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Post The "Woke" Olympics? Or the Joke Olympics?
Created by John Eipper on 08/14/21 4:16 AM

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The "Woke" Olympics? Or the Joke Olympics? (David Duggan, USA, 08/14/21 4:16 am)

The 2020? Tokyo Olympics ended with the US firmly in 1st place in the medal count. But the body count from conducting these games in the midst of a pandemic, with no fans in the stands, has yet to be tabulated. My guess is that Japan will be # 1, followed closely by China and the Russian Olympic Committee, the long form of what used to be the Soviet Union but is now simply a Putin satrapy. Of course we'll never get true numbers from either of those media-controlled monoliths. The International Olympic Committee banned the ROC from the 2018 Winter Olympics because of widespread doping and every other conceivable method of cheating, but those pesky Russkies re-constituted themselves. (Remember the Commonwealth of Independent States of the 1992 Olympics after the break-up of the Soviet Union?) And this was supposed to clean up the sport?

After disease, these Olympics will be known more for what didn't happen than what did. Simone Biles didn't defend her 2016 gold medal performances, Novak Djokovic didn't win the 4th leg on the "Golden Slam," torch bearer Naomi Osaka didn't get beyond the 3rd round, Rafa, Serena and Roger didn't show up at all, the American women's soccer team didn't win the gold medal after winning the last two World Cups (I know it's not the Olympics, but better), New Zealand weightlifter Laurel [ne Gavin] Hubbard didn't get a medal ([s]he must not have had enough testosterone coursing through her veins after all that hormone replacement), transgendered Namibian sprinter Christine Mboma was disqualified from competing in the 400 for high testosterone levels but still won silver in the 200 (huh?), the American men's track team didn't win an individual gold medal for the first time ever (they did win the 4x400 relay and Ryan Crouser won the shot put, but that's a field event).

Beyond the wokism of these games with their gender inclusivity and concern for athletes' mental health was their jokism. New contrived sports skateboarding, surfing and wall climbing added little to the "faster, higher, stronger" motto but were simply media-driven efforts to make these games relevant to the Gen X, Y and Z'ers who have been tuning out the games for the last 20 years. Sure, there were individual triumphs (Suni Lee, women's all-around gymnastics; Allyson Felix, bronze medal in the 400, the first time an American mother had medaled in track and field; Gable Steveson in heavyweight free-style wrestling) and interesting US team victories (women's beach volleyball, regular volleyball, basketball, 3x3 basketball [what?] and water polo). American men won basketball over France who had beaten them earlier (huh?), but apart from Kevin Durant and hometown Chicago Bull Zach LaVine, who barely played, I couldn't tell you who else was on the team. LeBron James, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook: where are you? When you are more noteworthy for the gimmicks that happened than the non-achievements in real sports, something's amiss. (Don't get me going on golf and tennis: recent additions to the Olympic roster, which add nothing. And if you really want an Olympic climbing sport, try "freesoloing" a la Alex Honnold on El Capitan--now that's a sport. In two of the three Olympic climbing disciplines you're belayed.)

And to think we have less than 6 months to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the 3rd straight time they will have been held on the Asian continent. Believe me, I can wait.

JE comments:  A pox on your Olympic house, sayeth David Duggan.  The latest sports craze to hit college campuses begins with the letter "e":  e-sports, or what we used to call video games.  Should we expect them in a future Olympics?  I'm rarin' to represent my country when my sport gets added to the menu:  coin collecting.

But David, can you give the Tokyo organizers a little break?  They pulled off something never attempted before:  hold an Olympics amidst a pandemic, after a year's delay.  There were no security disasters, and to the TV crowd at least, the games appeared almost normal--if eerily quiet.

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