The Olympics: a personal view

26 Nov

Until  today I could not  workout what I hated most about the Olympics, but, I’m getting it down to a short list

Over promotion, Obscene marketing, Mad politicians

What was meant to be good about the Olympics is that its gong to inspire  a whole generation to be active, fit and healthy and  it involved British companies as sponsors  and the British people as volunteers with  “can do” attitude”

I don’t know the cost of the Olympics venture, but, in purely effect terms, if we are saying that to engage YOOF we need to spend that amount of money, what the hell are we going to do next year?

Sports promotion is now so overdosed that our children are shooting up fixes that would kill  mere beginners. The gap  between the reality of sport, and its trendy, TV video game based promotion is becoming to wide to cross. Why would any self respecting child, want to waddle on to a tatty school playing field.  Why would they want to splutter in the swimming pool ,  or discover that an olympic bar is heavy and collapse with lungs burning at the end of a 400m stagger when they can simply buy a sugary drink , or pester their mum for some branded trainers to “Live the life” of an athlete

As a youngster  I some how managed to sail, canoe  and volley ball, without aspiring to be a world champion. I wasn’t even aware that there were world champions in those sports. ( didn’t even know they were sports!!)

In fact, if today, I became obsessed with comparing my performances against world leaders or super stars, I would give up my inadequate efforts and do something else.

Already by talking to schools and teachers  we know that , the olympic effect on lazy “yoof” has all but disappeared . It seems the Hunger Games did   a  marvellous job of encouraging archery. Possible moral. Get Hollywood to make regular films with a sports content

It’s probably cheaper.

As to  the promotion of  good old British commerce, I cannot help but feel that we will, in 20 years time , when we have  legislated against fast carb and fast food in the same way that we have begun to deal with cigarettes, all look back at these times  and hang our heads with shame at the pornographic free hand given to sponsoring companies to access our children in this way. In fact, if any athlete got to the Olympics on money based on selling children the idea that a sugary drink was good for you:, shame on you!

The infection that these games will do to the health of our nation, by connecting fast sugar with fast performance for everyone will be pandemic. I can only suggest, “invest in diabetes pill producing  companies”

What makes things worse is that Sport is now to be forced on everyone arbitrarily.

The Olympics  motivated David Cameron, to start pronouncing about the value of sport . He  obviously didn’t get the statistical message.  For the mathematically dim, here are the relevant ratios.

For every 1 “winner” you need  40 immediate losers  ( im guessing this is the amount of people taking part in the heats), then you need a  60,000 audience members., then a few million watching at home (eating the sugary drinks and wearing the track suits recommended by their champions) The vacancies for our Yoof , are, surely in the viewers, not the participants.

Sport is a fantastic motivator. For some. It crushes others . If  well taught, it can be an  inspirational experience,  for those who like that sort of thing: art inspires others, music others, poetry others, math’s others…..

However before we commit to a mass expansion of  sports, can I dunk my little fly in your “sport will fix  it  all” ointment?

Do  we have  enough  decent coaches?

One thought on “The Olympics: a personal view

  1. Well said 🙂 And there you were expecting me to argue!
    As you’ve said, It appears the Olympic effect on Britain as a sportingnation appears to already be negligible. But the effect of the eventitself, including the “Cultural Olympiad” (I’m thinking openingceremony), those jolly gamesmakers, the feelgood of having tubes run ontime and something to watch on TV – well, at least that will live in thememory. But inspire people to pick up a javelin? Unlikely. But timewill tell.
    Recently we went to a “taster” day of field archery- targets of model animals are arranged along a woodland walk for you to shoot at. Mostly its a middle-aged blokes sport. But on the day wewent, there was a LOT of teenage girls. Andrew’s not kidding about thepower of Hollywood to influence.
    Anyway, I hope Crossfit makes it to the games in my lifetime.

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