Aug 192008

Take a gander at this screen shot cut from The Australian’s online front page at 2100 hours.

SShot_ 2008-08-19 20.57002 It’s a disaster I tells ya! The entire Olympics is a disaster! The athletes are all failing, falling by the way, not succeeding, not winning GOLD! GOLD! GOLD!

Frankly I think it’s like everything else in today’s world. Too bloody commercial, too much focus on competition between nation-states, too much focus on the money. There was a time when the Olympic Games were solely for amateurs to show their wares, to compete as amateurs in a spirit of non-commercial outcomes not mattering in the post-Olympic Games world. Currently, or so it seems to me, the modern Olympic Games envisaged by Evangelos Zappas and Pierre de Coubertin died when professional athletes – those who earn their living by doing what they do in sport – were allowed to compete in the games. That’s why we now have this gut-busting drive for more money, better competitors created through the research into expensive science. It’s why we have all-encompassing drug-testing regimes and professional athletes and drug producers ready and willing to flaunt the regulators.

Label me jaundiced, but the Olympic Games simply aren’t what they were when I was growing up. I shudder to think how they’ll evolve over the next fifty years. I shudder also to think how athletes, and the games they compete in, must eventually bow before the weight of technology, science and the enhancing ‘benefits’ both must inevitably bring to a professional, commercialised competition between nation-states.

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