The Olympics (In General)

So I'm forking this over from the KV controversy discussion because it was obvious that a lot 9f people have issues/questions/concerns about these last Winter Games and the Olympic Games in general. And while I'm not an authority, I do enjoy the games for what they both stand for and their intention. But, because I do care about them, I am also a very harsh critic on certain behaviours. So without further adieu... My take in Beijing.

1) The Politics. It's no secret or surprise that China is currently embroiled in some rather nasty business that is either viewed as 'humanitarian rights violations' by the west and as 'cultural integration and retraining' by the Chinese gov't. This played a large part in the undertone of both the Opening Ceremonies and the overall media coverage of the Games. The Chinese were very 'focused' in their attempts to direct athletes away from issues that they felt would 'impede their performance'. (All athletes mind you, not just their own). As a Communist party country this is hardly surprising. Thankfully, there were none of the overt 'goon squads' that other countries have employed in the past. Just subtle reminders that sport and politics don't mix.

Facilities. In 2008 Beijing hosted the Summer Games and Michael Phelps made history in 'The Aquatics Cube'. So credit where it is due. Beijing recycled several of the facilities from the 08 Summer Games into usable winter facilities. The Cube became 'The Ice Cube' and instead of swimming hosted speed skating. Kudos to Beijing for setting a new standard. Back in the Munich Games of 36, Nazi Germany began a legacy that has 'mostly' been followed ever since; you get the bid, you build all new facilities to show off your awesome. On Los Angeles has recycled any building since that time (Olympic Coloseum) and only a handful (LA included) have used pre-existing facilities to host events.

Just as an aside the next Summer Games in Paris uses ONLY pre-existing structures with the sole exception being the housing in the Olympic Village, in addition the parade of nations will be on the Champs, which is undergoing a massive clean-up amd de-polluting. They also hope to host events in the Champs (like the triathalon and marathon swimming) and hope to utilize it as a public swimming attraction post games. Italy which is hosting the next Winter Olympics is hosting dual cities but is spreading events over the entire Italian State to keep costs and new construction to a minimum and LA once again hosts in '28 and is using the LA Coliseum as well as other established sport venues to keep costs down. As a whole I say Kudos to all of these committees for changing the corporate 'one use' buildings we've seen even up until recently in Russia (all those buildings are currently sitting empty for the most part).

Events: Well... every year we say goodbye to certain events that no longer hold the public interest or that have too few attendees/participants to maintain a category for; and each country can also introduce events for medal consideration. These are not exhibition events but actual medal earning games. And well, there are some doozies in the future. In Paris the French have decided that Breakdancing (yes you read that correctly) will be their new Olympic sport. I'm hoping Alphonso Ribero will be a judge 🙄. And not to be outdone, LA in partnership with the NFL will be debuting Flag Football. I'm unaware of an Italian entry but at this rate I'm guessing ice carving. I figure it's only a few years until we see Fortnight and MtG as sports, so dust off the skills gamers, you're gonna be athletes. sheesh (yes this is sarcasm).

National Attendance/Participation: As pointed out there very few countries in attendance to certain sports this year. This is unfortunately a side effect of the recent COVID pandemic. Also, several athletes that showed up to participate were denied when they failed COVID tests. So even if they did show, they were unable to compete. This is likely to continue, just like every other sport, until we have a worldwide handle on this thing, it's gonna cause problems. I also find it interesting that the next 3 countries that are hosting (as well as China this time) are the most notorious in the COVID saga. Not sure how that's gonna play out.

The issue of doping is still in the air, and one I'm only going to briefly touch on because, a) Russia is still having issues and that's a touchy subject and b) the current issues are still on-going as of this post and any and everything said is either opinion, hearsay or just plain non-factual. Is it a problem, yes. Are they going to fix it, that remains to be seen. Moving on.

Overall, I think the IOC is doing a pretty good job in monitoring itself for corruption and making neccessary changes as needed. Most of the arbitrary judging is gone and what does remain has an oversight board. So, yay. Also, the general, Olympic Ceasefire has, at least to this point been pretty successful. Not sure how Russia will be viewed in the coming days as fighting started in the Ukraine before the Games ended, but Russia is claiming, their innocence, so...we'll see.

Are the Games still relevant, yes, at least from a standpoint of International Sport. Are they neccessary, that's a little more vague. I would posit that they keep certain traditional sports alive that would otherwise be forgotten, and as a whole I would say, yes that is positive and neccessary. But the use of the Opening Ceremonies as political commentary and propaganda are against everything the Games stand for, so, maybe?

That's all I have for now. You all know how this works, comments and questions below, keep it civil and keep it nice. Follow the Olympic creed of playing 'clean'. 🙂
 

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aco175

Legend
I generally try to watch a lot of the games each time they are on, but this one has been more passive. I'm not sure if it is the broadcast station with only some sports on the main channel and some on the partner channel- but order the streaming app and you get more. That feels un-Olympic and more just about the money. Maybe some is the time delay being 12-13 hours apart from where I live and I can see online more than on TV. Have not seen anything on the athletes and culture as far as them interacting with the host country. I know Covid and China has a big lockdown on places and experiences for the athletes.

