Time to Scrap the OlympicsPosted: August 18, 2008 | |
Face it, folks, the Olympics have become a farce. Sure, they were a good idea at the time. I would even go so far as to say that they were a brilliant idea. Getting all the nations of the world together for a gigantic play date was sheer genius. The hosting nation got to strut its stuff and show off to the rest of the world. Everyone’s top young athletes got to compete in the world’s arena and make friends with their fellow competitors. This was meant to foster international friendship and understanding and prevent the scourge of war. Maybe the inventors of the idea were a little naive and idealistic, but it was still a damned good idea.
The Olympics had its ups and downs; it’s good moments and its bad moments. The event even kicked off some great careers. Johnny Weissmuller the movie’s greatest Tarzan started off as an Olympic swimmer. Basil “Sherlock Holmes” Rathbone was an Olympic fencer, and who can forget Muhammad Ali, who will always be “Champ” in my heart? There was the obscenity which was the 1936 Berlin Olympics and their was the tragedy which was the 1972 Berlin Olympics. Who can forget the poetry on Ice that was Dorothy Hamill? Then, of course, there was the Jamaican Bobsled Team. Those guys would have been hilarious if they hadn’t gotten hurt.
Today, The International NeoConservative Conspiracy has taken over the Olympic Games and infected them with the same lack of ethics and need for greed that caused the mortgage meltdown. Olympic athletes are no longer amateurs competing against other amateurs. They are now paid professionals working for a paycheck. Originally Olympic sponsors were limited in the amount of support they could give an athlete, and cash bonuses for gold medals would have disqualified a competitor. Today it is simply part of the pay package. I remember that it had been a scandal when professional tennis players turned back to the amateurs so they could compete in the Olympics. Today there is no boundary between amateurs and professionals. When U.S Olympians wear the Nike logo rather than the American flag, we know that the United States has totally whored itself to the multinational corporations.
It would seem that the entire Olympic committee has sold its collective soul to Satan. Not only has the committee allowed multinational corporations like Nike to buy Olympic Athletes like they were junk bonds, but they have totally scrapped any pretense at supporting human rights. The selection of Beijing as the Olympics host city is an affront to civilized people everywhere. I watched China’s Olympic preparations with amazement and horror. 100,000 Chinese citizens were evicted and left homeless in the construction of the Olympic Stadium, and those who would advocate for the homeless were arrested and are being held incommunicado until after the Olympics are over. The indigent were chased out of Beijing with no means of support. People’s pets were killed before their owner’s eyes to assure Beijing’s reputation as a “clean” city.
As shocking as all this is, nothing tops the Chinese Girls Olympics Team. Those poor girls are taken away from their parents as if they were Labrador Retriever Puppies. They are then isolated and forced to train in gymnastics like they were animals in a Siegfried and Roy act. They are not given any education. They are not allowed contact with their families. They are not allowed to play, or do anything except train in gymnastics. Ringling Brothers treats their animal acts with more humanity than China treats its girls gymnastics team. This is what the Olympics have been reduced to; child labor as shocking as anything that happens in a Nike factory.
Sometimes the spirit of the true Olympics come through, such as when the women of the Georgian and Russian sharp shooting teams hugging as an antiwar statement. I choose to see that as an omen of hope for the world, but not for the Olympics. The Olympics have been reduced to treating little girls like they were a trained dog act. The Olympics are no longer about human rights. Forget about fostering international understanding. The Olympics are about selling Coca-Cola, and furthering Chinese economic imperialism. Boycott the Olympics folks. Boycott Olympic sponsors. Say no to child exploitation and child labor, don’t drink Coke and don’t wear Nike.