Sunday, February 16, 2014

Another problem with the Olympics

Aside from the arguably more important problems with the Olympics that concern matters political and commercial, something I've noticed recently is that one of the reasons I don't join Jeannette for more Olympics viewing is that too many of the sports are just excruciatingly boring to watch (and the worst part is that they tend to show the boring bits and not the potentially exciting bits).

Now that I've taken time to think the matter over I've realized that watching top athlete after top athlete complete the same course makes for uninspiring viewing.  Unfortunately for the Winter Olympics, this seems to characterize most of the sports (hockey, curling, cross-country skiing [and derivatives], and snowboard cross being the main outliers). There's no drama.  And, most importantly, there's no real competition.

What's worse, is that not only do they insist on showing boring downhill run after boring downhill run, but they tend to focus on the final runs rather than the qualifiers.

This approach is problematic for at least two reasons.  Firstly, the efforts  of hundreds or thousands of Olympians go uncovered.  Secondly, and more importantly, by focusing only on the best athletes inexperienced viewers aren't shown the full range of athletic talent at the Olympics.  The fact that the best skiers routinely land their jumps would be even more impressive if we were shown the world's 30th-60th best competitors in the sport failing.  Furthermore, for those sports where style points are in play (and lets not even get into the issue of the overall classification of these events as sports) the distinction between the first and second best skiers in the world is often almost impossible to spot, while almost anyone should be able to spot the differences between the first and sixtieth skiers.

So it seems that not only have the Olympics given us many reasons not to watch for moral and political reasons, it's also the case that they just don't put on all that great a show.

Oh, and I also really don't like watching teenagers and young adults risking serious life-long injuries or death just to entertain me on a grey winter's afternoon.

Cameron - 15
Neil - 0

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