Of course the Super Bowl felt odd as well this year. I think the extra week in the schedule made the season feel long and the week off before the Super Bowl made it feel like the end of the season. I watched, but it did not feel like football season. Although the halftime show was more entertaining than the Olympics have been.
 


Hosting the Olympics has all the graft and municipal malfeasance you would expect of building a pro-sports complex with the added bonus of said infrastructure only being used for a few weeks.
Which is why I mentioned the upcoming and just past games. They 'appear' to be setting a new standard. Let us all hope it sticks.
 

I generally try to watch a lot of the games each time they are on, but this one has been more passive. I'm not sure if it is the broadcast station with only some sports on the main channel and some on the partner channel- but order the streaming app and you get more. That feels un-Olympic and more just about the money. Maybe some is the time delay being 12-13 hours apart from where I live and I can see online more than on TV. Have not seen anything on the athletes and culture as far as them interacting with the host country. I know Covid and China has a big lockdown on places and experiences for the athletes.

Of course the Super Bowl felt odd as well this year. I think the extra week in the schedule made the season feel long and the week off before the Super Bowl made it feel like the end of the season. I watched, but it did not feel like football season. Although the halftime show was more entertaining than the Olympics have been.
Yeah, NBC did a real face plant in the coverage department. It felt more like watching the Today Show with highlight reels than the old ABC Wide World of Sports Olympic edition... I remember when ABC was the leader in sports broadcasting in the US. World Series, Monday Night Football, Olympics, etc., but that all changed in the late 80s. And then it just got...messy. lol
 

We normally have watched more of the Winter Olympics than summer, and it's basically the only sporting events we'll watch.

But this year it was mostly "meh". Between Chinese political grandstanding, being a Winter Olympics in a location where they had to import winter, IOC shenanigans around a still non-complaint Russian team, and horribly delivered NBC coverage that made it really hard to find the things we wanted to watch, we mostly just skipped it.

I feel like the Olympics have lost much of their earlier charm and optimism to over-commercialization.
 

fba827

Adventurer
When I was younger in the 1980s I’d watch the Olympics as a child. As I got older I watched none. I now at least check out medal rankings every couple of days and make a game of it with family “guess who has the most medals by quantity now…” but that’s the most my interest is.

The nephews tell me that no one at school seems to even know Olympics are on or even care in the slightest (That could be a regional thing , or it could be that kids are watching stuff on streaming and therefore won’t even notice that shows over the week are being preempted for Olympics coverage)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
We normally have watched more of the Winter Olympics than summer, and it's basically the only sporting events we'll watch.

But this year it was mostly "meh". Between Chinese political grandstanding, being a Winter Olympics in a location where they had to import winter, IOC shenanigans around a still non-complaint Russian team, and horribly delivered NBC coverage that made it really hard to find the things we wanted to watch, we mostly just skipped it.

I feel like the Olympics have lost much of their earlier charm and optimism to over-commercialization.

I don't think that it's irreparably damaged, but this year was, by far, the worst I remember.

For me, the Winter Olympics has always had a special place in my heart- probably ever since Lillehammer. It's fun, it's fast, and I usually enjoy it more than the Summer games. While I've never been into the ice skating drama, I love the various skiing events (both downhill and cross-county) and the sled events, and there will always be a special place in my heart for biathlon ... probably because of the Apple II winter games!

But this year was the perfect storm of suck. Everything that I normally can keep out was far to front and center. But while you listed them, I thought I'd go into a little more detail as to why I, a person who normally watches as much as possible, just couldn't-

1. China and politicization. That's really a big part of it. No one can say, with a straight face, that the Olympics aren't politicized (1936? or the dueling boycotts of '80 and '84?). But it's been a long time since it's been so in-your-face. I'm not going to go into the details, because it's not appropriate on this board, but from the opening ceremony on everything was sour.

2. Snow. The first even I tried to watch was a Nordic (cross-country) ski event. Every ... single .... time ... the camera panned out, all I saw was brown everywhere. I know that the Olympics have become these sprawling big deals, but couldn't we just try and have the Winter Olympics in places already known for winter sports and ... snow?

3. Time change. This happens, and it can't be helped. But it certainly doesn't improve the experience.

4. Friggin' Peacock. I can't even. NBC is still trying to make fetch happen. And the experience of NBC continuing to leverage their Olympics rights to their various platforms is miserable. In all honesty, they seem to have finally got the process almost working the last time through the NBC Olympics app, and then they blow everything up this time around. The few times I thought to myself that I did want to watch something ... I gave up after a while.


In the end, the Winter Olympics was always the smaller, fun Olympics. That was the charm. Somehow, this has been the most charmless Olympics ever.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
4. Friggin' Peacock. I can't even. NBC is still trying to make fetch happen. And the experience of NBC continuing to leverage their Olympics rights to their various platforms is miserable. In all honesty, they seem to have finally got the process almost working the last time through the NBC Olympics app, and then they blow everything up this time around. The few times I thought to myself that I did want to watch something ... I gave up after a while.
How did they manage to not even have it offered for Samsung TVs before 2017? We get Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime just fine... but Peacock isn't compatible at all.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
How did they manage to not even have it offered for Samsung TVs before 2017? We get Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime just fine... but Peacock isn't compatible at all.

