Why are the Tokyo Olympics even happening right now?
Can someone please offer a logical explanation why this week's Olympic Games are even a thing? Why are they happening?
Delayed one year, the organizers and broadcasters of said event are desperately trying to put on the event in a country currently growing in their own COVID-19 pandemic with little end in sight.
No fans, no people milling around outside venues, nothing. Japan's sky high virus rates have eliminated the one thing that makes the Olympics even remotely interesting.
The last report I've heard (7/20 at 9 a.m eastern time) stated over 70 athletes or staffers have been diagnosed with COVID infections, and we're still three days away from the "Opening Ceremonies".
The only reason I can think that we're getting force-fed a large scale event that we wouldn't notice if it wasn't happening is simple. MONEY.
NBC/Comcast needs the event to happen so they can make money. The Tokyo Olympic committee has spent billions building facilities for said events---they need to recoup some of that money. The IOC, they need to justify their existence. They need that money.
No games means all the businesses with a financial stake in the event take a bath. And ultimately, that's why we're going to get an Olympics, health of the participants be damned.
The whole premise of that is the very reason the "Olympics" is an outdated, antiquated, no longer necessary event to the general public. Think about it for a minute. In theory, the event only happens every four years. Would you as a fan even notice if the event never happened? Would it change your life, impact your day or week if there were no games on TV?
Sure, there would be an impact on the athletes, I get that. There are multiple sports that are a part of the games which only get attention during the Olympics. It would damage the "careers" of said athletes. I understand that.
But here's my basic question: Is it worth the $50-100 billion of public/private investment every four years to make 100-500 athletes happy every year?
No, it is not.
Cities and countries are required to spend billions and billions of dollars in order to host an Olympic games. Often to build gigantic stadiums or arenas that exist basically for the Olympics only. That money has to come from somewhere. It sure the heck doesn't come from the IOC or a sponsor. The community mostly foots the bill which is a big reason why I'm aiti-games.
I suppose you could argue the Olympics are a romanticized competition that launched multiple careers, and you'd be to some extent right. I would say to you though---again, would you even notice if the games did not happen?
For people in my age group--it's another in the long list of things many seem to think should happen because it was a big deal when we were young. That is not nearly enough to justify the cost. And I'll say it a third time. If the game didn't happen, would you even notice?
Like everything else, and Kristy's previous column about the Atlanta games bear it out, it's all about the commercialization and people profiting off of the events. There's nothing about the games that exist for the enhancement of, well, anything.
I'll say this a fourth time and leave it alone. IF there were no Olympic Games every four years, would it be something you'd even notice? It's something fans don't think about until just before the games start. I"m guessing most of us would go about our daily lives, not even noticing the change.
And hey, like I said earlier, if you make the argument it's about the showcase for the athletes, in some ways I can't dispute that. For some--the ever shrinking, non-"professional" athletes who compete, it's a chance at glory they wouldn't normally get. And that's great.
But these days, most Olympic Athletes are professionals who already get paid competing in their chosen sport. Participating in the "Olympics" isn't going to change that.
Does the end justify the means though? No, like I said at the beginning, unless you are the broadcaster, a committee member or some giant corporation who profits from sponsoring events, there's nothing to be gained by the events.
We shouldn't even be talking about trying to force-feed us the Tokyo games in empty arenas. It should mark the beginning of the end of this money making scam foisted upon the general public.
But I'm not betting any money on that.