Image: Two Cyclists

July 15, 2021

An Olympic-Sized Cesspit

July 15, 2021

In a couple of weeks, the Tokyo Olympics, delayed by a year, will start. There will be doping scandals, no doubt some financial shenanigans, and possibly a huge increase in covid-19 infections. And the whole purpose of the event — forget the athletes and sportspeople — will be to make a few people that most of us have never heard of richer than they are already today.

I have always been opposed to the Olympics. They are driven by multi-billion dollar TV, sportswear, and advertising companies. It has become a multinational profit-driven corporation organized by bureaucrats who have secured themselves huge life-long salaries and are bizarrely treated as if they are important ambassadors when they travel the globe.

The profits needed to drive the Games have become so enormous that each event costs tens of billions of dollars to present — and they will be forced on us regardless of human rights violations by the hosts (think Sochi and Beijing, for example), severe financial strains on the organizing countries’ taxpayers, and even a horrendous pandemic that has brought death to millions of people. The Games must proceed so that a few bureaucrats can continue with their luxurious lifestyles.

What about the athletes? supporters may ask. One-tenth of the money needed to put on an Olympics could probably pay for superb World Championships in every sport; championships that could be staged by a vastly greater number of cities and towns and regions than could ever conceive of holding an Olympics. And, I believe, twenty World Championships, say, spread over a couple of years would provide a lot more TV and advertizing time than a three-week piece of extremist theatre under the five rings.

The thought of wasting time, effort, and money in bringing another Olympic Games to Vancouver when we have thousands dying each year from opioid addictions, tens of thousands living in unaffordable housing or on the streets, school programs being cut for lack of funds, and emergency services running short on staff, is frankly sickening.