Though the media has spent the last few weeks talking about North and South Korea “uniting” for the Olympic Games, I was admittedly paying no attention to that or anything else involving the Olympics. So I was more than mildly surprised when looking at the wife’s “recorded programs” on the television, I saw that she had recorded the Opening Ceremonies. For me, this, as well as the actual competition, no longer holds ANY interest for me at all.
For someone who was born in the early 50’s and grew up playing many sports and watching the Olympics every four years, what happened to cause such disinterest?
The Olympics was always a source of pride in our family. We would watch all of the activities, actively cheering on the American team, as each American won a medal, whooping, hollering, and glowing with pride. But that all began to change on one fateful October day in Mexico at the 1968 Olympics.
On October 16, 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two black athletes for America, won the Gold and the Bronze respectively in the 200 meters. As the National Anthem played, each raised a black gloved fist into the air, in a sign of “black power” and “protest” against America, and in favor of “black power”, later changed to “human rights”. This was the most “overt” protest in Olympic history since the 1936 Berlin Games.
The 1972 Munich games did nothing to alleviate my disgust with Smith and Carlos in 1968, nor my foreboding of what was to come.
In 72, we saw the radical Palestinian Black September group take eleven Israeli athletes hostage in Olympic Village, eventually executing them all as well as a German cop.
Then, in the final days, the world witnessed the “power” of the Soviet Union member state judges, with the Soviet Union basketball team of professional players “defeating” the US team of college players in a stunning action.
At the end of the game, the US took the lead by 1 point, and with three seconds to go. Through poor officiating, clock manipulations, replaying the last three seconds, and the Eastern Block judges’ phony rulings, the US team would lose to the Soviet Union team by one point. The Russians got the Gold Medal, and the US Team appropriately refused to accept the Silver Medal.
At this point, I began to fully comprehend that the Olympics were nothing but politics in another form. The games would never be the same again for me.
In 1980, President Carter continued the political assault on the Olympics. He ordered the “boycott” of the Summer Moscow Olympics after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, a purely political move. In 1984, the Los Angeles Olympics had the “favor” returned, by 14 Eastern Block countries, including the Soviet Union.
The Olympics have been further degraded by the inclusion of professional athletes instead of just amateur athletes. For the US, this was a direct result of the 1972 U.S, basketball loss of the Gold Medal.
In the years since the 1980’s, the Olympics have been subjected to even more degradation in reputation, not that it could be any worse. The Games have been subjected to:
- The use of performance enhancing drugs by athletes from a diverse group of countries.
- Gender questionable athletes participating in events otherwise restricted from appearing.
- Gay/Lesbian demands for greater inclusiveness.
- Social Justice Warrior demands.
- Claims of racism from an American Athlete who did not get picked to carry the flag.
- Bribery efforts in order for cities to be awarded as venues for future games.
- Total commercialism of the games for profit.
- Funding for full time training of athletes by various interested groups, essentially turning true amateurs into professionals.
- Tens of billions of dollars wasted to build the structures to hold events, and which almost always end in losses to the city.
The entire premise of the Olympics was that they would be held for the amateur athlete and be a venue for promoting greater cooperation and understanding for a peaceful world. Instead, the Olympics have been degraded into a corrupt and political event, subject to every type of SJW demand, and financially bloated to the point that no one wins.
It is time to end the Olympic Games as currently held. Return them to Greece and let them handle it. Don’t invest good resources in bad games.