Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter Olympic Hype In America

I like watching the Winter Olympics. I think it's the Norwegian in me and the sole fact that snow skiing is the ONLY sport I can do decently well at. I love to watch the figure skating, the bobsled races, cross country skiing, the downhill, and my secret love for curling.

I sometimes though wish the media would stay out of the Olympians faces. Sure, the olympians want media coverage, it's how they get their Visa and Wheaties sponsorships to pay the $100,000 a year fees/costs to do their sport each year. It's their income basically.

Look at the Torino games that happened four years ago. All we could hear about was Bode Miller every time you turned on the TV to watch the games. Bode Miller this Bode Miller that. Journalists wanted to cover everything about this guy from his home, to his mother, to his arrogant douchebag attitude that made him the golden boy of sports.

And when Bode Miller didn't give us gold we cast him to the garbage (where all douchebags belong). Pun intended.

You sir are not Spiderman.

And notice this year Bode Miller is not the golden boy. I only saw one clip of him talking about his "changes". Yea buddy, a little too late.

So, this year I was hoping that the media would try to back off immortalizing the greatness of certain individuals. Eh, who are we kidding? It's American broadcasting. Of course they're going to feature certain athletes like Apolo Ono, Shawn White, and Lindsey Jacobellis. The last two athletes I mentioned are snowboarders. A sport created for the Olympics apparently to boost Team USA's medal count. No wonder foreign countries are never really thrilled with us during the games.

So of course the media is going to cradle these athletes giving them air time to show off their ritzy homes and talk about their days of training. I was actually reading an article were it talked about American olympians do not have high school diplomas and some are at the junior high level of education. One athlete only attended 1/6th of classes in his school year. If a normal kid only went 1/6th of the school year they would have to repeat that grade and their parents would be investigated by social services. What gives? Sure, some athletes kids still, and I think that is crap. No 15 year old should be an Olympian competing against someone who's 32 from Italy. That's almost unfair if you ask me.

This just goes to prove my theory that Americans care more about their sports than their education.

Getting back to this hype though. Look at Lindsey Jacobellis, the snowboarder. She's been in commercials on TV, media segments, interviews galore and what happens? She runs off the course and doesn't win a medal.

I think the pressure on theses athletes for winning is absurd. Sure, if I was an olympian I'd want a medal, but these athletes are having to perform for TV ratings, approval of sponsors, the praise from Bob Costas, and the acceptance from the American people that they are "great" athletes.

I applaud the Australian mogulist, Dale Begg Smith, who makes his own money and doesn't have sponsors. He avoids media and just does his sport. That's the way it should be. But the media frowns upon him because he's "not marketable" basically.

I think a lot of Olympians are just sellouts honestly. And it takes away from the athletes that are really good and struggle in their home countries. Just like the Georgian luger who died, he had a hard life but made it to the Olympics to compete. He would never gotten any attention except for his death and it's sad that we don't hear about the voiceless talent.

No comments:

Post a Comment