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August 14th, 2008

Fixing the Olympics

I just don't get the Olympics.

Maybe I'm just not patriotic. In fact, I know I'm not, but still, is that really it?

No.

No, the truth is, I think the Olympics missed the mark. Running a hundred metres really fast? Yawn. Swimming butterfly faster than someone else? Could I have some coffee please? Rowing faster than others? Look, if I don't get a shot of something, I'm likely to die for boredom here. Real life boredom. I suspect I'm not alone. Flipping through the SBS sports news this evening, I saw that the reporting of the Australian soccer team losing was focused more on a train. Apparently, China has really fine bullet trains that go fast, are spacious, and designed in Germany. Sitting there, I was rather drawn towards this train. Perhaps the soccer game was going to be performed on it, while the train climbed to 300km. Imagine the skill! The control! Why didn't anyone tell me this is what happened? Well, mostly because I was getting ahead of myself. In the five seconds spent on the game, it appeared to be played on grass in a dome, and Australia lost, but the real winners were the Chinese, with their impressive, sleek bullet trains, on which one day we hope soccer will be held. You got to kind of figure that the Olympics is in trouble when the sports news program spends more time talking about a train than it does a soccer game, but I recognised a reporter as bored as I.

Yes, the Olympics have long missed the mark. No one cares about runners, about divers, about boxers, about whatever is out there. They don't give a shit. It's boring. The costumes suck. The shoulders are frightening. The attitudes towards drugs are stone age at best. I mean, it's time to get with the times on the last one and embrace drug usage. Let the scientists out. Let them show you what kind've chops they have and create a runner.

But it goes further.

Imagine: Speed Surgery.

You have a floor filled with beds, and patients are wheeled in. In this competition, it's open heart surgery. You're marked on your speed, your neatness, the survival of your patient. The lights flare. The doctors walk out. They are followed by their team, the anaesthesiologist, the person who monitors stuff, and that one who passes things. I imagine they have real titles, but being that they are not in the public sporting arena, I don't know them. That would be just one of the upsides of Open Heart Surgery, the Sport. Also, funding would increase, and there would be t-shirt sales. Can you imagine, a doctor on your t-shirt? Fuck yeah. Bring it on. But, back to our scene: they walk out, they prepare themselves. The Chinese officials at this game walks around. The crowd is hushed. The patients emerge, pushed out on beds that are made out of their countries flags.

Silence.

And then there's the gun shot to begin.

Tell me you can't see this. Tell me you wouldn't be there for it. Tell me you wouldn't feel for the team whose patient flatlines in the middle, and the sudden, dramatic return to life, tell me you wouldn't watch the confident hands of the doctor as he or she cut deeply. I wouldn't be able to turn away. I'd be riveted.

And they want me to watch people run?

Pfft.