I’m an avid fan of the Olympics and have been ever since I can remember. I’ve told my Olympic love story story many times before, but I don’t think I’ve recounted it here. Basically, when I was a little boy I wasn’t very interested in watching sports until about the age of 7. Sure, I played them (mostly badly, except for baseball/tee-ball), but watching them seemed incredibly boring. Well, it did until I saw the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. I remember sitting in the hallway and crying as they wrapped up, because I genuinely thought there would be nothing like this for 4 years. In order to cheer me up, my mom proceeded to tell me that I could turn it on channel 23 (ESPN) and watch sports anytime I wanted. I’ve been hooked ever since.
But, my little kid self was right. There is nothing quite like the Olympics and they only come every four years. That’s why I’ve been disappointing to see what’s going on in Rio. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been plenty of great sporting moments during these games. Usain Bolt’s amazing 100m run (with the 200m to follow tonight), Allyson Felix getting robbed at the finish line, Simone Biles’ amazing run…all these have been spectacular. But I would be lying if I said they came off like they should.
The reason is Rio sucks. It should have never been chosen to host the Olympics and every day of the last fortnight has proven that. Every time I turn the son of a bitch on, the stands are half-empty (or worse). NBC keeps showing aerial shots of the stadium during track and field. I wish they would stop that shit, since it only reminds everyone how fucking pathetic the local enthusiasm level is. That might not be the only reason spectators aren’t showing up, though. People are really poor in Brazil. Thus, I don’t want this to sound like an attack on Brazilians themselves. After all, they aren’t the ones responsible for this debacle. That would be the famously corrupt International Olympic Committee.
Maybe it’s not such a good idea to have the Olympics in Third World countries that have massive problems with crime. Just look at how they’re treating Ryan Lochte and crew. Honestly, that shit enrages me. What excuse would they have to fabricate a robbery? Thankfully, Lochte has already gotten out of the country, but they’re jerking around his two teammates. This is not how a host country is supposed to act.
I wanted to love these Olympics, I really did. And in terms of the actual athletics, there’s plenty to celebrate. But a country like Brazil should never again be allowed to host. Luckily, Tokyo is hosting the next games, even if they cheated to get them. I’m setting a goal of seeing those in person. I may or may not make that happen, so I guess you could say the bet is dicey. What isn’t dicey is the proposition that we’ll have a better Olympiad next time. I think that’s virtually guaranteed.