Stranger Fruit

On Mediocrity of Olympian Proportions

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.


  1. #1 Dr. Free-Ride
    February 25, 2006

    He partied and socialized at an Olympic level! He got a gold medal for his keg-stand, but sadly only got a silver in the hangover competition.

  2. #2 Kimball
    February 26, 2006

    “You’re forgetting what the Olympics are all about: giving out medals of beautiful gold, so-so silver, and shameful bronze.” –The Simpsons

    Ah, the skewering, skewed perception of pop culture.

  3. #3 Ocellated
    February 26, 2006

    John, I actually blogged about this same thing earlier today.

    I made the comparision that justice is when athletes who work hard get rewarded with a medal, and in the same way, Bodie gets justice by leaving the games with no medals…

  4. #4 pough
    March 2, 2006

    The Olympics aren’t just a joke, they’re an expensive one. It’s costing way too much, especially for just two weeks of events. And as for the athleticism, every single sport that’s worth caring about has its own World Cup-type event. The athletes are no longer actually amateur (because of sponsorship deals), with the possible exception of the atheletes in sports that nobody pays much attention to.

    They’ve gotten too far from what they were meant to be. Now they’re just three things:
    1) Entertainment
    2) An excuse for the committe members to travel the world and get wined, dined and sixty-nined for free
    3) An excuse for athelete to spread their genes, or have fun trying

    Or maybe I’m just pissed because the next winter ones will be paid for, in part, by me.

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