Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

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EdithKeeler
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Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by EdithKeeler » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:43 am

It’s that time again—sigh—and I just can’t get into the Olympics. I don’t have a TV, so that makes them fairly easy to avoid, but they seem to be everywhere else—Internet, stores, people talking about them at work....

I just don’t get the hype. Especially when it’s no longer amateurs, but rather seems to be this big money thing infused with faux patriotism. There was a story on NPR about some South Korean team who didn’t have enough people so recruited Korean Americans for the team. They interviewed a woman who I think is a Harvard grad, born here and lived here her whole life, and her name is something generically American (like “Karen Gibson” or similar—sorry, I can’t find the story just now) but she’s playing for S Korea. I get why she would want to, and I guess there’s a good “Olympics reaching across cultures” story there, but at the same time.... why bother.

It seems like the Olympics is terribly expensive, not great generally for cities that host, and so terribly commercial. Seems like in a time nuclear proliferation, global warming, war, terrorism, cities having to turn off the water to their residents, the billions spent on the Olympics every couple years could be put to better use.

I dunno.... I’m just mildly anti-Olympics. Anyone else feel that way? I know we have a lot of people from different countries here—what’s your take?
Last edited by EdithKeeler on Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sclass
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Sclass » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:26 am

Oh man...is the winter games going on? :lol:

I’m so out of it. From what a bunch of salesmen were saying Monday I gathered there was a Super Bowl over the weekend. I had to nod pretending I saw the game till they finished so we could get to market conditions for their robotics equipment.

It has been 80 deg outside my door for weeks now. Hard to imagine winter Olympic Games.

Same problem no tv. No coworkers. No circus.

ducknalddon
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by ducknalddon » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:38 am

Yes, I've been somewhat sceptical about it for a long time. In the UK we were sold it on the basis it would regenerate a run down part of London and increase participation in sport. There was some regeneration although we probably could have achieved that with a smaller budget and participation in sport has actually gone down since 2012. We have also been spending money on the top end of athletics to improve performance all the while normal people are becoming less active.

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by jacob » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:51 am

I think it's a great idea! Well, perhaps less money could be expended on turning the opening and closing ceremonies into giant rock shows. And turning the venue into a giant job-creation program is a demonstrated loser. But ...

This is one of the only international events, where representatives from every country shows up. They show up in a "constructive manner" (not to discuss trade deals or who gets to invade who) and they learn at a young age that athletes from other countries are very similar in dreams and goals to themselves. And perhaps that this applies to other people from other countries as well. Hopefully they'll take some of that insight/experience back with them and maybe it'll affect their provincial countrymen. At the top of my head, it's the only international cultural event that most people in most of the world pay attention to. (It's to the world what the Superbowl is to Americans. The irony that mostly only Americans watch the Superbowl should not be lost.)

In these days, I think we need something like the Olympics more than ever. If we can't even do the Olympics, there's no chance we can do more serious stuff like global warming, starvation, etc...

EdithKeeler
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by EdithKeeler » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:23 am

I agree that it’s a great IDEA... but it just seems out of control and way beyond the point of amateurs getting together to represent their countries in sport. To me.

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Astra
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Astra » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:44 am

I'll take some sporty butts sliding down slopes at the underwhelming Winter Olympics over nuclear holocaust sparked by some pompous asses any day.

Jason
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Jason » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:58 am

I admire the athletes, specifically the figure skaters, as I enjoyed that when I was younger. And there are some great skaters this year. The games themselves have provided great moments over the years, specifically the 1980 US Hockey team which was amateur in the true sense of the word. I can live with the doping and the cheating. That's just human nature. I always found the cultish/factory nature of the training disturbing but with the current juxtaposition of the pageantry and the idealism with the revelations of the systemic abuse of the women gymnasts during the Larry Nassar trial, I'm having a real issue. My guess is they are just going to try to find a fresh new American face to hide behind.

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distracted_at_work
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:01 pm

Y'all aren't fanatically attached to curling or hockey clearly.

Last Winter Olympics I woke up at 4 AM to walk to a bar in -40 C and got hammered with my friends to watch Canada win the gold in hockey. Followed by a morning house party. Probably won't be the hype surrounding hockey without NHL players this year. I miss university...

I've personally met/know a number of the Canadian curling athletes as well. It's a very personal, close-knit sport.

