Whoa, whoa ,whoa – before you get your underthings in a twist, let me explain. I am not condoning the open-air melee of preteens vying for a chance to smite at each other in order to earn food for their homeland. Nor am I diminishing the efforts and sacrifices made by the finely tuned humans we know as Olympians.
My opinion is solely based on reprazent’in yer hometurf, son!
In The Hunger Games you have combatants from 12 districts making a grand opening dressed and adorned in these unique costumes and accessories that reflect the qualities and personalities of their native land. District 7- Wood! Finely constructed origami paper hats, and body suits painted as bark. District 4 – Fishing! Lustery scaled chestplates and tridents. District 12 – Coal! Show me…. THE GIRL ON FIRE!!!!
And for the upcoming winter Olympiad? 95% of the athletes will be wearing Dockers, a sweater your aunt gave you, and a tiny swizzle stick flag to wave. Whoopdeedoo. When I watch the opening ceremonies I’m on the lookout for the precious 5% of the countries that are so happy to be at the games, so ecstatic to be on the world’s stage that they proudly festoon themselves with all of the bizarre, indigenous garb and knickknacks from their motherland. I’ve got my eye on you Togo and East Timor.
Where am I coming from? The world is such an interesting place, filled with so many interesting walks of life, whose histories go back a millennia – yet they’ve been homogenized by the 2-button suit made popular by the 300 year old US of A. No flare, no fuss, no personality.
It’s already hard enough to get hyped for cross country skiing and ice dancing, BUT if I knew the competitor was one of the cool Finnish guys who was dressed like a Viking during opening ceremony? Or a Russian lady dressed like a Cossack? Now we’re talking.
I’m not soapboxing for a full on WWE exhibition filled with stereo and archetypes, BUT a little wouldn’t hurt. The Russians would be able to loathe the cocky Americans taking the starting line in an Uncle Sam hat with an eagle screech sound effect. The French could disdain the Englishman wearing his high stockings and monocle sipping Earl Grey on the medal stand. And everyone can roll their eyes at the Canadians for being so dang nice.
It’s a world celebration, so let’s celebrate what makes the world so interesting. Or at the very least open up the games to other planets. Clearly nothing will be changed in time for these winter games or the summer games in Rio, but here’s to the 2020 games in Tokyo. Until then, Olympians, may the odds be ever in your favor!