Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Olympics!

I'm not really an Olympics kind of person. I can't say I really understand the enthusiasm people have for the event, who wins or loses, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's a big yawn to me. Does anyone even remember how many medals were won in Athens anymore? Does anyone even care anymore?

A bunch of people I don't know, competing against a bunch of other people I don't know. Whoopee. *twirling finger in air*

This year might be interesting for political reasons, though. I'd hate to be running things on the ground in China. Talk about a migraine. *shaking head* It's kind of surprising to me that China would even want to host the Olympics. What do they have to gain? They spent billions of dollars to host the Olympics, for what? Publicity? That's the kind of publicity I'd think they'd rather do without. I've actually heard more smog reports Beijing since it was announced they got the 2008 Olympics than I ever heard before they had it. It gives opponents to China a very visible place to make protests that they'd otherwise never have. If everything goes well, I'm sure the Chinese government will breath a huge sigh of relief, but they won't be any further ahead than before. And oh so many things could go wrong.... So many things that could embarrass them and stain their reputation for decades to come.

I was actually rather pleased when I first learned the Olympics would go to Beijing. I'm convinced that the more integrated they become with the rest of the world, the more pressured they'll be to become open and honest. I'm not naive enough to think they'll become a democracy overnight because of it, but can the Chinese government stop hundreds of thousands of visitors from talking about Tiananmen Square massacre? The truth will leak free, and the more their citizens travel beyond the China Machine and see the rest of the world, the more they'll see the problems in their own society. The Olympics, however, is bringing the rest of the world to China which essentially accomplishes the same thing. Those folks who can't travel outside of China or political or monetary reasons can now rub elbows with those who do on an unprecidented scale.

It's a huge risk that China is taking, which is why I'm so surprised they're taking it.

Four years from now, when the Olympics are being held in London, I may not know who won what events, or how many gold medals the various countries brought home. But I suspect I'll remember the polictical background for decades to come, and I hope China becomes a better place for it.

Now cute girls in tight outfits on ice skates--that's fun to watch. I still won't remember who won, but at least it's fun to watch. ;o)


W&MGrad said...

Yeah, um, good luck finding the cute girls in skating outfits in Beijing--figure skating happens at the winter Olympics. But, there are some scary muscle-bound girls in leotards flipping around in Beijing...

By the way, why were you staying at Alton Brown's house?

Ryan said...

That was my point--there's nothing good to watch during the summer Olympics, but the winter Olympics.... now there's something to get excited about. ;o)

Heck of a lot more interesting than watching people running around in circles.

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

I have to admit that I can't explain why I like the olympics so much. I do enjoy the winter more than the summer, but there is so much to see, kayaking, fencing, badmitton, ping pong, shooting, swimming, diving. To be honest I like the less mainstream stuff, mostly because the athletes are true amatuers, the way it should be. I tend to avoid the track and field events, the skiing and figure skating, all the marquee stuff, except swimming.

StarSAELS said...

cute girls compete in all the events. Volleyball's good.