Salé and Pelletier were cheated by the Olympic figure skating judges. That’s no story. The French figure skating judge was sent home in disgrace after more or less getting caught cheating. That’s also no story. The Canadian pair who were cheated, are now going to receive their rightful gold medals. Still no story.
None of the above is a story, because it happens all the time. International sports federation judges cheat. And if not all the time, then sufficiently enough to suspect all decisions based upon their “judgement”.
And not only do the judges cheat. So do the Olympic organizers and executive. These Salt Lake City Olympics were awarded to Salt Lake City, because the “pitch team” for the Salt Lake City’s Olympic Committee paid off Olympic officials to win the 2002 games. Regrettably: this too is not earth shaking news. It has been, as much a part of the “movement”, as are the five rings.
Kick-backs, payoffs and all sort of bribes from the highest levels, to the guy winning the rights to sell peanuts in the stands is what the Olympic “movement” is all about.
The Olympics have got to be the world’s greatest corporate elitist con job ever.
This so-called “movement”, is a private corporation run by an extremely privileged class of elitist insiders, who get paid exceptionally well for doing virtually nothing. And for the members who don’t really get paid all that much, just imagine the value of the travel, five star hotels, celebrity treatment and the networking. All of which comes with nothing more than just an Olympic organizing title.
What does the “movement” do for its members to earn all this adulation? Twice every four years: once in the winter, and once in the summer, the “movement” accepts bids from prospective “host cities” to win the right to stage one of the two games.
The competing cities spend tens of millions of dollars each; just in their presentation, which spells out the minutia of how they are going to host the games. And after all the dust settles, one city is chosen.
However, the winning city isn’t always the best choice, or the city with the best presentation.
The other factors which come into play during this bidding procedure are the backroom negotiations. The gifts and pay-offs. And not only from the hopeful cities, but just as likely from the national governments of the host cities.
There is more politics involved in this “movement”, than there is athletics.
Once the City is chosen to host the games, it then spends as much as a billion or more dollars to build the entire venue and infrastructure for the entire event. In the case of Salt Lake City, this expense also included more than $300 million in added security.
I don’t know who paid for all the security. Some might have been paid by the city, some buy the state of Utah, and some or all of it by the US federal government. But; you can be absolutely certain that none of it was paid by the “movement”.
When you add up how much the “movement” has so far paid, or committed to pay for the present, upcoming and future Olympic games, the tally is NOTHING!
Now come the rights. Who gets the billions of dollars in media coverage, the sponsorship and attendance? The organizers do, but only after the “movement” skims an enormous amount right off the top.
Who supplies the talent for the games? By talent, I mean world class competitors. The athletes you see competing at the games are worth tens of billions of dollars. Here are razor sharp individuals who have dedicated their entire lives to this single purpose.
So; who pays for the training and nurture of these athletes? You do.
The athletes who compete, start training at a young age in schools, parks and playgrounds. Parents foot much of the bills at the early ages, while local communities usually pick up the infrastructure costs.
Private and public schools also pay a great deal to the making of athletes. And inevitably, provinces, states and federal governments contribute enormous amounts to finishing the training; which also includes the costs of travel, housing, nourishment on the road and room and board while at home. Being a world class athlete is a full time job.
The athletes also contribute. They very often put off education, the search for a meaningful job, and personal relationships. Many do menial work as they practice, prepare and train. Some of the great and charismatic athletes find sponsors. But; more often than not, those who find sponsors are in the vast minority. And also very often, the sponsorship is worth nothing more than hamburger money.
Now that the “movement” has its venue in place, the entire infrastructure covered, and an army of the finest athletes on the globe, ready to do battle in the name of the purity of sport; what has the “movement” contributed in terms of money? Virtually NOTHING!
As the athletes descend upon the Olympic host city. Who pays for their travel, accommodations, food, and everything else needed to sustain them, while they prepare to jump through hoops in search of a medal that isn’t worth its own weight in real dollars? Not the “movement”.
Who supplies the judges? Not the “movement”. The judges are supplied by the federations which regulate each sport. So what does the “movement” pay for? A few cheap medals, some secretaries, a little bit of travel, a hotel room here or there? As far as I can see, the “movement” is a free-loader. They pay for virtually nothing. But in exchange for nothing, they get back a veritable fortune.
And what do they do with this fortune? Do they invest it, or part of it in training athletes and constructing great athletic facilities? Not that I am aware of. I think they stuff as much of the cash they rake in, into their already bloated life-styles, as they flit from one elitist cocktail party after another. Always stuffing their faces with the well meaning of others while in search of another elitist freebie.
My solution to the Olympics is simple. Have an annual World Cup event where the athletes are paid to compete, and the people (city) putting up all the risk, get to enjoy all the rewards. And the competition does not have to relegated to one city alone.
What happened to Canada’s figure skaters at the 2002 Olympics, is nothing more than a scratch at the surface of a “movement”, that is so corrupt and elitist, that it is beyond redemption.
The so-called Olympic movement is nothing short of an international con and scam, perpetrated in the guise of “high ideals”. As the world changes, so should the way we look at elitist spectacles like the Olympic games.