It’s still early, but the world is beginning to descend into Rio for these much maligned 2016 Olympic Games. Soon the athletes and competition will come to the fore, but there is so much more than sport making news leading in. In fact, people aren’t talking about sport as much as they are about court.
Now we see that an ad hoc division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has already set up in Rio to deal with any potential drug violations and appeals as the Games go on, and even impose temporary sanctions if needed. Talk about your fast-track! Get ‘em up, get ‘em out, just like a good starter. Then there’s the whole Russian athlete banishment issue after the IOC punted responsibility for determining who can compete and who can’t back to the individual sports’ federations just two weeks before the opening ceremonies.
I’m telling you, these Rio Olympics are already about as messy as Guanabara Bay, which some water-based eventers will have to compete in or on – and those ain’t Baby Ruth candy bars floating around in there, either. But still, they ought to try to make some lemonade out of all these lemons, don’t you think – though, best check where the water comes from first.
Point is, if this CAS court thing is going to be that big a deal, why not capitalize? The IOC ought to go out and get Judge Judy and make a show out of it. She’d generate good ratings, we know that. Sure, she’d be costly, but the IOC would make money, too. And isn’t that their modern Olympic ideal?
I don’t know, maybe we’re looking at this whole Rio Olympic drug kerfuffle all wrong. Forget about banning athletes. Those two and four-year bans have proven useless, anyway. They just give people a little break for training. But since we already have a hot mess in Rio, why not use it to its best advantage?
Here’s a plan. Rather than keeping folks out, make sure that all past offenders and suspected drug cheats of the world – plus all the corrupt officials who voted to put the games into that petri dish in the first place – are ushered into Rio with wide smiles and open arms. But then once they get down there, no mosquito netting, no deet protection, no condoms, no ground transportation, no air-conditioning. And make sure they bathe in that rancid bay and generally let them enjoy the hospitality of their choice for 17 whole days.
That way the next generation will be so contaminated by what their parents caught down in Rio that they won’t be able to compete worth a darn come 2036 or 2040, and the clean people of this planet will finally have a chance on a level playing field. Given, that is, that they can find more sucker cities to pony up for the privilege of hosting the IOC family.
And that’s another part of the whole operation you have to love. While the underclass in the Rio favelas will be kept hidden from sight and the world’s athletes will be staying at an “athlete’s village” that Anthony from Hotel Impossible would find challenging — then compete for shiny objects after months and years of training — IOC officials will most likely follow SOP by arriving at a special customs’ gate with luggage tags that let them slide right through like a German bobsledder, then be transported via limo in a special lane with no traffic to a five-star hotel where they have already been checked in.
How’s that for a working order created to help bring the world together? Peace.
5 thoughts on “RIO, OH MIO!”
Agree completely with Craig’s comment about the Olympics rotating from city-to-city every two to four years. But how’s that going to happen? How does the IOC get persuaded/pushed to do anything that would be so much more fair, transparent and less open to graft and corruption? Perhaps we need a Bernie Sanders sort of revolution within Olympic sports to clean up the corruption.
I also agree with Greg that it could be seen as punishing the athletes, using them as pawns, if American teams withdrew from an upcoming Olympics. But on the other hand, athletes aren’t exactly being treated particularly well anyway, are they? Perhaps the ultimate “punishment” is training for years to win a spot on the Olympic team and then finding out after the fact that the athletes who won medals in your discipline were doping.
It’s all very much a mess and quite disturbing but aren’t the Olympics a microcosm of what is going on throughout the world: in government and business?
Toni: Glad Claudia mentioned last night’s HBO Real Sports with Brian Gumbel…. as that 90 minute program was very revealing about what really may be going on behind the scenes with the IOC and calls into question their true motives as well as their obvious (as well s not so obvious) actions. Gosh, isn’t there any kind of oversight authority over the IOC besides the media? I guess that is the real problem here. The corruption of this “old men’s club” needs to be investigated and brought to light. Their choice of Rio despite all the shortcomings in this country to handle such an event… will be heavily questioned before the next two weeks is over. I can’t imagine being a water sport athlete and especially a triathlete! I wonder if they offer worker’s comp? I am slowly reaching the decision that we just need 6-10 Summer and Winter Olympic host sites around the world and just keep rotating them every 2-4 years between Winter and Summer Games and have the IOC invest some of their own $$$ into maintaining them instead of the host country footing the entire bill. That way we can eliminate this shameless bribery and shenanigans practiced by the IOC during the bidding process as well as make the Games more economical of an investment by the host country as it will be used more than once….at least every 16-24 years so that all these billions of dollars poured into building these host sites won’t be “one and done!” And, pick countries that have the kind of infrastructure that can handle the huge crowds as well as the needed national and international security. It just makes sense now….
Last night HBOs Real Sports devoted their entire show (that was 1:30 long rather than the usual one hour) to the Olympics. I felt so disgusted and nearly nauseous after watching it that I thought perhaps I had gone for a swim in Guanabara Bay. I for one intend to vote against the corruption and criminality of the IOC by not watching one minute of these games, or any other games in the future ever again. If people stop watching…poof…the games go away. I also think that companies like Coke and McDonald’s should be shamed into withdrawing sponsorship for the games. And finally I would suggest that USATF take a stand and become the first federation to withdraw from the IOC. Going forward, no more American track and field athletes or marathoners at the Olympics.
Although I agree that someone – preferably the USOC – needs to stand up to the IOC, I’m not sure that using American athletes as pawns is a good idea. Why punish the athletes?
Toni, you had me both laughing (from humor) and crying (from reality) from the first to the final paragraph. Well done.