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So here we are, the opening ceremonies of another Olympics. The general sense out there is that the Olympics are on life support. It hard to find cities who want to host the Olympics any more. Those that do, like Rio, seem to be wracked with corruption,
problems and debt.
But when there are moments of great triumph it seems to grab your attention. We already saw that this week when the Canadian women soccer team beat Australia to open their Olympic tournament on Wednesday. People get behind the Maple Leaf. And when we win our first medal, and hear our first playing of the anthem, it tends to turn people on for a couple of weeks.
A new plan is needed. A new way of doing business is imperative. Paul Daughtery of the Cincinnati Enquirer does a fine job summing up some of the problems we see with the games.
Between the state sponsored cheating in Russia, the huge catalog of concerns in Rio,
the bribing of Olympic officials and the inclusion of obscure sports, the Games have become a bloated mess. How many times do we need to see an Olympic stadium overrun by weeds a year after the Games? Or, you know, rhythmic gymnastics?But then Daughtery comes to a conclusion that we all often seem to reach at some point during the 17 day festival.
I think we need them more than ever.
Call me na at age 58. But I still believe there is value in the whole world getting together to do something,
even if that something is only sports. The athletes might come to the Olympics with a sense of national pride. Most don involve themselves in divisive politics. They know how hard they worked to become Olympians. They know the person in the next lane or across the ring has done the same. The respect is mutual and genuine. For two weeks, they all get along. We could do well to heed their message.
I even love the opening ceremonies. If you are a fan of snark, just follow along on Twitter as the ceremonies are going on. Smarm, cynicism and hilarity are dished up in equal parts,
but they make the games more entertaining.
I know it de rigueur to claim the Olympics are corrupt, fixed and finished, but I still enjoy them and I still going to watch.
O CanadaAs mentioned above, one of the real turning points of the Olympics is when your home nation wins their first gold medal,
and there that moment on the podium, when the flag is raised and the anthem played. Chills. Always.
USA Today ranked national anthems and came up with the top 15. Canada comes in 5th in their rankings, with the Russian national anthem as the best. Nevertheless Bovada has issued odds on all sorts of things Olympic. Including Canada odds don seem great, with an over/under on gold medals at just 2.5 and overall medals at 17.5. Looks like we have a decent shot in decathlon though.