Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: Are the Olympics worth it?

Related threads:
Olympic medal for folk music family (16)
BS: Olympics - London's Shame (206)
BS: Olympics closing ceremony (49)
Morris at the Olympics! (17)
BS: Olympics opening ceremony (164)
Live Nation Ents & Olympic Fiascos (3)
BS: The Olympic Games (198)
BS: Olympic Badminton Scandal (25)
BS: Olympic Games National Anthems? (83)
BS: England quiet, the olympics or the rain? (20)
BS: Supermarkets benefit from the Olympics! (20)
2012 Olympics, Athletics (2)
BS: Olympic Torch (& cakes!) in Ascot (7)
olympics - they should've listened to us (52)
Olympic 2012 - Song released ... (4)
The Young'uns play the Olympics (4)
London Olympics & Unpaid Musicians (10)
Folk events connected with Olympics (6)
BS: Shopping ## An Olympic sport (15)
BS: The Olympics & 'lock-down london' (4)
BS: UK to boycott the Olympics? (30)
BS: Olympics trivia quiz (60)
catters weightlifter (53)
BS: What's Missing from the Athens Games? (82)
BS: Hamster tossing - not an Olympic event (29)
BS: Odds on US getting booed at Olympics? (38)
BS: Special Olympics (13)
BS: The 19th Winter Olympiad (9) (closed)
BS: Olympic Humor (9)
BS: Winter Olympics stuff (27) (closed)
BS: Organ Donations and the Olympics.... (5) (closed)
BS: Beijing Gets 2008 Olympics (31) (closed)
Potboiler. Bye-Bye Olympics 2008! (26)
Oz folks - no Olympics (22)
BS: Cathy Freeman,women, 2000 Olympics (60) (closed)
2000 OLYMPICS: Hold those tunes please (4) (closed)


katlaughing 04 Dec 01 - 04:18 PM
Sorcha 04 Dec 01 - 05:02 PM
Greg F. 04 Dec 01 - 05:20 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Dec 01 - 05:56 PM
catspaw49 04 Dec 01 - 05:56 PM
ddw 04 Dec 01 - 06:22 PM
Greg F. 04 Dec 01 - 09:45 PM
GUEST 04 Dec 01 - 09:52 PM
Jon Freeman 04 Dec 01 - 10:04 PM
catspaw49 04 Dec 01 - 10:04 PM
Mark Cohen 04 Dec 01 - 10:17 PM
Steve Latimer 04 Dec 01 - 10:23 PM
DougR 04 Dec 01 - 10:34 PM
Steve Latimer 04 Dec 01 - 10:35 PM
ddw 04 Dec 01 - 11:07 PM
Phil Cooper 04 Dec 01 - 11:14 PM
katlaughing 04 Dec 01 - 11:18 PM
Jon Freeman 04 Dec 01 - 11:23 PM
marty D 04 Dec 01 - 11:31 PM
Deckman 05 Dec 01 - 12:00 AM
katlaughing 05 Dec 01 - 12:17 AM
Bert 05 Dec 01 - 12:51 AM
Jon W. 05 Dec 01 - 01:43 AM
Ebbie 05 Dec 01 - 02:33 AM
Amergin 05 Dec 01 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,John Gray / Australia 05 Dec 01 - 04:31 AM
GUEST 05 Dec 01 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 05 Dec 01 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,John Gray / Australia 05 Dec 01 - 08:05 AM
RangerSteve 05 Dec 01 - 08:23 AM
Steve Latimer 05 Dec 01 - 08:28 AM
marty D 05 Dec 01 - 11:40 PM
DougR 06 Dec 01 - 12:29 AM
ddw 06 Dec 01 - 12:45 AM
Chip2447 06 Dec 01 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 06 Dec 01 - 06:33 AM
GUEST,John Gray / Australia 06 Dec 01 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,John Gray/Australia 06 Dec 01 - 08:31 AM
Raptor 06 Dec 01 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,John Gray / Australia 06 Dec 01 - 10:28 AM
Raptor 06 Dec 01 - 10:53 AM
Jack the Sailor 06 Dec 01 - 04:19 PM
ddw 06 Dec 01 - 08:20 PM
Raptor 07 Dec 01 - 08:56 AM
Wolfgang 07 Dec 01 - 10:21 AM
catspaw49 07 Dec 01 - 10:49 AM
Raptor 07 Dec 01 - 10:57 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Dec 01 - 11:22 AM
Raptor 07 Dec 01 - 11:24 AM
Mrrzy 07 Dec 01 - 12:21 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 04:18 PM

Heard a discussion on NPR this lunchtime and I am appalled at the following:

for the Winter Olympics, being held in Salt Lake City, Utah, over $50 million extra has been spent on security.

There are 10,000 security personnell;

4,500 military pesonnell;

9,000 credentialed media personnell;

4,000 non-credentialed media personnell;

tickets for the opening ceremonies cost $700 per person; and,

there only 3,500 athletes.

