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Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Olympics Have Never Been Pure Competition And My Excitement Waned Years Ago
Historically, the Olympics from its ancient beginnings to today have never been an event of pure athletic competition that many of us were lead to believe in our youth.
As kids in American high school history class, we were taught how Adolf Hitler used the 1936 Olympics as a propaganda tool for the Third Reich. And perhaps at least for Americans, when African American Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals, his win in hindsight, was a symbolic historic justice to the Mad Hatter in charge of Germany. (Of course American history books through the 1960s never acknowledged that despite Owens' celebrity, he was still discriminated as a black man when he returned home to the USA.)
During the cold war, the Olympics were touted as an event of good versus evil. For westerners, everything evil was communist.
Television blatantly only focused on American Olympic athletes. Should a Soviet or Chinese athlete win a medal, he or she was summarily dismissed as a freakish athlete bred at some insidious breeding camp. These communist athletes were paid for by their respective commie governments to perform and to embarrass the freedom loving western countries.
If an American should lose an event, well of course, it was because the judges from the communist countries could not be impartial when they awarded points.
Today, American television still counts up the total medals won by American athletes and has created a new post cold war rivalry between the United States and Chinese.
Much to the delight of patriotic Americans, to combat athletes who were subsidized by their governments for their training, the International Olympics Committee made changes in its charter in 1986 that professional athletes were eligible to participate.
Americans were awarded the Olympics 1992 Basketball Dream Team of millionaire athletes kicking some international butts!
There is something a bit disheartening to see anorexic looking girls and boys participating in gymnastics and figure skating. It is somewhat nauseating watching their task master coaches standing on the side lines as their athlete marionettes grab flowers tossed to them by an admiring crowd of wealthy people who are the only ones able to afford the tickets to attend the games.
IOC corruption has not only been overseas, but also in the United States as when Americans secured the 2002 Winter Olympics Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As for the upcoming 2014 Russian Sochi Olympics, Vldadimir Putin is staging the games for a foreign audience to show off his "new Russia" that he and his corrupt cronies have been overseeing.
As for television rights, by now most of Americans know NBC has purchased the rights to telecast the games. All world news is put on hold for this NBC extravaganza which will enrich the pockets of the network's executive and stockholders.
As for today's athletes, many engage in shameless self-promotion with less emphasis on the country that allowed them the opportunity to engage in the sport that will make some incredibly rich when they return home.
This is not to say I will not tune into the Olympics this year, but admittedly my youthful excitement for the games waned years ago.