The Olympics overall are clearly terrible financial/logistical/corrupt blunders. The IOC could let them be run profitably but choose not to. Countries like Brazil shouldn't be chosen to host an Olympics, clearly. The entire idea needs a reboot. Yet I still watch. Oh well.

Paula
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Paula » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:39 pm

Two-thirds of the human beings on Earth have never seen snow, so the winter Olympics are not the best opportunity to bring together those who are truly different.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:47 pm

jacob wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:51 am
At the top of my head, it's the only international cultural event that most people in most of the world pay attention to.
World Cup, probably.

I like watching sports the way other people like a scenic vista, or some kind of artwork. The Olympics are silly in that they are compelled to spend a fuck ton of money making a world class "venue," and the way the broadcasters relentlessly try to inject drama and story lines when all I want is to see people being great.

Jason
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Jason » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:05 pm

Paula wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:39 pm
Two-thirds of the human beings on Earth have never seen snow, so the winter Olympics are not the best opportunity to bring together those who are truly different.
But the fish out of water stories are always fun!!!!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... story.html

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Paula » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:31 pm

Jason wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:05 pm


But the fish out of water stories are always fun!!!!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... story.html
They are also caricaturing and stereotyping rather than humanizing.

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Jason » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:59 pm

That crossed my mind but then I thought it's really no different the US Men's playing in the World Cup. And many countries that were historically inept in certain sports have risen to competing for medals.

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Clarice » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:10 pm

@EdithKeeler:

+1
The amount of resources spent is excessive.
The slobs watching it while sitting on their fat behinds are mind boggling.
"The home team" is a non-reality as the participants are bought and sold on a regular basis by various entities.
So, what's the hype? I am as stumped as you are.

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by jacob » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:22 pm

I think underdog stories like the formerly ridiculed but now famous Jamaican bobsled team and now the Nigerian one... but also that swimmer guy (who swam way slower than I did in my heydays) a few years ago (in London?). And the British ski jumper who tried so very effing hard even if he came in around last ... is what the Olympics is really about: heart! Or human spirit. You can probably tell that I get my stories from Hollywood ... but there's a reason these make for good movies and I think that's a good thing.

I'm probably a romantic sucker for human effort in the face of unwinnable odds, but I'll watch and support that anyday. That humans shouldn't be limited in their belief that they can always do better. I think it's important, not just for the sake of those individuals but for everybody who will be inspired by that. I think that particular attitude is important for humanity. I'm in favor of every human effort that aligns with that ideal.

I don't think it's too corny to say that the Olympics is more about participating than it is about winning. I do think they should scale back the "professional" participation. There are other venues for that.

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by George the original one » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:47 pm

OMG, was the Jamaican bobsled team really 30 years ago?! Suddenly I feel very old.

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by jacob » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:59 pm

@GTOO - Last year we took my parents to visit Lake Placid, NY. We saw both the old 1932 rink and the new 1980 rink. There still were kids hanging around/practicing serious stuff on the latter reminding me of when I was doing competitive sports as a teen [swimmer]. It's still there, being used. Lake Placid was before my [conscious] time on this planet (the first Olympics I really remember was 1988 at age 13), but my parents, who witnessed it during their late 20s/early 30s, were in a seriously deep reminiscent/commiserating stage. It meant something to them.

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cmonkey
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by cmonkey » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:03 pm

I didn't even know there were Olympics this winter again...so...

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bryan
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by bryan » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:24 pm

Big fan of the olympics! Sure it would be nice to avoid a lot of the "big money" tainting it. Recommend everyone watch "Icarus" on Netflix, documentary about, at least, Russian doping. Also to try to watch some of the non-prime-time sports (there is something so cool about watching an event that is many miles away form the Olympic Village or in the basement).

Watching on another country's broadcast stream online is usually a lot better than watching the NBC coverage, other than a few prime-time events.

I would be in favor of expanding the number of sports in the olympics. Kabaddi (mixture of tag and wrestling) is one I discovered from https://www.reddit.com/r/theocho/. Why no dodgeball? etc.

What year will the videogame olympics (don't think there is one, yet) overtake the real olympics?

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by OTCW » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:47 pm

I enjoy the olympics. I don't buy into the pure/amateur aspect, but like seeing the sports that aren't so mainstream get a little coverage. I am competetive by nature and like sports in general.

NBC puts on a good show as well. Maybe too good.

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