9 4 mins 12 yrs

I am writing this hate letter on Valentine’s Day to the Olympic Movement.  I plan on spending much of the weekend avoiding the overhyped Vancouver Olympic Coverage.  I mean the combination of figure skating, Ann Murray, French Canadians and curling strikes me as a circle of Hell Dante could not have imagined.   Oh Canada!

I used the love the Olympics, but while the chill remains, the thrill is gone.  Perhaps the end of the Cold War was a good thing, freedom and all that, but it gutted the drama of Olympic competition.   Our bright young amateurs competing against the Boris and Natasha cheats was a blast.  A level playing field, even on the ski slopes, used to be the norm.  The 1980 Lake Placid defeat of the Soviet Hockey team one of the great thrills of my life.  But now overweight Americans (redundant?) with red white and blue faces chant the annoying “USA USA” mantra as our snowboarders beat the piss out of Andorra or Licechtenstein.  As a Cannuck bilingualist might dite – ce n’est pas le Guerre.  

The Olympics has become such an overblown overbid commercial dopefest that they might as well call it a Snow Opera.  Before each event we learn how the athlete overcame cancer, parental loss or a bad hair day.  Then they compete for a few moments for a chance at immortality and a soda commercial.  I can still watch ski jumping (Eddie the Eagle where are you?), hockey and some skiing.  But some of the other events seemed contrived.  I am sure the biathlon has its fans, but if I want to watch guys on skis going around shooting I’ll put on the military history channel and watch the Finns fight the Red Army.  And don’t get me started on the luge.  Poor Nodar Kumaritashvili bought the farm on a training run just before the games started, reducing Georgia’s Olympic team to about six, but at least giving Sarah Palin an opportunity to send condolences to the people of Atlanta.

I mean one would have to have a heart of stone not to hate the mascots Miga and Quatchi: a mythical sea bear and a Sasquatch who wears boots and earmuffs.  This is the winter of my discontent – the no man’s land between football and baseball seasons – when I don’t dare approach the remote control as my wife will be glued to the latest America’s sweetheart figure skating fiasco.  And if that isn’t bad enough the opening and closing ceremonies are always designed by some lunatic with a budget that would scandalize Cecil B. DeMille and play out like a Broadway Play/Roman Orgy choreographed by a flamboyant Magaret Mead and NASA.  Heaven help us.

Pitchers and catchers in a few weeks.           

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9 thoughts on “Hate Actually – My Olympic Torch Song Pillory

  1. At last a post that I can agree with, in its entirety! – and that doesn’t mean you are on my Christmas card list! 🙂

    When you are finally subjected to the US version of the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’, – and it will happen eventually, – you will know that you have finally sunk to the depths of depravity that is Europe today…

  2. It may have been overhyped overthere Mahons, but not here. I didn’t even know it was in Vancouver until I clicked on Google yesterday and they were showing one of their customised logos. Anyway, it’s not the same without Eddie the Eagle, and I think most Brits were only ever interested in the 1984 Winter Olympics -Torville, Dean, Bolero and all that.

  3. Colm,

    It happens, – even the Brits sometimes have difficulty in making celebrities of three legged donkeys. Don’t misunderstand me, – it’s great when anyone wins an event, – the also rans have the satisfaction of doing the Olympic thing of ‘having taken part.

    Of course it meant so much more when the Olympics were all amateur, and winning was a personal, rather than a national triumph.

  4. Actually I am a sucker for these events – I love them.
    But I will, of course, be watching the 6 nations today and tomorrow, but love the ice hockey which is the most graceful violence you will ever see, and the skiing events.
    However, it does seem that most of the winter olympics are just demonstrations of the effects of gravity and friction. That one where you go down a slope feet first on tea tray has to be the most ridiculous.

  5. The Winter Olympics isn’t as overblown as the Summer version. In fact I’d say it’s about the right size.

  6. I actually like the luge, can’t stand skiing or ice skating, and if you want real hockey it’s called the NHL. I love the summer olympics.

    This however was a tragedy, great footage talk about the agony of defeat but still…….

    Within sight of the finish line, Nodar Kumaritashvili crashed coming out of the 16th turn and slammed into an unpadded steel pole while traveling nearly 90 mph. Despite frantic attempts by paramedics to save his life, he died at a trauma center.

  7. Well said Mahons. But on this side of the pond it’s much less hyped, not least because as usual there will be no golds won by competitors from the British Isles.

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