There are claims it will be the second "Calgary" bringing an international flair and expansion to the region, etc.; they even have an Olympic Rodeo planned, as they had in Calgary.

I know it would have caused major economic problems if they'd been cancelled; we've seen the effects of its planning, next door, here, in Wyoming, but...

I think it is obscene to be spending the money it takes, plus it seems it is an event only for professionals and the moneyed, or those who have governments which pay their way.

They are talking about having M-16s on the ground, F-whatever's flying overheard, stopping all commercial flights during the Opening Ceremony, etc., all for this? I know the athletes, spectators, etc. have to be protected, but when does cost outweigh effect?

I don't think we should have the Olympics this year, mainly because of the above and also out of respect for the victims of Sept. 11th and their families and anyone who is involved in the current "war."

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:02 PM

You got my vote,kat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:20 PM

Are the Olumpics worth it?

NO.

And not just this year. They've always been an exhorbitantly expensive joke.

Best, Greg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:56 PM

Don't forget the 167,000 bucks for all the drug testers who'll be fooled by athletes using up-to-date masking technology.

Gawsh, I just love 'amateur' sports.

Rick

Put yer 'flame retardant' jock strap on kat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:56 PM

I dunno' Greg, I think there was probably a time when they were "worth it." Not so long ago in the 50's and 60's the Olympics were still mainly amateurs except for the Communist bloc countries and that just became another challenge to the non-supported true amateurs. It was good to have an Olympics in your city but the expense was not great and the benefits were pretty good.

Then along came the slide toward pro athletes and the laxed rules about what constituted an amateur. That seemed to follow a curve with the greedmongers and I'd say from about 1960 in the summer and 1968 for the winter, the focus began to grow on both pros and the dollars......and not the least of the dollars and profits was the IOC itself. By '76 both Winter and Summer "Games" had lost all the flavor of competetion and were strictly focused on money, endorsememnts, and how much a city would give up (and give to the IOC) to host the Olympics.

Maybe I'm just wrong here and trying to justify those moments in the past when I remember Killy and Kidd tearing away at each other on the slopes, Peggy Fleming without the athletic jumps now required....just poetry and beauty. I guess I'm pining for what was.........

Worth it? No, I guess not.....and more's the pity.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: ddw
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 06:22 PM

Starting in 1964 (Tokyo) I've been in or near the cities that hosted the Olympics — both summer and winter — several times and the story has been the same every time. The IOC hypes the process, gets a bunch of boosters on their side and convinces the city fathers that all kinds of benefits accrue to the host city. Almost never happens. The taxpayers pay an arm and a leg for some slap-dash stadium, lots of sub-standard housing that becomes an instant slum and enough security to keep Israel safe for a decade.

A few people show up, bickering nations beat their collective chests when "their" athletes win and Nike and Reebok pay a few winners mega-millions to hawk their shoes that cost $3.50 to make and sell for $135.

And the taxpayers pay for it all. And the IOC trundles off to eight or ten more countries to bamboozle the local yokels into supporting their flamboyant lifestyles.

I've been saying since '64 that the only way I would ever support the Olympics is to build a permanent site on one of the Greek islands and once every four years invite the few thousand best athletes in the world to compete.

And make damned sure a national flag never flies over the island. Then it would be about the athletes.

JMO,

david


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 09:45 PM

OK, 'Spaw, I'll have to grant you the pre-60's games. So long ago that all the intervening greed & bullshit & drugs & "entrepreneurship" had crowded those memories to the back of what's left of my brain.

Another good idea ruined by rampant capitalism. But I don't think that even in the '60's it was really about the athletes. Since the games moved out of ancient Greece, its always been primarily about the money.

Best, Greg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 09:52 PM

Another thread for self-righteous 'Catters to whine about something.
By the way, YES the Olympics are worth it - they just aren't for the pessimistic self-absorbed crowd they call Mudcat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 10:04 PM

I'm pretty much with Rick on this one but:

Kat, yes they are worth it... If you happen to be on the pay role...

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 10:04 PM

Yeah, and I'm inclined to agree with david here too. Never happen, but to return to a single place, greed be damned, with actual amateur athletes.......hell guys, it's Never-Never Land ain't it?

I'll watch some events I'm sure.....I'm a junkie, but it's sure as hell not the same and if they did away with the whole slimey mess tomorrow it wouldn't matter a fine hair on a frog's ass to me.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 10:17 PM

I still remember Jim McKay in 1972 suddenly having to be a newscaster instead of a sportscaster, and saying, "They're all dead." That soured me on the Olympics. I'm with ddw. It could happen, with enough private money (Ted Turner kind of tried, with the Goodwill Games, but that hasn't really taken off), though I think it would be nearly impossible to resist the commercial and nationalistic intrusions.

I'm afraid the Olympics are with us for good...or not so good. I only hope sportscasters don't have to turn into newscasters this time.

