8.17.2008

Our Olympic Trials

So, it’s Sunday, and while I know it ain’t over ‘til the perfect Chinese child lip-synchs over top of the not-so-perfect Chinese child’s voice, I just want to interrupt the olympic games to say how proud I am of my country’s efforts.

Way to go, Canada. Seven medals now. Good on ya.

Seven is a nice number. Sure, it’s one medal shy of the total number of gold’s that one freakin’ American kid has managed to rack up on his own, but still, it’s respectable.

We’re doing better than Roumania, the country that my grandmother fled almost a century ago because of the horrific, oppressive, poverty-stricken circumstances that my people were living under. Roumania only has --- oh, shit, never mind. Two more just went up on the leader board. Ok, well, we’re still ahead of… um… Georgia. Ha! Looks like Georgia isn’t faring very well, at home or on Olympic soil.

Ok, at least we can remain ahead of the countries that are currently in the throes of a nasty siege.

Oh, and Kazak… no, wait... somewhere Borat is jumping up and down in his Speedo; looks like the Kazakhs have eclipsed us too.

Jesus Christ. Seriously. I know that the number of medals we stuff in our gym bags next week is not the point of the games – One World One Dream* and all that garbage – but C’MON!

(Oh, and btw – the missing comma in the Olympic motto – very distracting.)

Canada is a fully-developed nation (some in-fighting over which province is richer and who should pony up more oil for the US aside) of 30 million people.

We have managed to figure out how to get our people nationalized health care, a democratic voting system, a decent reputation on the global stand and some pretty good beer.

Why is success at the summer games eclipsing us?

I don’t expect our basketball team (do we even have one?) to beat the US dream team. I don’t expect our divers to beat the Chinese divers, and I didn’t expect any swimmer going up against Michael Phelps to make it to the top of the podium either.

But you know? We did have some hope coming into the games, didn’t we?

Of course we did, or we wouldn’t have sent 332 people halfway around the world to give it a shot.

I really don’t want to minimize the efforts of our athletes. We have had some really heartening stories, some really heartbreaking stories and ok, a few disheartening stories (cough*Perdita*cough). Apparently, we’re even breaking our own records all over the place.

So, like, as long as our records keep getting broken, but no other country’s do, we should be ok in 2012, right?

Come on, Canada. $140 million budgeted for the Olympics, and only $27 million is for training programs.

If you want to know my honest, Socialist opinion, I think the money might be better spent at home, than in sending under-performing amateur athletes to a country that had WAY better things to spend their own Olympic budget on.

Anyway, the games will be over soon, and I’m sure many (men) out there will be jonesing for their nightly dose of (ridiculous) beach volleyball bunnies, shorts traveling up their butts and all.

Me? I’ll be wondering where the hell the coverage of the good stuff was, why China spent months training middle-aged women to cheer correctly as they were paid to fill the seats of the women’s soccer games, and offer thanks once again that these games didn't fall into the lap of my hometown (Phew. Thanks for fucking that one up, Mel, truly.)

I’ll be waiting for the winter Olympics, where at least we have hockey women’s hockey to assure us a gold.


*Fucking hell, China, tell that to the Tibetans.

***

14 comments:

  1. It is a bit disappointing, to be sure, but like you, I'm figuring we rock the winter Olympics, so meanwhile, I'll enjoy watching the beauty of the divers and gymnasts at work, and wait to gloat for another two years.

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  2. I know. The politics of the games are horrible and disheartening.

    But I cannot help but get choked up when I see that kind of physical prowess. Just getting there must be incredible for so many of them.

    That 105 pound weight lifter clean and jerking more than twice her body weight?

    The 38 year old woman who won the marathon yesterday.

    Astounding all.

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  3. And THIS - THIS is exactly why I adore you.

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  4. Ack, we suck at summer sports (save for beer drinking and quarters) but we kick ass at the Winter games so we will shine again in 18 months.

    BUT that said, I still bust with pride each and every time I see our flag representin' at these games and try not to think of the bureaucratic bullshit behind it all. The Olympics prove to me that we can work together despite all our differences. And when I say we, I mean citizens of this planet yo.

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  5. Wait - we don't suck at rowing so add that to beer swilling.

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  6. I just divert myself by getting excited about Jamaican runners and such. I am a sucker for the heart-warming story no matter what country puts a face on it.

    I can say that in a cavalier way now that we have at least one medal and at least one sob story.

    I wish I could get my knickers in a twist about the colossal waste of funding and the politics behind it all but each time I start going down that path, I imagine all those other Canadians who would nay-say arts funding or other measures that protect cultural nationalism and, then, well then I start to get queasy.

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  7. I totally hear all of you on the warming of the cockles and the pride and such - trust me, I am the biggest sucker for a feel good story and a red maple leaf. (Or a green and yellow bodysuit, or a kayaker from Togo.)

    My biggest beef is that our gov't. and sports authorities could be doing way better, if we're gonna do it at all. Like the arts funding, etc., we like to throw a tiny budget at it and then complain that we're not achieving our capabilities (like here, in this post.).

    Our athletes are worth it, is my point, but they're delivering mediocre because we're giving them mediocre resources. Ramble over.

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  8. Chris? Chris would have ranted way heavier, funnier and smarter. That was me, kgirl.

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  9. Without me being in any way a socialist, I SO agree with you. Be good enough to win some gold medals and then I might not begrudge you the money, half-assed athletes.

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  10. Agreed.

    Norm and I spent a vacation in Sloveina wandering around in awe at the country with the tiny population that kicks our ass every Olympics.

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  11. blah, blah, blogAugust 19, 2008

    Add another to our total; that was a gold-medal gripe!

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  12. if any of these events were held on ice or snow, we americans would suck worse than mannequin 2

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  13. i SO love when you get ranty! ;)

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