere without

Even I wasn't the only one yawning. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Even I wasn’t the only one yawning. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

electricity.  I just didn’t have anything to say.  And that’s not a common occurrence when it comes to the Olympics.  I love the Olympics.  It’s the most exciting thing that happens in my life every two years.  Some might wonder if this is because I have an uneventful life.  No!  It’s because I love the Olympic Games that much.  That much.

One can imagine, then, how disappointed I am over these Winter Olympics.  Okay, I’ll admit I was never particularly excited about Sochi as the host city.  But I put my feelings aside and tried to throw myself into these Olympics as I normally do.  I took vacation days to stay at home and watch.  I even woke at 2:00 AM (or earlier) to watch events live.  But for the most part, the competition was dull.  The venues were architecturally sound, but not worthy of awe.  And when it’s February but the average temperature at a Winter Olympics is 57 degrees Farenheit, something is off.

Throughout the two weeks I kept trying to find that excitement.  Aside from the pairs competition, ladies ski jumping, and the cross-country skiing, there was no sparkle.  No athletes with whom I really fell in love.  No captivating stories.

The only consistency in Sochi was NBC’s continued terrible coverage.  It’s something the network has mastered.   While it offered more live streaming online, it plastered results all over its website.  And rather than forcing me to watch on my laptop, it could have made more use of the other channels it owns.  Quite often as I watched live Olympic coverage online, USA Network was showing re-runs of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and CNBC was airing infomercials.

The one bright spot in these games was NBC Sports’ choice of analysts for figure skating.  While Tara Lipinski  showed poise and articulated

Screenshots from my TV of Lipinski and Weir.  Oh, Johnny!

Screenshots from my TV of Lipinski and Weir. Oh, Johnny!

herself, her colleague Johnny Weir brought much-needed fun and sparkle.  I predicted Lipinski would be in Sochi, and I’m glad NBC decided to also bring Weir to Sochi.  I felt bad for those who weren’t able to watch skating during the day.  They were stuck with Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic for evening analysis.

Yes, it breaks my heart that these Olympics weren’t memorable.  But like any Olympian, I’m going to persevere and set my sights on the future.  I hope that Rio brings its A-game to the table in 2016.  And to Pyeongchang, let me say this:   I can’t handle another dud of a Winter Olympics.  I expect the next Winter Olympics to be phenomenal.  If you need any advice, e-mail me.  I’ve got some great ideas.

Faster, Higher, Stronger.

 

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Filed under 2014 Sochi Olympics

(Olympic) Information, Please!

I’m gasping for breath like a swimmer after an 800-meter race.  These Summer Olympics have way more events and athletes than the Winter Games.  In addition, live action is happening six hours ahead of me.  I’m struggling to find the time to watch as much of the Olympics as I can, while also holding down a full-time job, keeping up with my blog, and still managing to get some sleep.  Dark circles are starting to form under my eyes.  The delivery/take-out people now recognize me.  My dog looks at me forlornly, wondering when life will go back to normal.  My lawn is starting to grow past the ankles.  The laundry pile is growing.  Tom and Katie could have gotten remarried and I wouldn’t know it.   I’m in a bubble, only occasionally coming up for air.  I’m exhausted.

Which brings me to Question 1 that I’ve been asked:

1.  How are you liking these Olympics? 
I’m also loving, loving, loving these Olympics.  The enjoyment is always worth the stress!

Kind of like the stress under which athletes are placed, all for the chance to be an Olympian.  Athletes like Shawn Johnson or Danell Leyvan.  Which brings me to Questions 2 and 3 that have led readers to my blog:

2.  Shawn Johnson’s boobs?
I don’t know anything about Shawn Johnson’s boobs, breasts, rumored plastic surgery, etc.   Shawn Johnson’s height is 4 feet, 9  inches.  I don’t know what she weighs.  One never should ask a woman how much she weighs.  Gymnasts are under a strict diet when they’re competitive.  After retirement, their bodies are allowed to develop more.  Breasts and hips can get bigger.  It happens.

3.  Does Danell Leyvan have a girlfriend?  Is Danell Leyvan married?
According to his Facebook status, US gymnast Danell Leyvan is interested in women and lists himself as being engaged.  Sorry, girls and boys.

4.  Where are the next Olympics going to be held?
The 2014 Winter Olympics will be in Sochi, Russia.
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
2018 Winter Olympics:  Pyeongchang, South Korea.
2020 Olympics:   The three finalists are Madrid (Spain), Tokyo (Japan), and Istanbul (Turkey).  Tokyo is the front-runner.

NEW:  5.  Why are there cheerleaders at the volleyball matches?

The London Organizing Committee approved the use of cheerleaders during volleyball matches.  Viewers have probably seen them during both the indoor and outdoor matches.  Cheerleaders are part of the culture of beach volleyball, going hand in hand with the scantily clad women and loud music.  Since they’re present at beach volleyball tournaments, someone must have thought it would be good to include them in the indoor games too.  I find it ridiculous and shudder to think that the  British might be accepting this silly feature of American sports.

6.  Are Chinese swimmers taking steroids?
Read my next blog post to learn more about this!

Faster,  Higher, Stronger.

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Filed under 2012 London Olympics, Gymnastics, Olympic Fever

My Internal Struggle Over Summer Olympic Sports

Previous Olympic sport: tug of war.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.  I’ve been, going back and forth on how I do feel, how I should feel, my heart being pulled one way and then yanked back to the other side, over and over, an enduring tug of war which has yet to clearly produce a decision.   I’m not sure I will ever have a final conclusion.  I am really wrestling with some of the newly added Summer Olympic sports as well as some of the proposed ones too.   And I hate this.

As an Olympic fanatic, I suppose my opinion on the addition of new Olympic events/sports goes either way.   Sometimes I am terribly enthusiastic; other times, as a traditionalist, I strongly disagree.  Furthermore, as a fanatic, I wrestle with this internally. (For this post, I am only addressing new and proposed events for the Summer Games.)  What’s more, there are some sports which I might not have ever chosen to include in the Olympics; yet because they have been in the Games for decades, the traditionalist in me is hesitant to endorse their removal.

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Filed under Cricket, Olympic Fever, Rock Climbing, Soccer