Why The Olympics Are A Load Of Crap
The Olympics used to be cool, but they’re not anymore. In my opinion they’re already down the toilet. They’re a load of crap. I saw a meme that I think perfectly embodied this in its caption of:
“The Olympics: A chance for people to pretend they care about sports that they haven’t watched since the last Olympics”
Accurate, but why? Let me explain…
Its Not That Impressive Anymore
We all know Olympians represent the pinnacle of human potential. People used to be able to do things you couldn’t do and you were super impressed by it.
Take the 100m sprint for example – there are plenty of fast people out there, but people have been running 10 second 100’s now since 1908. The sub 10 second barrier was broken back in 1968 (due to altitude) but then again, since Carl Lewis did it in 1984 its happened every 100m final since.
In 2012 Usain Bolt won with a time of 9.63 seconds, but in that same race 7 runners came in under 10 seconds. It seems as though everyone is able to do it now and as a result the event is less impressive. To the average person watching at home the times themselves are meaningless, they’re just watching a bunch of the worlds fastest people run to see who can do it faster this time. The athletes are all similarly fast, but someone is going to be .02 seconds faster than the next one.
So why aren’t we impressed?
Do you remember back when you were a kid and when the sports carnival was coming up? Remember how everyone would get excited about running faster than each other, throwing things further and jumping higher than the next person?
Remember how you were in competition with your friends?
Remember when you left school you didn’t really care anymore? You might have had some trophies or medals to look at but over time they lost their meaning because you weren’t involved anymore the carnival that you weren’t at the following year was actually meaningless because you have a job, mortgage/rent, bills and a life to live?
Well the average person who’s watching the games is detached from it all because they aren’t involved. In the lead up to the games there are next to 0 qualifying events shown on TV. We get some coverage of the swimming (in Australia we allocate the largest funding to swimming so it also gets televised), but no one is televising the rest of it. No one knows the stars of the sports, no one has been a household name in years. In Australia, our biggest stars are now commentating the sports.
Adding to the detachment of the Average Joe is…
Your Favourite Athlete Probably Isn’t Competing
Many sports within the Olympics aren’t what you would call “Professional Sports” because the spirit of the Olympics is about the best amateur competition.
There are a few high profile professional sports included such as:
But even then their contracts take priority (Cycling doesn’t allow pro’s though). Within the sports that allow professionals to compete there are a bunch of high profile athletes who just aren’t going to compete for various reasons.
Here are a few:
– Adam Scott (Golf)
– Nick Kyrgios (Tennis)
– Bernard Tomic (Tennis)
– John Isner (Tennis)
– Louis Oosthuizen (Golf)
– Steph Curry (Basketball)
– Blake Griffin (Basketball)
– Chris Paul (Basketball)
– Kobe Bryant (Basketball)
– Russell Westbrook (Basketball)
– Lebron James (Basketball)
– Tyson Fury (Boxing)
– Wladimir Klitschko (Boxing)
– Deontay Wilder (Boxing)
All of the above have a massive number of fans, but won’t be seeing their favourite athletes compete on the world stage due to a variety of reasons but ultimately it comes down to their careers.
Many of the athletes mentioned above are sitting out due to recovery or “scheduling conflicts”, which is basically saying their careers come first. They’re under multi-million dollar contracts, have sponsorship’s and responsibilities that they need to honour, therefore if they were injured or not fully recovered due to their Olympic adventure and unable to perform when they return to the professional arena it puts their livelihood on the line.
Up until this year professional boxers weren’t able to compete either. It was all amateur. Whilst the Olympic boxing scene has in the past given us glimpses of who will be the next big thing in the boxing world, once they turn pro they couldn’t come back. Once they’ve turned pro and earned millions why would they risk getting knocked out in an amateur competition – the results of which can mean they could be easier to knock out next time and also affect their rankings in the world standing as well as potential fights offered?
It’s A F*** Fest
When you have a bunch of fit, healthy, young people living in the same place, who have been under immense pressure for a long period of time to achieve what’s probably the pinnacle of their athletic careers it’s probably inevitable that a few may find each other attractive and want to blow off steam.
