I hope most Americans felt like I did after Sunday night.
At last the Global Corporate Olympics were over, and no more news blurbs about the latest drama coming out of British Columbia, or lame joke about some of the events.
Each evening I couldn’t wait for the McDonald’s Medal Count, where McDonald’s was mentioned at least three times: (1) before the scoreboard appeared, (2) above the tally count, and (3) after.
And those commercials for the "sponsors" of the Olympics, or the numerous Visa commercials ("the only card accepted at the Olympics") were utterly inane.
As was the commercial from the British Columbian Tourism Board featuring Kim Cattrell, Michael J. Fox, and some lesser BC born celebrities. That commercial ran five or six times every single prime time evening.
Not to mention that the closing ceremonies in and of themselves, as the opening ceremonies were also, mostly a "feature" for the host countries in order to highlight their country’s unique and special complement, but with all those global corporate commercials interspersed throughout.
The closing ceremonies in part appeared to be one big commercial for the next location in Russia, and the high tech commercial which previewed all those live acts was a little surreal to me and did not have much to do with athletism at all.
Seemed more like an ad for The Matrix.
And I have never seen so many Red Bull patches in my entire life as were on those skiers, or the number of times Red Bull was mentioned by those skiing announcers as picking up the tab for most of their competition fees.
Give me the good old days of the Olympics.
Where Peggy Fleming’s mother sewed her skating costumes, and not costumes such as those Russian ice dancers had that consisted of rope so that now we need gimmicks in order to satisfy the masses (and the commercially motivated judging panel – I mean there wasn’t a stocky athletically built skater ala Janet Lynn or Dorothy Hamill in the final bunch really, with the exception of maybe Rachel Flatt and who unfortunately fell flat with those judges in that last program).
And, of course, there were the tragedies as this venue now is known for.
This time the death of the Georgian luger, and host country’s female ice skater’s mother suddenly – which was milked by those commentators for all it was worth, even conducting interviews with those bereaved yet without even the opportunity to fully grieve their untimely personal losses of friend and family member.
But the show must go on….and on….and on.
I just would like to know what those luge track engineers and the Vancouver Olympic Committee and IOC were thinking with such an obvious hazard to those athletes with those pillars on that luge track designed as they were and unpadded to boot so near a deadly curve in the track – ratings, maybe?
Higher ad revenues for the next one, since that’s part of the Olympics too. Highlighting the risks those athletes take for that little round gold piece hanging on a ribbon as the best in the world, and all those before them that get injured on the quest.
For that one day.
I mean how many times was that American downhill skier winner’s past injuries and the "will she or won’t she ski" drama due to a bruised shin mentioned?
And then the drama of the fall and broken thumb due to the then poor weather conditions (but to delay would really mess up the travel schedules of all those corporate advertisers and their families or employees which held most of the tickets, far outnumbering even those of the family members of the actual competitors, and most likely out of the reach of most of your average Canadians or Americans living nearby).
It’s too bad Wayne Gretsky didn’t make the Canadian cut for the new and upcoming "Senior" division.
I figure that’s only a few years down the road, since health care will be so unaffordable for most of the boomers under any government or private insurance the way things are going with the economy here continuing to decline, that a Senior Olympics could be concocted then to wipe out a few of us old-timers.
Better on an ice rink or ski slope with the wind rushing by, than in one of our globally owned hospitals at this point, especially if you hang on far longer than your health care benefits provide, or the hospital’s share of the pork, or taxpayer funded government grant.
Better still in holding down costs for some of those products now throughout the world when a great deal of those profits and taxes are going into the costs for some of these countries simply making their bids for the Games, and constructing all those new stadiums needed and required by the IOC, next time how about just a simple coin toss for the location of the existing locations, and banning the publicly paid travelogues and limiting the number of corporate advertisers free commercial time to one per sponsored event?
That way it could be more commercial, and more lucrative, and help rebuild that global economy all those economists keep talking about at least in this country, rather than the free falling U.S. economy, and the fact is that it is the international viewers, mainly the Americans, that are paying for those costs of those athletics in their purchases of those global corporation’s products, and not those corporations per se at all.
"Sponsors and advertisers for the American Bobsled, Skating, Skiing, (Fill in the blank) Team" seems a whole lot more "truth in advertising" than honking their global corporate horns as "supporters of the Olympics."
Just where did they get those dollars to donate or "sponsor" those athletes anyway, or pay for those high priced Olympic ad slots except from the viewing public? Who also pay those salaries for that "commercially" focused IOC, in a roundabout way, and their front and center seats.
Or maybe instead the newest label, "Scouts" for our next Olympic pitchman?
I mean with all those never-ending commecials, back to back and repeated over and over again, that two week study in excess literally wiped me out, if not the snowboarders, along with the previous one just two short years ago.
This message brought to you by the U.S. "Bring Back the Amateur Commercially Limited Olympics" Committee.
I really wish the American economy would pick up, and those bankers realize just why the U.S. home market isn’t improving, and I could afford TiVo, that new American invention.