Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The Olympics

I don't like the Olympics. Period, really. That's not to say I dislike them very much, I just have a very strong lack of opinion for them. I probably don't like more the way in which the Olympics are viewed more than anything. I am vaguely miffed that winning a few medals in a four-yearly event can inspire national pride when the few actual good things we do cannot, but that's neither here nor there. And say what you like about football, but at least it's accessible. Some of the sports we're winning medals in are hardly something a bunch of kids can run out and get involved in. Sailing - expensive. Cycling - given mums and dads are worried almost full time about the welfare about their kids, they may be hesitant to let them go out and race around the surrounding roads on bikes. Obviously, the case of Mr. Foy (bought a old BMX, went out and won stuff, etc.) is tabloid inspirational, but it's not that clear cut, is it? Swimming - thanks to the past two governments, most of our indoor and outdoor pools have been gotten rid of anyway, as frequently pointed out in Private Eye. At least kids can still, more of less, go out with a ball and have a kick about.

The things which irk me about the current Olympics are the fact that the IOC are a bunch of impotent bastards when it comes to China's blatant promise breaking (although the mischief caused by Channel4 News has almost been worth putting up with the massive human rights abuses. See those IOCers squirm... ) and that the British success just adds weight to the 2012 Olympics, which have already run massively over budget and sucked up mounds of funds they weren't supposed to. I'm all for sports: partaking in them can promote well-bring; self esteem; happiness and sometimes even self-worth. But, in an Olympic context especially, they're not the be all and end all. As an ex-actor and still sometime-artist, I despair at the cash that will be snatched away from these disciplines to fill the Olympic void.

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