I mean, you’re sticking them in houses together for 17 days and for many of them it’s a once in a lifetime event – they’re going to want to make some memories like; winning a medal, walking in the opening and closing ceremonies, having sex with as many people as possible…
Just this past week there was a Brazilian synchronised diving team who split after one of the members’ marathon sex sessions with a canoeist. Allegedly this happened the night before they were due to dive at The Games.
Oh yeah, the Olympics are known for that amongst the athletes. That’s why this year in Rio they’ve ordered a record 450,000 condoms.
Yep – 450,000
That works out to be 42 condoms per athlete. Not per male athlete, for the first time female condoms are being given out as well. That figure is PER ATHLETE! Some teams, such as the Australian team are bringing their own supply of “Anti-Viral” condoms due to the Zika Virus so god knows how many there will actually be.
So by that notion they predict that each athlete over the course of the 17 days’ worth of Olympics is could have the capacity to have sex 42 times!
Unfortunately, the poor athletes only being supplied with 175,000 packets of lube so they’re going to need to use it sparingly.
No wonder they all say going to the Olympics is a dream come true for them.
The athletes are using Tinder in the Olympic Village as well. The Instagram account “sportsswipe” is showcasing them as they appear and Tinder spokeswoman Rosette Pambakian says usage has skyrocketed in Rio de Janerio. Apparently matches in the Olympic Village increased by 129% over the weekend of the games starting.
Some teams had to put bans on their athletes using these apps to keep them on task (America) whilst others (Australia) are free to use them.
Condom allocation may be a tricky business though considering…
Trans-Athletes Special Rules
You may have heard earlier in the year that the International Olympic Committee received recommendations and essentially ruled that transgender athletes could compete in the Olympics in their new gender category.
The sporting world went crazy. Half celebrating that a victory for equality had been won whilst the other half were furious that such a travesty was about to occur in the pinnacle of sports.
Why are they up in arms about it? Especially when there are clauses in the recommendation that state:
“1. Those who transition from female to male are eligible to compete in the male category without restriction.
2. Those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category under the following conditions:
2.1. The athlete has declared that her gender identity is female. The declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.
2.2. The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women’s competition).
2.3. The athlete’s total testosterone level in serum must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.
2.4. Compliance with these conditions may be monitored by testing. In the event of non-compliance, the athlete’s eligibility for female competition will be suspended for 12 months.”
Seems pretty safe right? They’re testing to ensure that testosterone isn’t too high to give an unfair advantage in training and competition as well as ensuring it’s been that way for at least a year prior to competition. Whereas a female athlete transitioning to male can jump straight in, presumably also being allowed to raise their testosterone through hormone replacement therapy administered by a doctor.
But there are some sticking points that just don’t get answered by these points such as:
If a trans athlete is transitioning from male to female, they may have spent their entire lives training, developing and competing as a man, which affects every organ, muscle and bone in their body. The capacity, strength and density of their organs, muscles and bone doesn’t just dissipate over the course of the 12 month period leading up to their event in the absence of X amount of testosterone. Many things remain that could potentially give someone an unfair advantage that an athlete born female and competing wouldn’t have due to not having grown and developed with testosterone.
Even the shape of our hips are different based on the process of going through puberty and the huge amounts of testosterone the developing body is exposed to. This translates to a different ability to generate power through the structure that a biological female may not be able to match.
Using hormone levels to effectively determine someone’s gender can be a little hit and miss. Men and women both have testosterone and oestrogen in different levels. Determining that the cut off point for being a male is X amount of testosterone per nmol/L of blood and it is under Y nmol/L to be female is messy to say the least.
Having athletes on hormone regulation potentially opens the door for doping. If you’re seeing X amount of hormone in someone and they classify as female due to it, does that then mean the female athlete transitioning to male is allowed hormone replacement therapy which is essentially introducing testosterone to the body in controlled doses. What’s the limit for that athletes’ testosterone level? Does that then mean a male competing with low testosterone get medically administered testosterone replacement therapy?
Apparently not, that’s doping. It’s a messy topic which you can get into the weeds on very quickly but that’s not to say it shouldn’t be talked about.
What would make much more sense to me is the creation of another category where trans athletes could showcase their abilities just as biological male or female athletes already do. Surely that makes the playing field even?
We rarely see instances of female athletes electing to compete against male athletes trans or otherwise. Surely you could also allow female athletes freely compete against male athletes as well.
