Not to be a wet blanket but its starting to concern me that these medals are costing so much -- £264 million in one year (that's $411 Million in one year). There are many more efficacious uses for a quarter of a billion a year than what comes down to an international p*ssing contest. I prefer the idea of a truly amateur olympics with far less funding (we provide the equipment and sports facilities, but we don't pay for 'centres' where the athletes live full time).
It feels that the Olympic spirit has been lost to commercialism and politics.
I strongly agree with you Dr. Herbie.
I think it is great we are winning (in particular: cycling) but this whole Olympics leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I have no idea what this event stands for any more, it seems to have been taken over by corporate interests (McDonalds sold exclusively at the games?!).
Plus the Olympic law is far too broad and far too abusive to be something I could ever get behind. I mean you cannot display a Mastercard logo or sell a burger in that whole part of London?! VIP lanes? Brand bans?
Lets not loose sight of the fact that we all own the Olympics (the common man that is). Personally I understand that compromises have had to be made in order to deliver such a stupendous event during a recession.
@Ian2: Sorry, but I disagree -- the corporations own the Olympics. What will happen to the stadium? Probably be turned into yet another football pitch for a privately owned football team which will get a very cheap new stadium. The rest of the Olympic park will be sold (or potentially given) to private companies to run or to build houses on, the only thing the public will be left with is a new park (which is not a bad thing in itself, but not the golden public benefits touted as the legacy of the games).
The Oligarchy owns us all. Who's just now realizing this?
The Olympics are not corporate. Olympic Villages are corporate, for who else can pay for the extravagance. Olympic games are transnational. They are necessary for our world. We need the spectacle which functions as a safe ground for friends and enemies to honor each other. Good grief, be jaded about something else please.
If the Olympic Village did not exist, where would athletes stay? The poorer countries wouldn't send anyone to compete. Yes, the commercialism gets a bit much, especially the McDonalds exclusive, but you can bet that McDonalds paid a ton of money to get that exclusivity. Without the sponsors (and the protection of those sponsors), the UK would be paying a lot more money to host the games.
So what if the city gets taken over for two weeks? I find that the actual competitions are still very fun to watch and there is no other event in the world that combines so many varied sports and so many countries in friendly competition. I only wish that NBC would stop worshipping Michael Phelps. There is no reason that they need to broadcast every single swimming heat, while we miss other events like archery, judo, and shooting where Americans are winning medals.
As far as what happens to the buildings afterwards, that's up to the city. China's bird's nest stadium sits mostly unused these days, and the swimming building has been converted to an indoor water park.
I do agree that it gets a bit silly when professional athletes are competing. Does anyone even watch the basketball tournament? It's a given that the US will get gold. Same with Canada and ice hockey in the winter olympics (although the US gave them a good fight last time). I imagine it's the same with soccer/football. But the other sports are mostly amateurs, as their sports don't have professional leagues. Track and field, canoeing, rowing, water polo, badminton?
@spivonious: Oh, heck yeah, we watch the USA basketball dominate; it's like Brazilians and football/soccor, or a Belgian with a scone.
I have no problem with professionals competing in the Olympics, in fact, I prefer it.
And just to be pedantic, there is no guarantee the USA basketball team wins gold. They barely beat the Lithuanians. Another 4 or 8 years and it will be silver. Agree?
Am I in the same place? The country is buzzing (certainly around Manchester) for the first time in years I see kids aspiring to atheletes instead of all this televised scum like; jordy shore, katie price, peter aundre and other people who have achieved "celebrity" status through nothing other than making a dooche' of themselves often with few if any morals. It's disgusting. I just hope the momentum will keep going which I fear it won't...
I don't see any problem with it. Olympic is awesome. Those young people are so full of energy, dedication, faith, persistent, hope, and strong will to get back up and come back from the last failure. And then you see veterans putting up a good fight, like Phelp, USA female beach volleyball, that 24 years old female gymnastics, and more.
This Olympic is so much for me in this time of crisis. Professional and new blood , both have mu sincere gratitude. And I am greatful for a well organized international sport organization is able to provide the athlete a safe comfortable environment where athletes can compete with their best.
as for commercialized logo licensing? Yes, keep doing it because it keeps freeloaders away, and that is an important message.
Moving the Olympics every 4 years, at the cost of billions to the host nation, is just insane for a 2-week sporting event - the same goes for the world cup.
Just give it to Athens permanently, and help solve the greek financial crisis at the same time.
These two statements are opposites. If the cost to the host is billions of dollars then giving it to Athens permanently won't save their financial crisis - it'll make it permanent.
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