Aloha,
Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 10:23 PM

As a Canadian I remebember Montreal '76 which we are still paying for and Calgary '88 which apparently was the first Olympics in the red. I have also lived through a few Toronto bids. As good as I think the Olympics could be, I think it is all about money now, paying off the right people, turning a blind eye to the drug enhancement of the most wealthy countries and the whole concept of amateur athletics is a complete joke. The event that interests me the most is of course hockey, you won't see an amateur stickboy. I also believe that they will be boycotted and/or cancelled this year. Given the current state of the world I think that they should be.

Back to Greece permanently. Great idea, it will never happen due to back pocket economics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: DougR
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 10:34 PM

I think the Olympics is probably good for the host city. I'm sure it is a great experience for the athletes too. I seriously doubt the expense of producing it is worth it to the world though.

What started out as an event featuring amateur athletes competing against each other has become an event featuring professionals (basketball for example featuring the best of the NBA), and I think it has lost its focus.

I'd say no.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 10:35 PM

Sorry, I meant to say that Calgary was apparently the first Winter Olympics in the black. It has since occured to me that the combined salaries of the NHL hockey players 2001/2002 playing in the upcoming Olympics could probably fund the whole thing or feed a third world country for a long time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: ddw
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:07 PM

Doug,

I have to disagree with you that the Olympics are good for the host cities. That was my point. They always cost megabucks for all the facilities (which are usually so shoddy they're condemned or torn down within a few years or they cost another fortune in upkeep) and the projected attendence never comes up to what the IOC promises. Tokyo (1964) was "assured" of a million visitors; they got fewer than 100,000. The organizers were giving tickets away just to get enough spectators to keep from being embarrassed when the TV cameras panned the stands.

Montreal is still paying for the mess they were left with and I don't think you'd get a lot of enthusiasm for another run at it from the people in Atlanta.

david


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:14 PM

I'd rather watch paint dry than see the olympics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:18 PM

If I remember correctly, they also said on NPR that Jim McKay is coming back to cover these games.

Thanks for your comments. I agree, they should be back in Greece and go back to totally amateur.

Steve, what makes you think they will be boycotted and cancelled? Have you seen anything about that? I'd be very interested in knowing, as I would be in favour of some sort of protest, at least.

Thanks,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:23 PM

kat, the best protest is not to watch it - encourage people to watch rival channels on the tv when it is on, etc.

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: marty D
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:31 PM

I don't mean to be an island of optimism here, but would the Olympics mean more if they simply got rid of the whole 'amateur' thing? Just let the best compete, period.

David is spot on about how bad the games have been for the host cities tho'. Massive debt and falling stadia are only the tip of the iceburg.

marty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 12:00 AM

Hi darling KAT! Interesting thread. Do I think it's worth it? NO! And I come from a strong family of Olympic victors! (boxing). I agree with previous posters ... it's a shame that we've lost it ... but we have. What is the Olympics today ... the number one terrorist target. So sad. CHEERS, me


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 12:17 AM

HeyaRoope! Boxing, huh, figures, always leading with yer head, eh? **BG**

marty, good question, but, for me at least, there would be no attraction is they went all pro, which is essentially what they are now. I hate sports on tv, but I've always, up until the past few years, liked to watch some of the Olympics. Also, why should pros be subsidised by the citizens of their countries through all of the expense it takes to put the Olympics on.

Deckman, you are so right, they are a number one target and I think it is wrong to ask 10,000 security personnel, plus the military people, etc. to put their lives on the line for sports.

Jon, good suggestion, but I am not optimistic, at least for the average American.:-(

thanks,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Bert
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 12:51 AM

NO, they're not worth it, never have been. There's a distinct bias against working class sports. Took 'em yonks to get soccer on board and they still don't have darts. Archery and shooting yes, so why not darts? Snobbery and money is what they're all about.
Well I'm not a snob and I don't have any money so let them play their silly games on their own, without taxpayers money and without pre-empting all the regular TV shows.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Jon W.
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 01:43 AM

Well, maybe we can make them worth it. If any Mudcatters are coming to Salt Lake for the Olympics (or any other reason, for that matter) in February, send me a PM and I'll see if I can't get a song circle organized. I've been having them at my house about every three months, and it's due again about that time - love to see you here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 02:33 AM

I'm with y'all who think it should be in Greece.

Eb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Amergin
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 02:59 AM

well..we could have them hosted every four years in a place no one in their right minds would want to go to...like Texas...and that way we away with the whole thing....

