Well that was a ride. From the moment Russia got booed at the opening ceremony, it was clear that this was going to be an Olympics that, just like everything that happens every 4 years, will be forgotten, and topped by the next quadrennial occurrence. Three things in particular stood out to me that deserve some attention:
Brexit made Britain great again
At the time that this was written, Britain was second at being first in the world, ahead of China but behind America. The Olympics are always at their best when countries need to prove that they can fit an extra large banana hammock on a world stage. Peak Olympics were the Munich games in 1936, when black athletes like Jesse Owens shat on Hitler to the count of 4 medals. The Olympics have the ability to turn very scary world stage beef into petty and funny schoolyard beef. For this reason, it’s equal parts incredible and pointless that Britain, a nation that is robustly rotund, is kicking ass on the world stage, two months after it decided that it wants to shut itself off from the world. It’s not dissimilar to a newly independent human, free of a relationship that brought stability and partnership to their life that feels the need to show off how good they’re doing.
They do this by going to the old watering hole that the group used to frequent, raising the bar, then jumping over it. They do all of this while hiding the fact that they haven’t done laundry in two weeks and that all the time they spend at their house is down so horizontally and in front of their laptop.
Waiting on a Saudi Arabian Rocky
Saudi Arabian women are competing in the Olympics for the second time. They first allowed women to compete in 2012 after the Olympic commission threatened to ban Saudi Arabia from competition until they allowed women to compete.
There have been no Cinderella stories, which is fair, since it takes time to build a culture of winning and equality of results and not just of law. The results have not been encouraging with Saudi entrants have placed in last and second last.
However, the circumstance for incredible stories under which these women compete is there. Female athletes from Saudi Arabia were given the same amount of attention and support that Rocky was given by his home country during the leadup to his fight with Ivan Drago. More than a montage and tacit support might help female athletes perform at a high level in future events.
Athletic Burkas are also a thing now, it’s tough for someone who is as athletic as a single limbed koala to comment on what kind of impact being fully clothed would have on performance, but hey, you do you.
Ryan Lochte is the Worst
There aren’t a lot of words appropriate for this instance outside of “fucking white people”. As a white dudebro with socially woke leanings this was really really good.
As someone who has tested the boundaries of what it means to be white and drunk in a public space and has paid the consequences (read as “I got beatup by a bouncer for being a jackass”), it makes me happy to see someone pay the iron price, kind of. It’s clear that Ryan Lochte has never had his “I’m too old for this shit” moment that most have when they wake up with no memory of how they decided that their own bodily fluids would be a good blanket.
It also speaks to white privilege, and the dichotomy between how people of color and white people are described. When African Americans vandalize private property to display anger and dismay at killings of their community at hands of the police, they’re labeled as vandals/criminals. Whereas Ryan Lochte, a 32 year old man who vandalized property to display anger is described as “immature”.
But hey media, you do you. Until next time Olympics.