Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympics, and ride with me to work

When I was growing up, the Olympics in our house was huge. Down right unpatriotic not to keep up with all the events.

Fast Forward, I'm 53 years old, so I'm remembering back, prior to the BIG money, prior to the professionals, prior to the high-tech, when the Olympics for Americans was about amateur athletes, young folks who sacrificed around school, jobs, and families to reach their goals and get to the Olympics. When the amateurs friends were sleeping in or out partying, they were practicing 7 days a week.

Now, along with the American athletes, 90% of the world altheletes you see competing in the Olympics are Americanized, they train and live here in the US. Heck, they are all good friends, they train together in the same facility, and have the same coach but they're representing different countries. They have agents - it's contracts, commercials, sexy magazine spreads, reality TV. After these Winter Olympics, I'm sure a few of 'em will be forever plastered on the tabloids along with Tiger, Britney, Paris, and Michael. There's no underdog athlete for me to pull for anymore. My patriotic loyalties seem kinda silly.

In 1913, Jim Thorpe was stripped of his Olympic decathlon and pentathlon medals, because he had played minor league baseball for $25 per week. His medals were eventually returned, but not until almost 30 years after his death. In the 2008 Beijing games, the USA basketball players made a combined $160,552,278 last year in NBA salary alone. That's over $160M, between 12 men. While Thorpe's medals were eventually returned, the fact remains that the Olympics were originally intended to be an amateur competition, and while some sports have stayed true to that, too many have turned into exhibitions of multi-millionaires.

Hey, I don't blame anybody for making money, if the opportunities were there for me, I'd be grabbing for a big piece of the pie too. I'm just sayin' as a spectator, I still enjoy the Olympics on TV somewhat but with all the gloss and greed now involved, it just doesn't hold the appeal for me like it did years ago.


Chicken Boys said...

I'm with you on that. There's a Canadian who skiied for Australia because he started some sort of ski company and made a few million. Canada question his loyalty to the sport, so he got dual citizenship and skiied for the Aussies. American media asked his coach about him who said he wasn't in country yet. Two hours later he was seen entering a room with only Australian media. I listen to the stories of the nobodys and pull for them.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I'm kinda with you. I'm still enjoying it, but find myself pulling for the little guys too.

Melodie said...

I bet that drive is beautiful in the spring...all the trees blooming out on those mountains ...you'll have to take us with you again as the seasons change!

Louise said...

Yup, I feel the same way. It is still fun to see all of those excellent athletes, but, somehow, that extra little thrill of rooting for the amateur has gone out of it. I liked your ride to work, by the way. Your roads look like they're in halfway decent condition, at least from the point of view of a Northerner.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is there wouldn't be a soul on the road down here in snow like that! We would be shut up in the house with our 2 dozen loaves of bread, a pound of bologna, several gallons of milk or a milk cow in the barn, waiting for the thaw out. Oh yeah, we'd be eating the heck out of some snow ice cream though.

Our snow lasted less than 24 hours down here. That will do me for the next 10 years or so.
Enjoyed the drive with you.
Have a great day.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

funny what you remember isnt it?

BlueRidge Boomer said...

Hey Girl!!

Are you coming into Boone on Hwy 194..??
Sort'a looked familiar.....I vote for doggie tickling as an Olympic sport....!!!

Stay safe and warm ... LIndaMay

Carol said...

You just reminded us why we moved to FL.


Foothills Poultry said...

105 bypass ain't looking much better.

My favorite Olympic winter sport is Curling. Don't laugh or roll your eyes. I just can't help it. I just watched US women lose to japan.


Flartus said...

I think if I looked really hard, I might be able to find a patch of snow somewhere around here... :)

Most of what I like about the Olympics is being able to have something interesting on the tv for hours at a time. I'm not really watching it, but I've got ice skating on now. It's something the whole family can watch, and it's not nearly as annoying as most tv shows!

Did you catch the opening ceremonies? I thought the light effects of the "whales" spouting across the stadium floor were too cool to believe! Such creativity.

Ruralrose said...

Excellent post you really made your point well. We just won our 1st gold on Canadian soil, warmed my heart as I am very patriotic. Even if it doesn't show, I just want the best for my people. Your video is how my road should be, instead it is 15 degrees above normal and has been pouring rain for 3 days. Peace

Anonymous said...

You sure do have a lot of snow. Our roadways are much clearer than yours. We old gals know how to drive on roads like that though. Just have to take it slow and careful. Thanks for the ride. I enjoyed it!

The Blue Ridge Gal

AJ-OAKS said...

Great post! I agree with your feelings about the Olympics. When I was a kid our house was like yours. Now that I am much older, it bothers me that our proffesional athletes are paid outrageous amounts to play a game. Oh well, guess it is the times we live in now. I love your accent! Well, living out here on the West Coast, to me you have an accent. Really enjoyed the ride along! You can send that snow our way. We haven't had much of a winter. In fact today it is suppose to be close to 70! This summer is going to be really scary with forest fires! Yikes!!!