When I was growing up in Ireland, the Olympics were something worth watching; amateur athletes not getting monetary compensation, giving it their all, and happy to do so because it was the Olympics. Perhaps a major factor was the fact that Irish athletes were often outside shots to win, and when they did medal, it was priceless.
Since coming to this country in 1994. I have to say that any love of the Olympics has been slowly but surely bled out of me. It’s hard to choose why – the constant jingoism of the commentators, the human “interest” stories that go on longer than the actual events, the sporadic coverage that appears to only have one rule namely “if an American is competing, we’ll show it, no matter what else is going on”. But, more than anything, I think it is the athletes who are getting to me – the arrogance of various “Dream” teams, the room-wrecking petulance of the losers, the sheer mind-numbing stupidity of the hot-doggers. So this interview from Bode Miller more or less seals the deal for me regarding all of this. Witness, remembering that Miller probably makes more money that most readers of this blog yet still went 0-5 in the Olympics:
“I just did it my way. I’m not a martyr, and I’m not a do-gooder. I just want to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here … I’m comfortable with what I’ve accomplished, including at the Olympics. I came in here to race as hard as I could. That was my obligation to myself … My quality of life is the priority. I wanted to have fun here, to enjoy the Olympic experience, not be holed up in a closet and not ever leave your room … Me, it’s been an awesome two weeks. I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level.”
“what I’ve accomplished”??? You accomplished nothing and did it while representing your country. Idiot.