This year I will participate in a 4-year ritual among a growing population: avoiding the Olympic games like the plague.
The Olympic games (named after a male-only naked-only greek-only religious ritual) are the epitome of what’s wrong with modern sports, taken to the next level. There is rampant corruption, like the not-quite-old-enough Chinese gymnast. Every rule designed to protect the participants is stretched to the breaking point: blood doping using autologous methods is still undetectable, altitude training is banned, age limits, when observed, are skirted by gymnasts just-old-enough (which means they were training when younger than the age limit, hard!) and those are just the thing that are so well-known that I’ve somehow heard of them. It’s basically a money-making event using merchandising, so their trademarks must be jealously protected. It’s a measure of a “country’s worth” that has nothing to do with quality of life of citizens in these countries. This is the kind of thing that causes good, honest people to be disgusted with sports and physical activity — I know that this kind of attitude is what drove me away, to the detriment of my health, from engaging in physical activity (since then, I have learned that you can have different attitudes about sports and I am working out).
So this year, like every 4 years, I will not be watching the Olympics (or the commercials they push) nor buy any of their merchandise, and the blood of innocents will not be on my hands.