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I had the hots for Olga Korbut, but that all happened years ago. I was glued to the set during the U.S. vs. Soviet hockey match-up, but I had lots of national pride and ‘anti-commie’ fervour in my twenties when I thought that kind of sentiment mattered. The 2016 Rio Games…sorry, I’m passing.
My cynical mind just chews through the controversy this year from the seemingly deplorable conditions facing athletes and spectators both, but there have been controversies at Olympics before. It’s hard for me to get into what used to be much purer match-ups prior to 1986 before professional athletes could compete in the games, but pretty much all sports are corrupted one way or another these days. And if people want to be fooled by modern technology, like the Chinese managing through computer animation to add to their 2008 opening games firework display, though I think that deception sucks, what can I do about it in the end?
Is there just more occupying my mind as a crusty old 54-year-old then there was when I was in my teens and early 20’s? Surely. Have I not exactly kept up with who is competing, who my country is rooting for presently, save for a Michael Phelps who looms ever so large I can’t ignore him? Probably. Do I not give a monkey’s dingle on who beats who in a race, pummeling a pommel horse, who does the breast stroke the very best. Certainly.
Sad as it is, though, I do respect any person who works as hard as Olympic athletes do to get into the peak physical condition they have to even get the chance to try to get to Olympic consideration, let alone into the games. There is just something about the pomp and circumstance of it all that just doesn’t do it for me anymore…not that it ever did. Maybe it’s seeing Matthew McConaughey up on his feet, seeing celebrities posting Instagram video of their congratulations and searching round horrific pics of past Olympic villages now gone to seed that makes me wonder, that for these few weeks, is any of this really worth it?
Economies fall, athletes deplete their family’s good will and bank accounts trying to get to the games and hopefully land a metal and an endorsement deal, as the diversion of watching has left me cold and wondering, what the hell is it all really for in the end? Can a gold metal even be melted down and sold in the end for any real substantial money?