Sport, particularly amateur sport, involves getting very very serious about increasingly trivial things. For example:
- Cross country skiiing spiced up with target shooting.
- Jumping, but not by skiers perse, it's more by gymnasts who happen to use skiis to get lift.
- Large rocks. Slid very slowly. To targets. Brooms are involved.
- Using gravity and ice to go really really really fast. Have a different one for sitting, sitting with friends, standing, short, long, bumpy.
- Moving on ice, horizontally.
However, some people say that the Olympics really will put Vancouver on the map. I'm not sure it really needs to be on the map any more than it is. And it's not like Nagano and Torino are blustering powerhouses of economy now.
I'm not so naive to believe either side, to be honest. This is a massive world party where the most elite athletics get to compete for accolades and glory and whatever it is that athletes compete for. And time for every citizen to feel unbearably connected to some downhill skiier they had not known about until 1 week ago.
I don't mind SO much that we bleed ourselves dry for a massive world party even if it is for negligible, unmeasured benefits. It's a once in a lifetime thing, the Olympics are. A time for Canadians to do something we rarely do (notwithstanding Internet debates about healthcare and backpacking across Europe): be patriotic. My country, right or wrong, type of thing. Glowing hearts, pride.
What makes it a little hard to swallow is that many corporations that will make tons of money, the untold millions that go to the IOC for I don't know what, and the average Joe, stuck with the bill. But it's a good thing it's going on in Canada, since the Winter Olympics is, to be honest, for the vast majority of Canadians: "Large World Hockey Tournament With Some Other Sports".
And you had so many rah-rah millionaires edging to get the Games here, you had corporate backdeals and people in positions of leadership with more ego than sense hoist this cost upon us. That kinda gets in my craw. But then, hey, possibly 2 golds in hockey on home turf. Rah rah.