In answer to your question, Katdarling, no...they are not worth it...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST,John Gray / Australia
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 04:31 AM

The Olympic Games - which soapbox do I get on ?
Before Sydney got the nod last time I was praying that any one else would win them but not us. Manchester or Bournemouth, Beijing or Taipeh, Albuquerque or Ypsilanti - I didn't care. I knew that, with the calibre of the politicians and organisers (?) we have here, big lumps of taxpayers money would disappear. Just about every big event they run here runs at a loss. Part of the deal to get the O.G's involves both State & Federal gov't's indemnifying the O.G. committee from any financial loss, which there always is.
Now, I couldn't afford to go the Games and it really sticks in my craw that my tax money went to subsidise the more well-off who could afford to go. Oh well, you might say, it only comes around infrequently. But that's not right, annually we face a massive pay out of taxpayers dollars.
I think it was the Montreal Games where our lazy bloody athletes failed to win a gold medal. The consequences were that our gov't panicked and lashed out with squillions of, yes, taxpayers money to construct the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Then they stocked it with expert coaches, dieticians, bio-mechanic specialists, sport psychologists, slo-mo replay technicians, motivators and aero-dynamic bicycle designers etc, etc. Then they throw in all these budding champions (?) and pay them a salary, yes taxpayers money, to pump iron and swim all day while eating a blend of muesli that only a scientist could dream up.
You can imagine how much it costs this body temple. Every year it gets a budget allocation from the Federal gov't. that would be enough to keep about half a dozen third world countries out of the red.
I worked it out. For the Sydney Games I did a rough costing, added in the 4 year cost of running the A.I.S., and divided it by the number of gold medals we collected. Each medal cost the Australian taxpayer about $37 million. And we have indigenous communities here without sewerage facilities or a clean water supply. ( If only one of those bloody athletes had of come home with a gold medal. Just look how much moolah we would have saved that could have been better utilised )
One of the spiels the gov't. puts out, to encourage us to support these major events, is that the exposure we get will encourage overseas investment and business to come to Australia. What a lot of shit! I can just see the C.E.O. of Boeing addressing his Board on a Monday morning after watching the Games on the TV on the weekend. "Hey fellers, did ya see that Sydney joint on the tele? Did ya notice anything special about it? Wadda bout you Ralph? No, wadda bout you Chuck? What's the matter with you meatheads, am I the only one with a vision? This Sydney joint will be a great place to build planes. I've decided to build a factory down there to build our next generation 5000 passenger Gumbo Jumbos. Ya see, ya can't drive the Chevy to and from Australia, ya need a damn plane man". Yeah, right.
Last, and probably the saddest. When I was 9 I stood by the side of the road in Melbourne and watched the 1956 O.G. marathon runners going by. Along with everyone else there I cheered and clapped unreservedly. I was still able to do this into the 70's. But now the drug cheats have taken this joy and enthusiasm away from me. When I now see, what appears to be a great sporting feat, I still, half rise from my seat, and the makings of a cheer start to bubble in the back of my throat, but then the brain clicks in with a stifling effect - sit down you fool and wait for the results of tomorrows drug tests when you could end up feeling an idiot. And if there's no positive test - well, it's to late to cheer anyway.
( Oh dear, what my children have missed )

JG / FME.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 06:28 AM

Marty - are you for real? get rid of the amateurs? Now that was the dumbest post in this whole thread. Olympics should have nothing BUT amateurs!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 07:02 AM

Just had a read through the above and would like to pitch in my two-penny worth:

Kat, who raised the thread, ended her posting with

"I don't think we should have the Olympics this year, mainly because of the above and also out of respect for the victims of Sept. 11th and their families and anyone who is involved in the current "war."

In ancient times the games were called to bring athletes together from the various states/kingdoms of Greece to compete even in time of war. Normally, but not always, a truce was declared for the period of the games to allow athletes to travel to the games, compete and return home safely. The athletes represented themselves, the common aim was the peaceful pursuit of human excellence, the trophy a simple laurel wreath.

The present games were re-instated to re-introduce those ideals to the modern world. The Berlin Olympics of 1936 were the first of the modern games to be politically manipulated - with extremely embarassing results to NAZI propaganda. With the advent of the Cold War the games became increasingly more politicised as the USA and USSR went tit-for-tat to prove which system was best (Communism v Capitalism). With the fall of the USSR and subsequent revelations relating to use of performance enhancing drugs, it was demonstrated to the world exactly how cynically,corrupt the Soviet communist regime was. With regard to capitalism, the one-up-manship involved in sucessive games meant that money had to come from sponsors - all of whom have their own agenda to follow - and as it's their money that's required they quite naturally want to call a few of the shots (If anybody doubts this remember the Football World Cup held in the USA, where the sponsors tried damn hard to get the game played in quarters, as opposed to halves, because it suited the timing of advertising slots on American television?). Enter professionalism at the insistance mainly of the sponsors. By and large, we've got the games in the form we deserve, and we cheered and took pride in the accomplishments all the way down the slope.

ddw said:

I've been saying since '64 that the only way I would ever support the Olympics is to build a permanent site on one of the Greek islands and once every four years invite the few thousand best athletes in the world to compete.

And make damned sure a national flag never flies over the island. Then it would be about the athletes.

JMO,

david.

David - I could not agree more - unfortunately, no commercial television network would carry it, so far fewer people would get to see the best in the world competing against each other, national broadcasting corporations might?

