Everyone is asking me if I am watching the Olympics and the answer is no. I havenâ€™t seen any of it yet and I doubt I will. I had been telling people once Canada started the Olympic hockey tournament I would be there but they are playing Norway tonight and I am missing the game completely. For me to miss the Olympics is a big deal as growing up, I never dreamed so much for playing for a NHL team but rather the Canadian National Team. Growing up in Calgary, we got to see the Canadian National Team play and practice a lot (itâ€™s where I was beaten up by the A&W Root Bear) so my affinity runs deep with them but still I am not watching any Olympics. Partly because I canâ€™t stand Bob Costas and Brian Williams and secondly because I canâ€™t handle watching Bob Costas and Brian Williams.
Here is my list on how we can improve the Olympic games. For all of you readers out there that are IOC members, feel free to debate them individually or just adopt them all as a complete package. Itâ€™s up to you.
- It isnâ€™t amateur sport any longer. Professional NHL players, Own the Podium, Canada now pays for a gold medal. It seems a lot less about amateur sport and a lot more about television rating and nationalistic pride. Actually the nationalism bugs me quite a bit. Especially when the COCâ€™s talking heads are talking about how much Australia spent in 2004 in Sydney to win medals and the expectation is that Canada should win medals. I had no idea that Canadian quality of life was dependent on winning more medals than other countries in short track speed skating.
- I hate the human interest stories. I know Olympic coverage is supposed to appeal to those who do not check Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com 38 times a day like I do but câ€™mon, I really, really donâ€™t care about somebodyâ€™s inspirational great aunt. The IOC needs to sell two Olympic rights for each country (think of the money), one for people who like Bob Costas/Brian Williams and the other for those of us who are real sports fans. The people who like the inspirational story lines with their Olympic cable package will also get a copy of â€œChicken Soup for the Fallen Short Track Speedskaterâ€™s Soulâ€.
- The new â€œno human interest storiesâ€ network will not show equestrian in the Summer Games or pairs figure skating/ice dancing in the Olympic Games.
- We will get rid of the special suits. If pro sports can agree on the importance of standardized equipment, so can the speed skating world. Itâ€™s about the athletes, not about their high speed racing/swimming suits. If one person gets it, so do all of them. Unless itâ€™s the pants that the Norwegian curlers wore. They can keep those to themselves.
- There should be a spending cap on the opening ceremonies. China spent $100,000,000.00 on their opening ceremonies. At what point does it become offensive, even to the IOC.
- There needs to be a spending cap on member countries as a whole. One of the reasons the Norwegians are always favored to win the cross country events is the amount of money they spend researching snow conditions at the games. I think there is actually a Norwegian research station down the street just in case Saskatoon ever wins the games. Did the Norwegian racers win the medals because of their training of because of the money spent on researching snow and waxes. Again, this comes back to uniform gear. One shouldnâ€™t be able to buy a championship (except for Americaâ€™s Cup racing)
- Curling facilities will have to have beer cup holders and ashtrays installed as they are in every small town curling rink in Saskatchewan. Curling is a great sport for many reasons but one of them is that I still have a shot at Olympic glory and if all goes well, my rink wonâ€™t even have to stop drinking and smoking to join me.