For as long as I can remember, the Olympics were an EVENT for me. I would wait, anticipate, and dream of watching those superb athletes, whether it was summer or winter sports. I had my favorites, of course. Gymnastics, track and field, and ice skating were probably the top three. But I watched everything, like most of us did when I was growing up. We’d be glued to our televisions every night for the highlights of the day.
Even the last twenty years, when satellite services ran events pretty much around the clock, I would set aside time each day to watch my favorites.
But that has changed during the past few years. Once the kneeling started. Once the America-bashing took off. Once athletes showed their true colors as spoiled, arrogant brats, I lost interest in a swath of events that used to bring me enjoyment.
I’m not saying that athletes can’t have political opinions. Every human being is allowed to have their own opinions and beliefs. But I take great offense to those athletes who use their world-wide stage to try to force their opinions down everyone else’s throats while they are competing.
If they want to rally for a cause, do it on their own time. Not mine. If they want to donate to a charity or a political group, do so. But I don’t need to know about it. Even if I agree with their slant. If they have an issue with something they perceive as wrong in society, do something positive about it: donate money, give their time, or work with organizations to bring about change. That’s what I do, but I don’t expect everyone else around me to bow to my beliefs or change their opinions because they differ from mine.
As for those Olympic athletes who chose to dishonor our flag by making a protest or refusing to show respect for our flag, I have one question: why did they work most of their lives to become a representative of a country they despise? If America is the cess pool that so many claim it is, why are they part of the National team?
Probably because in no other country in the world would their actions and speech be tolerated at any level. But especially at the level of Olympics.
What disgusts me are those athletes who have said in advance of their plans to make a protest if they make the medal stand. So where is their focus? Is it on the sport they claim to love? Or in embarrassing a country full of people who would give almost anything to be in the enviable position as those fortunate enough to travel to the Games.
To put this into context, I’ve shared previously that I have not watched a professional football game since the first game that kneeling occurred. I have not watched any pro sport in which that behavior was tolerated or encouraged. And I doubt I will again, unless some major changes occur. But the damage has been done.
I will not be lectured on racial inequality by millionaire athletes, many of whom are people of color. I will not feel any guilt for the color of my skin. And I will not take blame for things that happened hundreds of years ago. The entire ‘woke’ and cancel culture we are experiencing right now is a dangerous and frightening development.
Not just because of the push of certain groups to insist that we are a racially divided society or that racism is systemic throughout our society. But also because of the erosion of women’s sports. There are openly transgenders competing in women’s sports. They are biologically male, yet are allowed to compete against biologic females. The common sense resolution is that no transgender athletes should be allowed in women’s sports. Or create another category, even though I think that is a ludicrous idea. But at least it won’t destroy elite biological women pursuing their athletic dreams. Just because a man chooses to dress like and call himself a women does not negate the inherent advantages he has over true women in sports.
The spirit of the Olympic Games were to pit athletes (when they began only men were allowed) against one another to see who was the better athlete. Today, the Olympics have come to symbolize systemic cheating, glorified bullies, and the destruction of the heart of competition. I doubt I will ever make a point to watch the Games again. When I was a kid, during every Olympics there were a handful of ‘faces’ of the Games. Athletes who really exemplified the spirit of their sport. I honestly can’t think of a single competitor I care about or about whom I care to learn more.
That is very sad. What once was a world event that strove to bring us closer is now just another event to showcase our differences and try to create bias and discontent. My guess is that the Olympics will not survive. Eventually, the Games will implode and we will be left with the memory of a once-glorious showcase of skill.
For me, I will spend more time riding my horses and swinging a rope. Focusing on the one sport that has stayed on course: rodeo. The athletes aren’t perfect, but so far, I haven’t seen any of those elite stars making protests or using their status to create a political platform. Most of the cowboys and cowgirls that compete in rodeo like and engage with their fans. They know how fortunate they are to live the life they do. I just hope the craziness doesn’t start to invade my little world. If it does, what do I focus on then?