GUEST John Gray/Australia said:

I think it was the Montreal Games where our lazy bloody athletes failed to win a gold medal. The consequences were that our gov't panicked and lashed out with squillions of, yes, taxpayers money to construct the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

Please correct me if I am wrong John, but the Australian Institute of Sport covers all sports doesn't it? Australia in terms of population is not large, Australia are current World Champions in Cricket (I can almost hear the chuckle from our trans-Atlantic cousins - but more people play cricket in the world than play baseball and cricket actually has a meaningful "world series" - The World Cup where more than a couple of countries are invited to compete), Rugby League and Rugby Union. Individually, Australian sportsmen and sportswomen consistently compete throughout the world at the highest levels. A great deal of that has got something to do with the creation of the Australian Institute of Sport all those years ago. And yes it does generate interest in Australia, not in the way you state maybe. Next year after my daughter (a swimmer) completes her exams in Britain, she will be going down to Australia to train for a year - guess where John? But more important guess why?

In 1984 my sister competed for Great Britain at the disabled olympics. Held at Rhode Island that year, she returned home with three gold medals for track events and one bronze for swimming. The President of the United States, Ronald Regan opened the games and in his opening speach, to the assembled disabled athletes of the world, he said something (paraphrased as I'm running from memory)) to this effect:

In one months time in Los Angeles I will be attending a similar ceremony to this, when the Official Olympic Games open. Looking round me today at all of you, and recognising the circumstances and paths that have brought you here, I know in my heart who the real Olympians are.

What that remark meant to all those present in the stadium was priceless. It would never have been made without there being an Olympic Movement.

Of course the Olympic Games are worth it - they always have been - in terms of inspiration, communication, development of good relations and better understanding. Anything that brings the youth of the world together with a common interest can only be worthwhile.

JMO

Bill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST,John Gray / Australia
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 08:05 AM

Bill,
The Greek Islands idea is a good one but unlikely to come to fruition. Too many vested interests and, is it in a time zone suitable for our American friends?
I don't think the Australian Inst. of Sport covers all sports Bill. I haven't heard of any spots there for horse polo players or rodeo riders or sky divers.
The Australian Cricket Academy is in Adelaide and, I'm a bit cloudy here, whilst it may get Federal grants I think most of its funding, non-government, comes from the Australian Cricket Board. I see their past supremo, Rod Marsh, is going to the UK to be involved in a similar scheme.
And yes, our sportspeople are consistent high achievers but when I stand that up against the prevalence of Trachoma in Aboriginal children it kinda loses its polish.
As for, Anything that brings the youth of the world together for good relations, better understanding and common interest - I think Backpacking has taken over this role. At any given time there are thousands of them here, and you don't have to wait 4 years to experience it.

JG / FME


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 08:23 AM

Another gripe: If any event doesn't feature American stars, American TV doesn't cover the event.

I'd also like to see an end to commercials that point out that the sponsor is the official (car, gasoline, soft drink, tampon, disposable diaper) of the Olympic Games.

As to New York wanting to host the Olympics, No. We in NJ can't handle the traffic we have, we don't need any more.

Steve (the official banjo player named Steve of the 2002 Olympic Games).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 08:28 AM

Kat,

I haven't heard anything, I would just hope that if the Afghanistan situation is not completely resolved by then that they would have the sense to remove a huge target for terrorism.

The other thing that drives me nuts about the Winter Games is there are too many judged events. I'm sure that people in the know can already tell you who the medalists will be in Figure Skating.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: marty D
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 11:40 PM

Well testy anonymous GUEST, a lot of dumb people have been suggesting that because of the abuses of amateur status, that's EXACTLY what might simplify things. Virtually all the top athletes in each event have been funded under the table for years now, and if that's not 'professional' I don't know what is.

It seems the only people who REALLY feel the Games are worth it are the competitors and the thousands of IOC members who are on the payroll. They get a LOT of nice trips every year.

marty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: DougR
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 12:29 AM

David: I certainly won't argue with your or (I think if was) Marty, but if the host cities are so hurt by hosting the Olympics, why do cities bust their butts to be the host city?

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: ddw
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 12:45 AM

Because politicians rarely have the balls to stand up and tell the IOC they're full of shit. The pols don't want to be accused of being naysayers, so when the IOC makes its pitch about how wonderful it is to have the Olympics, they jump on the boosterism bandwagon.

Toronto is an oversized one-horse town that for decades has been desperately trying to prove to itself it's a world city. They just spent megabucks trying to get the '08 games even though they have nothing in the way of facilities. All the rest of Ontario (which always has to pick up the tab when Toronto falls on its face) heaved a great collective sigh of relief when that foisted the mess off on Bejing.

david


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Chip2447
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 03:32 AM

Amature athletes, no medal count, no silly assed McDonalds games, I would say yes. Otherwise screw em.
CHIP2447


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 06:33 AM

Hi John,

Thanks for your posting above. From a very good friend of mine (a P.E. teacher) who married an Australian and emigrated to Australia in the 70's, I was told that the AIOS has a programme whereby schools are visited and pupils are evaluated in basic games skills to determine what sports they have natural ability to develope. Having identified that potential it is natural that the governing bodies of that sport take some part in future development of the skill of the next generation. Unfortunately, no such scheme exists in the UK, any native talent we may have wins through despite the system not because of it.

