Essay About Olympic Games

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What do I think of the Olympic Games? My first thought is that ‘think’ and ‘Olympic Games’ have no business sharing the same sentence. Surely, the whole purpose of the Olympic Games is to relieve us of the need to think. Instead, for two weeks every four years we can switch off our brains and watch wall-to-wall coverage of sports in which most of us are not usually in the least bit interested, accompanied by mind-numbing commentary interspersed with predictably platitudinous interviews with the competitors, whose blinkered dedication to their disciplines seems to have relieved them too of any time or need to think. And all this coverage endlessly repeated until it blanks out any cogitative process in white noise. Don’t get me wrong. I’m…show more content…
I have elaborated elsewhere* my view that hosting the Olympics is a mug’s game, and the fact that cities all over the world vie with each other to volunteer for the self-sacrificial role of host is just another example of the tragic human tendency to be guided by hope over experience. In London’s case the only tangible gains for the billions spent are a pleasant enough public park in Stratford E and a stadium so surplus to any meaningful requirement that the government has been reduced to letting West Ham play around in it. The intangible effect, which is far from being a gain, is the perception that the British public is utterly enthralled by…show more content…
The days when a British entrant in the high jump cycled at his own expense to Berlin to participate are long gone. In fact, the modern nationalistic approach to the games dates from those very Berlin Olympics in 1936, when Hitler and Goebbels realised what an excellent proselytising opportunity they could be. Those propaganda pioneers are, thankfully, long gone, but others who should know better have snatched the baton from them. So teams are increasingly state-financed and state-controlled with an eye to national prestige, not always in ways beneficial to the health of sport at large. At best, the decisive factor is monetary assistance (and Britain’s recent success owes much to subventions from the lottery fund), at worst it’s medical assistance. In respect of the latter, the Russian example is so well-known as to be hardly worth mentioning, though one suspects it may only be the most egregious among
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