The XXIV Olympic Winter Games, Beijing 2022, are going on now.
Not that many people know or even care. And that’s a shame.
So what’s going on with the Winter Olympics? Well, here’s what’s wrong with the Winter Olympics.
Politics In The Winter Olympics
You can’t do anything these days without politics rearing its ugly head.
But the Olympics are not about politics. They are about the athletes.
Joe Biden did the right thing by not having Team USA boycott the Winter Olympics but if I were president, I would have at least gone to the Opening Ceremonies. I would want the athletes to see that their president – and, as a result, the American people – are behind them and are supporting them. Especially when there are no spectators or even family members allowed to attend the Games.
The Winter Olympics Are In China
Well it’s either there or Kazakhstan. They were the only two finalists left standing after other potential destinations dropped out of the bidding. Olympic officials chose Beijing because it could use some of the same facilities the city used when it hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics.
That’s hardly an ideal situation.
And it adds to the political tension.
And this leads into one of the problems of finding places that can host modern Olympics Games. It’s wildly expensive for a city and country to host the Olympics. The 2022 Winter Olympics may wind up costing China $38.5 billion. Not many places can – or want to – pay that kind of price to be on international TV for two weeks.
Adding to the tremendous cost, there are simply too many sports in the Winter Olympics (and the Summer Games, too; I mean what the heck is golf doing in the Olympics?) and therefore small and intimate places don’t have the space or infrastructure to host the Games.
There will never again be a Lake Placid or Lilyhammer. The Games must be held in big cities, not small towns. And that too, is a shame.
There’s Too Many Sports In The Winter Olympics
Every time I turn on the Winter Olympics, I see some new snowboarding or skiing event. Enough already! I understand the philosophy of expanding the Games to appeal to a newer, hip audience. But there’s simply too many of them. Plus, they all look the same – launch off a ramp, grab the bottom of you board, spin and land.
And curling? They give Olympic medals for that, come on, man!
To me, Olympic sports should be comprised of one of these three elements: grueling, precision and guts. Grueling as in cross-country skiing. Precision as in figure skating. Ski jumping, downhill skiing and the luge takes guts (anyone who barrels barrel down an oversized ice shot luge is worthy of my praise). The biathlon combines grueling with precision.
That being said, I do enjoy a couple of the new sports: the side-by-side racing in snowboarding and skiing.
The Winter Olympics Are Going Head-to-Head Against The Super Bowl
This makes no sense. Nobody is paying attention to the XXIV Olympic Winter Games during Super Bowl Week. The Games should have started the Friday after the Big Game. Plus, with both being on NBC, the network would have a golden opportunity to promote the Olympics.
There Are No Spectators At The Winter Games
It’s hard to get excited to watch a sport when there are no spectators cheering on a country’s athletes. China’s super-strict COVID-19 policies don’t even allow families of the athletes into Beijing 2022.
The athletes can’t get out of the Olympic Village, either, so there’s no atmosphere or spirt at the Games. This makes me wonder why China is even hosting the Winter Olympics in the first place.
There’s No Alberto Tomba-Type Personalities
Maybe there are, but the current situation of the Games as described above doesn’t allow them to come out and be noticed.
Remember Alberto Tomba? He of the “Tomba La Bomba” nickname and Tombamania with his all-out style in Alpine skiing and the all-out partying in the bars? Now that’s an Olympics personality who promotes Games and helps them to become must-watch TV.
Personally, I’m excited about the Winter Games. I have throughly enjoyed watching the downhill skiing, in which the racers had no practice runs because high winds canceled them. The cross-country skiing and biathlon fascinate me.
But I can’t watch every sport and have no interest in many of them. So I’m tuning in for the things that interest me but tuning out when there’s not a sport on I care to watch.