Polo and rodeo riding are basically too specialised and of marginal interest to warrant inclusion as Olympic sports. Sky diving is an interest not a sport, it cannot be viewed by the public and anything a sky diver might do between launch from the aircraft to opening the chute can be done by a trampolinist, or high board diver in full view of an appreciative audience.

Inferring that what is spent on the development of sport in Australia affects the incidence of Trachoma in Aboriginal children, or any other medical/social evil, is a bit of a red herring - if they didn't waste all that money on sport, they more than likely waste it on something else. The solution to that problem lies within the power of the Australian electorate in as much that the political parties in Australia can raise it as an issue of national importance - and the people can then vote on it. The issues, concerns and grievences of the Aboriginal people have been highlighted and championed by world class Australian aboriginal athletes who would otherwise have never been given a platform from which to be heard were it not for their international prominence.

The 2000 games in Sydney were an outstanding success, some say the best games ever held, many of the backpackers you refer to were probably attracted to Australia because of what they saw in connection with those games. To suggest that the experience of backpacking is in any way comparable to the experience that can be gained by being part of the Olympic Games is not comparing apples to apples. While one is personal and fairly restricted by a number of considerations, the other is organised and won by right, through an immense amount of personal effort and sacrifice, extremely focused and international in nature.

From some of the comments made in answer to this thread, which poses the question "Are the Olympics worth it", it would have been just as well to ask "Is sport worth it".

Steve Latimer, in his posting above states, "I would just hope that if the Afghanistan situation is not completely resolved by then that they would have the sense to remove a huge target for terrorism." According to Mr bin Laden - you and the whole of civilisation is already a target - can't get one bigger than that. So where do you draw the line defining what can go ahead and what can't. Restrict activities in any way and they have won without doing anything.

Another of Steve's comments was, "The other thing that drives me nuts about the Winter Games is there are too many judged events. I'm sure that people in the know can already tell you who the medalists will be in Figure Skating." Don't just single out the winter games - Bookmakers (people in the know) have made a extremely profitable business out of figuring out the likely results of all types of sporting events, elections, etc, for years.

To marty D who says above, "It seems the only people who REALLY feel the Games are worth it are the competitors and the thousands of IOC members who are on the payroll. They get a LOT of nice trips every year." The first part of the sentence is blindingly obvious - I have no idea what your interests are, or what you do for recreation, but how do you know if you are any good at it, how do you know how good you could be at it. From what source do you derive inspiration? What drives your aspirations associated with your chosen interest. Well marty, for thousands of kids all over the world who participate in sport the Olympics provides all of that. I would also ask you to take a look at what the IOC does do for sport throughout the world before making such a denigrating and dismissive comment as that quoted above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST,John Gray / Australia
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 08:25 AM

Well Bill, we're just not going to be able to agree on this one.

I can't generate the seriousness you seem to attach to the O.G's. To refresh my memory I went to my dictionary where the meanings of Sport and Game are very similar. Amusement or pastime, a pleasant diversion. That's kind of how I still see it.
Yeah, the AIS gets around the schools with developement programs. But schools to me are where we develope our plumbers, accountants and scientists. Not to bring on the next world champion fly-fisherperson.
I'll leave it to you to tell the sky-divers that what they're doing isn't sport, and the cavers, and the scuba divers. They cannot be viewed by the public either. On that criteria what would become of yatching? And when was marginal interest a criteria for participation. How many synchronised swimmers of fencers have you met? None, yeah me neither - but I've met plenty of surfers.
We were up to our bums in packpackers long before the O.G's arrived Bill, and for the youth of the world to get together for communication, better understanding etc I reckon they beat the Olympic participants hands down. Just imagine the hothouse of the Olympic Village. Thousands of athletes (can you call a middle-aged shot-gun shooter an athlete? )lumped together for 2 weeks. What with training sessions, being at other venues to support team members, their own heats, rub downs etc there wouldn't be much time left for deep and meaningful communications. But the packpackers stay long enough in a country to pick up it's ambience, its culture, what makes it click politically and when they go home they are able to pass on information about your country and its people in knowledgeable and reasoned manner. They're the one's more likely to say to there friends / family - hey, bet you didn't know Australia is a constitutional monarchy ---

JG / FME.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST,John Gray/Australia
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 08:31 AM

Aaarrggghh the spelling in my previous. 0030 AM and it shows.

JG/FME


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Raptor
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 09:16 AM

I love the olympics
i Watch every second I can
I suspect I'm not the only one as well.
Anyone can say that if an event is making money it is corrupt and some aspects of the games are wrong(drugs). But for me it means things like national pride and excellence to achieve the best you can(same reason I went to the B.B. king Blues picknic this year). To see the best play.
Should we ban music cuz they are into DOPEING and Some agents and bar bookers I have met Make The olympic organizers look like saints!
If we took away sport we will soon become a world of Fat Bastards! Cuz kids would have nothing to strive for!
Physical education here in Canada is already going down the shitter!

