Am I the only person that thinks the Olympics is past its sell-by date?
It’s too big, there are too many sports, judging is wildly erratic and often biased, there is too much cheating, spectators blindly appreciate competitors from their own country, and cheer when competitors from other countries fail. The whole so-called Olympic spirit has become a myth.
Not that I am against the Olympic spirit, far from the truth, I wholly endorse it; I just don’t see it any more (or merely in tiny morsels that get blown so big, because of their rarity).
So I’ve a 5 point plan to restructure the Olympics. It’s faintly ridiculous that anyone sitting in their living-room at home should feel that they have the big ideas to improve the Olympics, but this is the sad truth, those in positions of power in the Olympic movement simply don’t want to rock the gravy train in case they are first to fall.
Point 1: Take nationalities out of the equation.
This is the way to sideline nationalistic fervor, and start to return to a true Olympic spirit. Patriotism is all very good, but in sport? Many sports seem to have put nationalism aside, tennis being a prime example, and tennis is surely the better for it.
- Who would the competitors represent? Themselves. Simply put, if the competitors are representing no-one but themselves then the nations of the world need worry no more about national pride. Why on earth should national pride rise or fall with Olympic success or failure? Admittedly this is more easily done with individual rather that teamsports, more on this later.
- So who qualifies for the Olympics? The sport’s governing body simply selects the top-rated competitors, irrespective of nationality.
- So who do we support? Anyone we like. We can choose to support someone local, or anyone else we may like, or no-one and just enjoy the contest.
- How do we know where the competitors are from? If we feel the need to know we just check them out on the Olympic app on our tablet and get all the information about any competitor.
- Can competitors change allegiance and represent a different nation? Any competitor would be free to live or train wherever they like, or carry any passport(s) they wish, but they wouldn’t be representing any nation because nations would be irrelevant.
- What about the medals’ table? There wouldn’t be one.
- What about national anthems and national flag-raising? There wouldn’t be any national anthems or flags. Perhaps the competitors could choose their own music.
- Wouldn’t nations be loathe to fund athletes who would not be promoting national pride? Very probably, who cares? And nations would very probably not want to bother about doping programs.
- Would it stop doping? No, but systematic national doping would almost certainly decrease. Doping would be an individual affair, there would be no reflection on the nation. Dopers would discredit themselves.
- Wouldn’t it stop the romance of the Olympics which competitors from little-known countries can bring? Yes it probably would, though this has largely ended anyway.
This is Point 1 of a 5-point plan. It may seem rather extreme; it is.
Point 2 will follow later.