Aug 15

The Olympics

Category: olympics,Random,Rants

I don’t give the slighest shit about sports.  So why do I always faithfully watch the Olympics whenever they roll around?  Well, perhaps faithfully is too strong a word.  I leave the TV on in the background while I intertronisize and I periodically check the CBC website to see how Canada is doing in the medal standings.  The answer is always the same: we suck. 

And yet whenever Canadians are competing in a sport, I will watch, no matter how lame I find the sport to be.  Seriously, is there anything more boring that watching people lift weights?  The answer is yes: baseball is more boring.  And yet I have sat myself down in front of the TV and watched people make funny faces as they lift heavy things and I have watched men spit and scratch themselves as they prepare to hit a ball with a stick and I have been riveted. 

I have giggled at how silly the water polo players look in their little bathing caps tied with chin strings and yet still been enthralled whenever Canada took at shot at goal.  I have admired the divers’ bodies and then actually started paying attention to the dives, agreeing with the commentator who believed the Chinese crowd’s overblown reaction was affecting the judges’ scoring.  The home team DOES have an advantage, y’all. 

I have even watched sports where no Canadians were competing because some athletes are just awesome at their chosen field of awesomeness.  I watched the American “redeem team” take on the Chinese in basketball and you know what?  I was actually entertained!  You go Yao Ming, get on with your tall self!  I have even gotten caught up in Michael Phelps fever and rooted for him in spite of his Americaness, just because he’s breaking records and taking names.  Plus he’s ripped. 

But Michael Phelps aside, don’t you find yourself not only rooting for Canada but also hoping the Americans won’t win?  I think I am fairly typical in my patriotism.  I believe Canada rocks and the States suck.  We’re so much better than them!  Except not at sports.   And during the Olympics I kind of actually sort of care.  I have actually found myself giving a shit when Canada came in fourth or fifth or sixth and thought, damn you Canada for sucking so badly!  And yet, even though we suck, I wouldn’t really change it.  Because all those rich countries that fund sports like crazy are doing so at the expense of something else.  If their money is going into sports it is not going into health care or welfare or the arts or whatever else.  So I think Canada has its priorities straight because yeah, we kind of suck at the Olympics, but we have relatively cheap schooling, and medicare, and clean water and trees and shit.

So go ahead and suck all you Canadian athletes!  I know you’re doing your best.  And I know when you come home you’re going to have a life and then live it, as opposed to all of those athletes from more intense countries who will be locked back up in their cages and forced to do laps or whatever until they get too old to compete at which point they will turn to a life of drugs or worse… coaching!

But come on, we’d better do better at the 2010 winter Olympics (where we will have the home field advantage) because seriously, this shit is embarrassing.


6 Comments so far

  1. Caro August 15th, 2008 4:22 pm

    I totally agree. I was watching womens weight lifting while on my honeymoon!!!
    And then the pair divers (or whatever they’re called) “oh that wasn’t straight, too much of a splash” as if I really care?!

    But Go Canada!!!

    (FYI, winter olympics are in 2010 you sport junky)

  2. Nique August 15th, 2008 9:08 pm

    You are correct! How could I have mixed up that date, considering how many 2010 team VISA commercials I’ve seen lately.


  3. KingCasey August 16th, 2008 1:45 am

    I 100% agree, I want Canada to put more money into sports, but for us to suck even harder at the Olympics. Kids should be encouraged to run around and play sports for fun, and to be healthy. We should blow all our sports money on amateurs having a good time, and mostly ignore the overly-competetive-making-it-un-fun-for-the-rest-of-us-who-kind-of-suck-at-sports folk.

    Also, those guys should row harder, I’m not tired.

  4. Nique August 16th, 2008 11:33 am

    Totally. Funding should go into sports for regular folk, not the overachievers who ruin their bodies by pushing them too hard. Those crazo athletes are not actually healthy at all. Everything in moderation, even athletics.

    And the rowers did row harder! We got a silver medal in men’s rowing! And a gold in women’s wrestling, as well as a bronze! I’m satisfied with one of each.

    Meanwhile I’ve found a sport even more boring than baseball. All that track and field stuff. Total snooze.

  5. kebes August 16th, 2008 6:04 pm

    Assuming that natural Olympic-aptitude is distributed uniformly throughout the gene-pool/geography, we should actually scale the medal counts by population (not a totally fair assumption, but whatever…). I mean, if you have 10 times the population, then you have 10 times the chances for a citizen to be born with the requisite talent/motivation. Then the rest of the differences can be attributed to funding, opportunities, etc.

    When you do that, Canada is actually doing just fine in the Olympics: as of now, we’ve won 0.09 medals per million citizens. This is not quite as good as the US, who currently have 0.18 medals per million people… but we’re beating China, who can only manage 0.04 medals per million people.

    I’d also be interested to know what the ratio of “number of medals per dollar of training” is. In other words, which countries are the most “efficient” at obtaining medals.

  6. Nique August 16th, 2008 7:15 pm

    Excellent analysis. A true Yager can always be counted on to overthink any given topic. Honestly though, those are good points, well made.

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