Why the Olympics Suck So Hard

You’re probably not following the Olympics in Beijing, China. The snow looks fake, but the silence of American athletes seems depressingly real.

It was not because there were yet more winter games that the TV audience saw the opening ceremonies, but it is down by 43 percent. hideously ugly mascotTime zones and culture differences can all contribute to buzz-killing. If you are concerned about the human dignity of people and government waste, interest in the Olympics is declining for many decades.

One of the most scandalous and corrupt sports bodies ever created, the games have become a worldwide grift. International Olympic Committee is willing to massively profit from any sucker countries or cities that are stupid enough to request the right to host them. Los Angeles, I’m thinking of you! As vampires, they sucking their victims dry and providing legitimacy for tyrants like Adolf Hitler and Leonid Brezhnev and Vladimir Putin.

They are also a reminder of the collectivist attitude that 20th century nations had toward each other. This is not appropriate in today’s increasingly globalized and individualistic world. Pierre de Coubertin (French aristocrat) started modern games as a way to encourage aristocratic French citizens. Reviving Gallic prideAfter his country was kicked in the Franco-Prussian War, This is why athletes are not just representing themselves but also other countries. This is also the reason why Olympics are politically charged throughout the 20th Century, like in 1936 Berlin games which Hitler staged as an example of rising German military might.

The Olympics were a proxy fight in the Cold War twilight battle between the communist world and the free-world. It was a geopolitical battle between the superpowers when Soviet and American teams played in basketball and hockey.

That made the Olympics more exciting to watch—Bruce Jenner kicking commie ass in his world record–setting 1976 decathlon victory wasn’t just about surpassing the limits of the human body, it was somehow about realpolitik and nuclear war. This framing caused a lot of collateral damage, as ongoing national boycotts of political disagreements resulted in athletes being figuratively sacrificed to nationalism. Oder, like the Israeli athlete who was murdered at the 1972 Munich Games, killed literally in service of international politics.

Coubertin said it best: “The Olympic Games are not about winning, it is to be part.” But When the Olympics are being held in an authoritarian nation, with us still tallying medals country-by-country, and when athletes are treated more like geopolitical pawns than as superlative individuals it is easier to ignore them.

If the competitors are allowed to represent themselves in a neutral setting, far away from politics, you will see the crowd return ready cheer the athletes who embody the Olympic dream of going “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

Regan Taylor edits. Nick Gillespie wrote the script.

Photo Credits: Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Newscom; Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Newscom; Angelika Warmuth/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; Anton Novoderezhkin/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Video by jol acen from Pexels; Thomas Krych/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Video by Ron Lach from Pexels; Mark Edward Harris/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Steven Williams, via Wikimedia Commons; Uri R, via Wikimedia Commons; Holocaust Encyclopedia; Derzsi Elekes Andor, via Wikimedia Commons; World History Archive/Newscom;, via Wikimedia Commons; Harald Steiner/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Rauantiques, via Wikimedia Commons; Edited by A.W.Ward, G.W.Prothero, and Stanley Leathes, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Richard Ellis/UPI/Newscom; Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Newscom; SVEN SIMON/picture alliance / SvenSimon/Newscom; RIA Novosti archive, via Wikimedia Commons; British official photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Malayan Department of Information official photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; DIRECCION DE DIVULGACION Y PRENSA EJERCITO DE NICARAGUA, via Wikimedia Commons; Linda Hess Miller, via Wikimedia Commons; U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; John Blackfoot/Polaris/Newscom; Everett Collection/Newscom; Benjamin E. “Gene” Forte – CNP / MEGA / Newscom; KURT STRUMPF/AP Feature Photo Service/Newscom; Monte Fresco Mirrorpix/Newscom; Mickael Chavet/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Sipa USA/Newscom; Valery Sharifulin/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom;; Yonhap News/YNA/Newscom; Kyodonews/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Maxim Thore/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; THUMB Dai Tianfang Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom; Seung Jin Yeo/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Atushi Tomura/AFLO SPORT/Newscom; PhotoXpress/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Daniel A. Anderson/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Lan Hongguang Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Mickael Chavet/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom; YUTAKA/AFLO/Newscom; EyePress/Newscom; ANP Sport / ANP/Sipa USA/Newscom; Mickael Chavet/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Newscom; Aleksandr Kazakov/Kommersant Photo / Polaris/Newscom; YUTAKA/AFLO/Newscom; Li He Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

Music credits: Ikoliks’ Pushing On via Artlist and Ikolis’ Black From The Edge via Artlist.