Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Best and Worst of the Olympics

I love the Olympics although, I must admit, I don't have time to follow them as closely as I would like. Here are my thoughts on the best and worst of the 2010 Winter games so far.

The Best
It's the sheer drama.

Years and years of dedication and sacrifice from the athletes coming down to a brief moment of competition. A lifetime of hopes and dreams are either fulfilled or dashed before our eyes. NBC does an incredible job of researching and presenting the back-stories so that average viewers like me, with no knowledge of these sports or the athletes who compete in them, can connect with the moment and feel the weight of the event.

Call me a sissy but I can almost guarantee that if I tune in and watch 30 minutes of Olympic coverage, I will tear up at least once.

The Worst
It's the frickin "medal count".

Isn't it all about sportsmanship and doing your best in the spirit of fair competition and international goodwill? Do we really need to track such a meaningless and misleading statistic as number of medals won by each nation? Couldn't we at least adjust for the number of events in which a particular nation competes before "listing the leaders" based on absolute medal count?

I'll bet you can't find a medal count in South Korea or Finland or any other country that sends only a relative few athletes to represent their countries in select events.

While it is the 2010 games that have sparked this post, my "best" and "worst" are the same at every Olympics.

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