I think the recurrent explanation is that we have a bunch of people trying to "get into" streaming, so they can get all those sweet, sweet Netflix profits, and then they learn ... it's not that easy.

Sure, you can make a streaming platform that works, and is successful, and scales to an immense number of users, and has a workable interface, and you can use on a variety of platforms. Heck, Disney+ just launched one.

But it's hard. It requires a lot of investment of time and money. And even when you do that, it's not always great. Heck, I love HBO Max for the content, and they had a lot of prior experience (because of HBO), but ... it's still la cruddy, buggy interface compared to Netflix.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I think the recurrent explanation is that we have a bunch of people trying to "get into" streaming, so they can get all those sweet, sweet Netflix profits, and then they learn ... it's not that easy.

Sure, you can make a streaming platform that works, and is successful, and scales to an immense number of users, and has a workable interface, and you can use on a variety of platforms. Heck, Disney+ just launched one.

But it's hard. It requires a lot of investment of time and money. And even when you do that, it's not always great. Heck, I love HBO Max for the content, and they had a lot of prior experience (because of HBO), but ... it's still la cruddy, buggy interface compared to Netflix.

Every increasing losses from Peacock (lost $560 million in Q4 last year).

 

So when NBC started launching network after network and they started 'delegating' Olympic duties to their child channels; the writing was on the wall. They have this idea of 100% coverage but spread like a shotgun blast. Then they launch Peacock, and I apologize for the mental visuals, but it was like taking Ex-lax for diarrhea.

I made the decision to enjoy the Games in spite of the network, not because of it. I'm not admonishing anyone to do the same or for not trying or whatever else, but that is my take.

Beijing did get snow, but like many places, the amount this year is...low. After prepping the hills for the Alpine events they had to postpone many events multiple times due to snow and wind. Of course the brown could also be the pollution, but.... yeah.

@Snarf Zagyg It's nice to know there are others that share my love of some of the ''fringe'' events (at least as far as most North Americans are concerned). I think it was telling that the cross-country skiing marathon (50K) had to be cut in half (well to 30K anyways) due to temperatures and wind. So the cold was there, just not the snow. Also a fan of curling.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I normally watch quite a bit of the Olympics and enjoy both summer and winter, with winter edging out summer by a small margin. This year I skipped it entirely. I refused to watch it due to the host country being who it was.
 





GreyLord

Legend
I don't think that it's irreparably damaged, but this year was, by far, the worst I remember.

For me, the Winter Olympics has always had a special place in my heart- probably ever since Lillehammer. It's fun, it's fast, and I usually enjoy it more than the Summer games. While I've never been into the ice skating drama, I love the various skiing events (both downhill and cross-county) and the sled events, and there will always be a special place in my heart for biathlon ... probably because of the Apple II winter games!

But this year was the perfect storm of suck. Everything that I normally can keep out was far to front and center. But while you listed them, I thought I'd go into a little more detail as to why I, a person who normally watches as much as possible, just couldn't-

1. China and politicization. That's really a big part of it. No one can say, with a straight face, that the Olympics aren't politicized (1936? or the dueling boycotts of '80 and '84?). But it's been a long time since it's been so in-your-face. I'm not going to go into the details, because it's not appropriate on this board, but from the opening ceremony on everything was sour.

2. Snow. The first even I tried to watch was a Nordic (cross-country) ski event. Every ... single .... time ... the camera panned out, all I saw was brown everywhere. I know that the Olympics have become these sprawling big deals, but couldn't we just try and have the Winter Olympics in places already known for winter sports and ... snow?

3. Time change. This happens, and it can't be helped. But it certainly doesn't improve the experience.

4. Friggin' Peacock. I can't even. NBC is still trying to make fetch happen. And the experience of NBC continuing to leverage their Olympics rights to their various platforms is miserable. In all honesty, they seem to have finally got the process almost working the last time through the NBC Olympics app, and then they blow everything up this time around. The few times I thought to myself that I did want to watch something ... I gave up after a while.


In the end, the Winter Olympics was always the smaller, fun Olympics. That was the charm. Somehow, this has been the most charmless Olympics ever.

I actually get Peacock to work...most of the time, but they want me to pay $5 to see Olympics for 2 weeks and even after paying that, I'll still get ads...so...no.

You'd imagine that just with ads they could make revenue from people who would watch it...but they want their cake and to eat it to (make you to PAY to watch ads).

I'd actually have watched a bit of the Olympics, if it hadn't been behind a paywall just so you could watch 50% olympics, 50% ads.
 

I actually get Peacock to work...most of the time, but they want me to pay $5 to see Olympics for 2 weeks and even after paying that, I'll still get ads...so...no.

You'd imagine that just with ads they could make revenue from people who would watch it...but they want their cake and to eat it to (make you to PAY to watch ads).

I'd actually have watched a bit of the Olympics, if it hadn't been behind a paywall just so you could watch 50% olympics, 50% ads.
See, I was afraid of that. It appears that NBC is circling the drain and trying to grab the tile.
 

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