The Winter Olympics Are Just…Cooler
Excuse the pun, but the winter Olympics are just so much cooler than the summer games.
With sports like:
– Ice Hockey
– Snowboard Cross
– Ski Jumping
– Freestyle Skiing
Why would you want to watch people run and throw things when you can see a bunch of extreme sports?
Seriously, the winter sports are just cooler. Look at what you have to pick from in the summer games:
– Wrestling (not MMA)
– Various running events
– Various throwing events
Where’s the excitement? They might be exciting to compete in but they sure as hell aren’t great spectating sports.
Thankfully this year the Olympics includes Rugby Seven’s…but then they’ve included golf too… probably on par (more puns!) with lawn bowls for excitement.
Compare that to what the winter games can add (and is adding) to the 2018 games – Snowboarding Big Air, Speed Skating Mass Start and Alpine Skiing Team events – Its not long now until we get something like Snow Mobile Big Air.
The winter games are just so much cooler. The only hope for the Summer Games is to put more spectator friendly sports in like what they’ve done with Rugby Seven’s and also Surfing for 2020. Still though, Handball?? Only Rugby can save them in my opinion.
Doping & Cheating
Let’s be real, when you’re a competitor at the top level of any field you’re going to do what you can to get the edge on your competition.
The Olympics, despite being the epitome of international friendly competition, are no exception to this.
Whether its pressure from coaches, the country or themselves, athletes have always done something to gain the edge over their competitors. Ideally that means training harder and smarter than their opponents, but for a few it means performance enhancing drugs.
Just this year we have stories of Russia having a state sponsored doping system. They faced a ban from the games entirely (recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency) but now have 271 of their original 389 athletes cleared to compete and are bragging their team is “probably the cleanest in Rio”. In my opinion they’re insinuating there’s doping happening in other teams by making a statement like that.
Well, it appears they weren’t wrong. Days in to the games there are reports of Irish boxer Michael O’Reilly and Antonis Martasidis packing up and going due to positive tests.
Is it fair that the athletes in question (Russians especially), although clean now, probably weren’t when they were training leading up to the games?
I don’t think so. The athletes often harbour great disdain for others who’ve been caught doping in the past.
Speaking of the past, let’s go back to 1988 in Seoul where Ben Johnson famously beat Carl Lewis to win Gold for Canada, then was stripped of his medal for cheating. Carl Lewis was then awarded the Gold medal. But Carl was also dirty, he’d been found out for consuming a banned stimulant, which he blamed on cough syrup. His defence was that there was “no intent” to cheat and got to keep the Gold. Several others in that race tested positive to banned substances and it’s now known as “the dirtiest race in history”. The only runner who didn’t fail a drug test was Calvin Smith, who finished 3rd and still only has a Bronze to this day.
Marion Jones never failed a drug test, but she admitted using THG (tetrahydrogestrinone, which is a steroid) in preparation for the 2000 Olympics, which she won 5 medals in (3 gold, 2 Bronze). She claimed her coach had been giving it to her as “flaxseed oil”. Again though, no intent to cheat – she was unaware, but the coach had intention to cheat and she was eventually stripped of the medals and banned from The Games. She still had sponsorship’s that she earned money from though after winning. So where was the incentive not to cheat?
Aside from these high profile cases it’s been a given in Olympic Weight Lifting for years that there’s going to be some element of steroid use. In fact, in the documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*” we learn that back in the 50’s a Russian coach got drunk and let slip to the American coach that they had been injecting steroids in their athletes. The American coach then had a more powerful steroid created for Team USA and the rest is history.
Why do I bring up all these events from the past?
To be honest it looks like it actually pays off for athletes to cheat. Sure they’re risking their reputations and sponsorship’s if they cheat or dope, but they earn millions if they don’t get caught. These are amateur sports for the most part, not professional. They’ve got to cash in while they can.
What if we found out in 10 years that Usain Bolt wasn’t just a genetic freak, but was a genetic freak that had been taking something that wasn’t able to be detected yet in tests. He’s earning $33M a year in sponsorship’s and endorsement deals. In 10 years if he were stripped of his medals and reputation were destroyed he’d still have earned more than most of us can dream of and be set for life.
The Olympics are a load of crap #JustSayin #SorryNotSorry