The Thinking Woman's Diary

Bye Bye Rio, Bye Bye...

Written: 22nd Aug 2016  | Last Updated: 22nd Aug 2016

Thank goodness the wasteful, pointless fantasia of the Rio Olympics is over! Now the world can get back to war & terrorism, ballooning debt, electioneering, diplomatic bullying, refugee crises, online fraud, petty squabbling, bigotry and all the rest of our daily realities.

Governments heavily involved in the pumped ego-fest in Brazil must suddenly figure out how in the hell they’re going to pay for what just happened - is a gold medal actually worth $12,000,000? 

In the need to prove relevance and superiority, many of the wealthier nations committed hundreds of millions of dollars (billions?) to four-year or longer campaigns to dominate swimming, track & field, equestrian, sailing, fencing, golf, basketball, etc. Yes, the drive to be the best is inherent in us, but in complex times such as these, when most countries carry crushing debt burdens and have desperate need to find solutions to dangerous issues within their borders and beyond them, you’d think playing more games would be way down the critical agenda lists. 

We crave our moments in the sun like children craving a pat on the head, as confirmation that we are indeed wonderful - with dripping divers and sweaty sprinters kissing gold, silver or bronze be-ribboned discs as if they were the holy grail. Isn’t it time we just grew up? 

If the Olympic Games were officially cancelled for one or two cycles, everyone could rest (or simply continue to play sport at local, state, national or international levels as amateurs or well-remunerated professionals), and governments could get on with the hefty task of making their countries functional and solvent, focusing on vital issues at hand to raise the quality of life for their people. Wouldn’t that be refreshing? 

The media giants would hate the salary sacrifice of such a hiatus, of course - being starved of the opportunity to overwhelm us with 500 hours of mediocre broadcasting - but somehow I think we’d muddle through. After a while, we wouldn’t even miss the kitsch opening and closing cultural-cringe ceremonies, or dream of being famous record breakers. We might then put our energy into the world around us and do our best to make it better in any way we can.

That would be an olympic feat worth striving for. :-)