But what do I know I'm the Idiot that watches Survivor!

Raptor


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: GUEST,John Gray / Australia
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 10:28 AM

Raptor,
That's just it, I don't think anyone here is suggesting these events do make money. Part of my argument would fall down if they did.
Several years ago, here in Melbourne, our state gov't paid Bernie Ecclestone mega millions for him to include us in his Formula One Grand Prix circuit. He owns all the rights and I think is on the 10 richest men in the world list. Guess what? The event loses money every year and yes, the taxpayers have to pick up the tab. Up on the Gold Coast in Queensland they did a similar thing to get a round of the Indy car racing. Guess what? Yeah, same deal.
Back to Melbourne. In 2 years time we have the Commonwealth Games. The feller in charge of organising our "in the red" grand prix is also the money organiser for our Comm. Games. Things don't look good.

JG/FME.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Raptor
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 10:53 AM

Tourism is enhanced by featuring a city as world class! I know a lot of folks that visit Calgary to see the city that was featured in those games. And before the games they thought that calgary was a One horse town. I suspect that the millions of tourism dollars spent in calgary since the games was close to the money lost but never figured into the equasion!
Sydney is now a more prestigious place cuz of the wonderful job the aussies did hosting!
The Canadian broadcasters spent a great deal of time featuring what a beautifull place Austraila is.
Look at the tourism advertising the host city gets and try to put a dollar figure on it. The whole world watches the Olympics! Mabey not people in the third world but how much traveling are they gonna do?
Could it be thats the real reason that cities are triing to host and not just to piss off the paranoid few that think that politicians are out to get them?
Raptor


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 04:19 PM

Are the Olympics worth it?

For the city YES.

The city which hosts and Olympics generally does accrue quite a bit of "name recognition". Also the increase in tourism and tax revenues from tourists, the boost to the economy from the extra jobs and construction are not counted. So if the city's Olympic Committee goes in the red, it the city has still benefited, Since many recent Olympics have reported a profit, L.A., Calgary and Atlanta come to mind, There is little doubt that there is an economic benefit.

For the Athletes: YES

Money from endorsements, pride, and aclaim can accrue.

For the Countries, fielding an Olympic team may seem expensive, but it is probably one of the most cost effective ways to build national unity and pride. I know, I get a lump in my throat when I hear "Oh, Canada" and see that maple leaf rise, in the middle.

For the Fans: YES

I'm a Hockey Fan, the best hockey in the world now is the Olympic tournament. Six Teams that with more talent than any of the 30 odd NHL teams. Players really put their hearts into it because for two weeks every 4 years they are not mercenaries. There have been a lot of valid criticisms of the Olympic process. Nowadays, I look at it as just another professional sporting event. As a professional event. It is quite good.

I don't really watch Olympics now except for The hockey and taped awards ceremonies. I don't really like "judged" sports. But I don't begrudge people who do. As far as "knowing the winners in advance" I've been surprised a few times in figure skating and the pressure of Olympic competition can cause even very seasoned skaters to crack.

Darts in the Olympics.... BRING it On!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: ddw
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 08:20 PM

Raptor and Jack,

I think your assessment of what the Olympics do for a city may be a little overblown. First, a city is not likely to be chosen — particularly for the summer games — if it doesn't already have a pretty high profile in the world. It also wouldn't be chosen if it didn't have accommodations for a lot of tourists and at least the potential for places to actually play the games. If they've already got all those things, they can pay for an ad campaign that will let the world know what they've got at a fraction of the cost of putting on the Olympics.

But the IOC always pushes the tourism thing more than they deliver and — as I said earlier — the local yokels are afraid of being tagged naysayers.

The games — i.e., the IOC — may make money on the gate if it's in an accessable place, but the taxpayers are still left picking up the tab for all the pools, stadiums, residences, etc. that are built specifically for the event. Almost invariably, the contractors hired for the jobs cut every corner possible in the construction — hey, the IOC isn't going to be around in five years when they things start to collapse to hold them to performance clauses in the contracts — and rarely is there much use for those venues after the games move on.

Raptor,

As far as sports being a hedge against a slothful populace, I would argue that professional/Olympic-level sports actually encourage fat slobs to sit around and play their sports vicariously. I mean, you can get HURT out there playing football or hockey! Let those other guys do it and just watch while you swill beer and yell at the refs.

Sorry, but I think the expertise needed to play pro sports is so far above most people that it does more to discourage activity than to promote it.

Of course, the same could be said of professional musicians; they discourage at least as many as they inspire.

