Friday, February 7, 2014

The Sochi Olympics Are Going To Be The Worst

In Soviet Russia, bathroom stall share you!
By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

Full disclosure, I'm not a huge fan of the Olympics.

It's not that I don't love rooting for the old US-of-A, I do. I get my hopes irrationally high every time America qualifies for the World Cup, and I almost peed my pants when we tied England in 2010.

Take that ya filthy Brits! We don't even care about this sport, and we're equal to you!

What I mostly don't like about the Olympics, is that few of the events are actually sports, and even fewer are team sports. I'm sorry to my wife and every other figure skating/gymnastics/synchronized swimming/snowboard halfpipe/ice dancing/diving fans, but those aren't sports.

Those are very difficult activities, but they all involve judges picking a winner directly. To me, that's not a sport. You know what is a sport (and a team sport, no less)? Curling!

I will watch curling, because I know how many points a given team gets in a turn (sort of). With all the above sports, I have to defer to a panel of most likely corrupt judges to tell me which team or, more often, individual, was best. As an American, that's something I can't take. I need officials to indirectly affect the outcome so I can complain about my team losing later, but I can't have them outright choosing a winner.

That's something a Commie would do. Speaking of that…

Why are the Winter Olympics always held in the least appealing places on Earth? Who the hell wants to go to Sochi, a third-world city in Russia near an active war zone? I mean, at least Nagano had that sweet Buddhist temple. All Sochi has is the constant threat of terrorism from female "black widow" suicide bombers, who are almost certainly already inside the city and Olympic village.

This should go well.

And, much like every other crappy, non-deserving city when it gets an internationally relevant event, Sochi is completely unprepared. Hotels are still being finished, roads aren't paved, stray dogs are living in rooms as guests arrived, smelly man holes are uncovered (insert anti-gay joke here), public restroom stalls have two toilets in them (see picture above), and hotel rooms are missing water/the water contains toxic materials.

I mean, we actually thought these people would beat us to the moon.

Be ready for these stories, along with the stories of intolerance toward gays and women, to repeat when Russia hosts the World Cup in 2018, and for things to be much, much worse when Qatar hosts it in 2022.

Things have gotten so bad, that the Sochi Olympics parody Twitter handle, @SochiProblems, now has nearly 70,000 more followers than the official Olympics handle, @Sochi2014.

But back to the sports aspect of it all, because we knew Russia would screw this up.

The only redeeming quality of a given Olympic games is somebody chasing world records, or an American chasing improbable Gold. Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt have provided unbelievable Olympic performances, pushing the limits of human performance in the water and on land. You know what they didn't do? A few flips on a snowboard for somebody to judge.

Those guys went fast, really fast. Faster than anybody has ever gone before, and we know that because we timed them. This wasn't a subjective thing. But you know what's even better an individual chasing immortality? An American team coming together to be the best in the world.

I don't know what it is, but I just like team sports better. I grew up as a singles tennis player, but something about team building and the melding of personalities and skill sets has always made team sports so much more interesting to me.

You know what the best American team story is this year? The women's hockey team maybe beating, or beating up, the Canadian women's hockey team. That's actually a semi-interesting story to me, but it's not exactly must-see TV either. No, I don't care that Shaun White withdrew from some BS event I'd never heard of. No, I don't care about some old Norwegian getting the all-time winter games medal record.

The only thing that could possibly save the Sochi Games is that Jamaica, once again, has a bobsled team. Unfortunately, reports indicate that John Candy will not be coaching this Jamaican squad. Sources have cited both his lack of actual bobsled experience, and his death in 1994 as reasons for Candy's absence.

Either way, the hits keep on coming for Sochi.

So, will I watch this sporting event with very few sports, fewer story lines, little drinkable water, unlivable accommodations and a terrorist attack almost guaranteed?

Sure, I guess. Maybe I'll turn it on after the Colbert Report one night.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

In soviet Russia, sports blog write you! Bahahahahaha