Sorry Rick, Art, Kendall, et al. Nothin' personal.

cheers,

david


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Raptor
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:56 AM

Good point David But I was refurring to the kids that watch not the fat slobs.
When I was in high school I played basketball while my old friends started with drugs.
Now three of them are dead from an overdose and I'm still around to be a Fat slob watching the Raptors lose to the Bucks.
Raptor


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 10:21 AM

Those of you who champion the idea of a permanent location for the Olympics on a Greek isle cannot have given serious consideration to this idea. Just think e.g. of rowing (2000 m long body of water needed) or of wildwater canoeing (don't know how many cubic feet of water per second are needed) and then you would be among the first ones who cried about the damage to the environment on a Greek isle, about the irreversible damage to the landscape and about the tremendous cost (and energy need) of water transport. I understand the emotion behand that idea , but if you start thinking about it seriously with all that infrastructure, transport, accomodation for athletes, press and spectators, it does make no sense at all. And winter Olympics on a Greek island are not a viable idea at any time of the year.

To cancel or give back the winter Olympics to come would be extremely expensive, silly and against the best interests of the USA. You cannot single out one aspect of the costs, security, and forget about everything else like high damages to pay to TV, advertising agencies and single athletes. It would be an economic disaster for no insurance would cover the costs of a cancellation without much more explicit threats. The additional costs to security are peanuts compared to these costs. A rational approach could be to urge TV etc to help with the increasing costs for security.

The USA would signal to the world that they are afraid not to be able to guarantee security to guests and that they give in to terrorist threats. Each place now where many people gather the danger is increased and nevertheless the US government is well advised not to cancel any of these advents except if there would be a very specific threat. It would give the wrong signal to the world and would give terrorists too much power about our lives. I personally couldn't care less for instance whether an event called super bowl is held or not in the USA (just not my taste of sports that's all; same as many of you would not like sports I am interested in), but I'd advise any politician in the USA to do anything possible to hold such an event even at higher costs for security.

Many of you just do not like an event like the Olympic Games in the first place and would use just any argument against it that comes handy, be it environment, athletes health, or costs. There are many good arguments against Olympic , in principle, and I share many concerns about the (in the broadest sense) unhealthy aspects of modern sport. But too many arguments in this thread, as for example costs of security, are, how to put it nicely?, not well considered.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 10:49 AM

Well Wolfgang, I can come up with hundreds of reasons to not hold the Olympics in the same place. That's no trick. The real point here for me is not against sports nor against the idea of the Olympics, but like so many other things in this time, the sheer magnitude of the money involved is staggering and competition for holding a Games has become bigger than the competition in the actual events.

There is no solution to this problem and we are no more likely to see any changes here than we are in professional baseball becoming even remotely affordable for the average fan to watch live. It's a subject that may be interesting to argue about but an affordable and profitable Olympics is as ridiculous an idea now as the Easter Bunny. Wonderful to think about, but just not there. I still don't believe we need them....there are plenty of other unaffordable sporting events to watch.

Which reminds me..........NPR the other morning was playing radio coverage of figure skating. 20 seconds of music and then a quick comment followed by another 30 seconds of music. Now friends I know that a lot of things are visual and hard to cover on radio, but this was just totally ludicrous.......Best laugh I've had in ages!

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Raptor
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 10:57 AM

Well put Wolfgang
Raptor


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 11:22 AM

ddw, For Toronto to buy enough world wide advertising to get the same coverage as an Olympic Games It would cost WAY more than hosting an Olympic Games. The cost of advertising oin the USA alone would be billions. I've lived in Columbus Georgia for the Past 3 years and let me tell you that Atlanta does not regret hosting the Olympics and that the city still sees some risidual benefit.

Montreal's Olympics was a financial fiasco but that the world has learned much since then. Toronto can use a world class pool and velodrome. I am sure they can keep a better eye on the contractors than Montrael did. A slightly profitable or break even Olympics is possible. Which when acheived would accrue huge financial benefits to the City.

Toronto's major problem in getting awarded an Olympic games is the jealousy much of the rest of Canada feels toward the city.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Raptor
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 11:24 AM

The Olympics arn't held just for profit. They are a chance for the nations of the world to compeat and show thier pride. As for afordability I have been watching the olympics for 30 years now and it has only cost me cable fees which I pay anyway.
The competition of holding the games is bigger than the games themselves is just proof that it is benificial to a city.
Some people here would say the money spent would be better put to use Feeding the Poor but Ask yourselves What kind of Guitar you play Or Car you drive and tell me you have spent that kind of money on charity ( a better use of your money)
It's very Fashonable to say that the government blows money That can be put to better use And often true but are we following the same standards that we expect from them?
Raptor


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Are the Olympics worth it?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 12:21 PM

The Olympics SHOULD be above politics; I remember being appalled that we boycotted them when we were mad at the Soviets. Nonetheless, this years' being in the US, I'd rather have seen a year's mourning, I wouldn't have started up professional sports either, till 9/12/02, the usual "year and a day" of song and story. Given that sports are ongoing, I'd have the Olympics. I just wish we could get some decent coverage without having to go overseas. I want to watch the athletes, not America on parade. Why can't ESPN, for instance, actually show the sports, and let the networks do the campaigning?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
 


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 14 November 11:09 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.