Chariots of Ire
February 15, 2002 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Chariots of Ire Olympics may never be held again in the U.S. because of--well, what many perceive as too much security and flag waving. As though terror had never before struck the Olypics (Germany) when it was not very well guarded. Or am I perhaps a part of the jingoism that is here deplored?
posted by Postroad (31 comments total)
I could almost buy the jingoism argument, except that nationalism and politics have always been part of the olympics. I highly doubt this year is significantly different than olympics going back to Berlin in the 1930s, or to Moscow and L.A. in the 1980s.

As for the "too much security" argument. Huh? Broadcasting a desire to stage a games with less security seems foolish, at best.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:19 AM on February 15, 2002

The Olympics will come to NYC, no doubt about it.
posted by panopticon at 11:21 AM on February 15, 2002

Vancouver/Whistler is going for the 2010 winter Olympics, and is considered a front runner. IF they get those, they will not have the following Summer Olympics in North America.

Plus, Atlanta was a mess, and Salt Lake had the whole bribery scandal. Odds wouldn't be too great for the US having the Olympics any time soon.
posted by mkn at 11:26 AM on February 15, 2002

The Olympics went back to Germany after this display of nationalism.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:27 AM on February 15, 2002

The Olympics went back to Germany...

Yes, but you forget -- that's Germany. The US, as we all know, the sole source of everything that's evil on Earth. Each american citizen is, in their own way, worse than Hitler.

Germany, on the other hand, is a peace-loving nation that's full of brotherly love for everybody. Especially the immigrant Turks and Kurds, whom they adore and treat with special attention.
posted by aramaic at 11:33 AM on February 15, 2002

i can't imagine the olympics would not be held in America in the future. there's too much money (and also bribe money) to be made here. if the olympics are indeed a business, you can count on them sticking their nose in whatever nook has the most cash.
posted by moz at 11:33 AM on February 15, 2002

IOC officials have been speculating openly that if it requires this much effort to protect an isolated area in the midwest, then how many troops would be needed to secure the world's most famous city.

Hey. How reliable is this article when it refers to SLC as the Midwest?
posted by internal at 11:42 AM on February 15, 2002

The article seems to point mostly towards how our government has nationalized the Olympics. Complaints about security and Bush's adlibing at the opening cermony are for the government, not the nation itself. The government will change leadership several times before the next Olympics hit the US. To blame a nation for these acts seems silly, we as a people have no effect on them. We root for out team, other nations root for thiers, same as always. As far as criticizing the media coverage, well we all have been critics of that. Nothing new here. The IOC will always grant the coverage to whover pays the most and them let them say whatever they want. Again, out of our hands as citizens. Why blame the country when it's the government and the media's fault?
posted by cowboy at 11:45 AM on February 15, 2002

I don't give a flying f about the summer olympics (isn't the Flying F a proposed new event?); and as for the Winter Games, it would be nice if it were always held in a small town.

As for it not being held in the US, the television rights will assure that the US will always will be a candidate.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:48 AM on February 15, 2002

The US ought to stop hosting Olympics because we have to pay big, fat bribes to IOC members -- who, by most accounts, could levitate on their own self-importance -- for the privileges of building massive new sporting complexes, of totally disrupting our civic centers, and of becoming the temporary worldwide nexus for loonies and terrorists.
posted by coelecanth at 11:59 AM on February 15, 2002

Oh, brother. This is in the Guardian -- a reliable source of predictable, anti-U.S. diatribes both day and night. Don't confuse those with the facts.
posted by Phaedrus at 12:03 PM on February 15, 2002

From the article:

"A strong anti-American feeling has existed among many IOC members since 1998 when 10 of its members were forced to resign or were expelled after they were found to have accepted a total of $1m in cash, gifts, scholarships and other inducements to win votes for Salt Lake's Olympic candidacy. "


"there is resentment...that the Salt Lake City leaders who offered the bribes...have escaped unpunished."

Right. It's because the bribers didn't get punished. Not because they got caught.
posted by lackutrol at 12:25 PM on February 15, 2002

Yeah, I should have read the post more carefully. In the future -- obviously -- no US bid will include the kind of bribes Salt Lake City had to pony up. Much easier for the IOC to take its Olympics gravy train elsewhere, and to blame the US for jingoism and excessive security.

Generally, the heavy favoritism of American crowds annoys me, but these games have been pretty entertaining, and well-staged by Salt Lake City. I don't dislike the Olympics -- but if they don't want to site them in the U.S. anymore, well... good riddance.
posted by coelecanth at 12:38 PM on February 15, 2002

Hey. How reliable is this article when it refers to SLC as the Midwest?

Precisely. This entire article seems to be nothing more than the result of a combination of the Guardian's innate anti-Americanism and some chit-chat the reporter had with a middle management IOC goon over a few beers.

My favorite part of the article is when the writer brings up NBC's coverage as some sort of proof, as if anyone at the IOC gives a flying flip. NBC isn't the broadcaster of the Olympics, it's only the broadcaster in the United States. And their coverage this time has been severely toned down from the ultrajingoistic tone it took in Atlanta and Sydney. The IOC didn't care then, they don't care now. All they care about are the billions - yes, billions with a "b" - of dollars NBC has paid them for the broadcast rights. (And just now we got a bit of a simulcast from the CBC ... which was interviewing Canadian athletes! Oh, the blatant nationalism!)

The article is bunk. And NYC will be awarded the 2012 Olympics, especially once the full scale of the impending disaster of the 2004 Athens games becomes apparant. They're going to be absolutely drooling to give the games back to a country they know can organize and host them properly.
posted by aaron at 12:38 PM on February 15, 2002

As for it not being held in the US, the television rights will assure that the US will always will be a candidate.

I was going to assert the same thing, except I realized that the American broadcast networks are willing to shell out the bucks no matter where the games are being held. NBC spent record amounts for the 1980 and 1988 summer games (and, of course, got screwed over in 1980).

Personally, I think it's a good thing to keep the games out of the US for a while. Helps remind people like that moron who wrote that article in the Weekly Standard that the Olympics are about the whole world, not just our little slice. The Summer Games won't be back for at least 10 years, if that, and the winter games even longer.
posted by briank at 12:40 PM on February 15, 2002

Good riddance.

The olympics have been a sham (in my eyes) ever since I saw Michael Jordan playing basketball in a olympic event. Amateur athletes? Right...

But I disagree with original statement - I think they will be back in the US. There is too much money to be made. That's what the Olympics are really about anymore...
posted by hadashi at 12:44 PM on February 15, 2002

I want DC to get the games in 2012...
posted by owillis at 1:09 PM on February 15, 2002

The U.S has a bit of previous in this regard though doesn't it.Going back to at least the L.A olympics when the belligerence of swimming fans was noted.Swimming for gawds sake,
The U.S is a repeat offender for flag waving bellicosity in the ryder cup and the Atlanta olympics were similarly an orgy of patriotic fervour.
All of these are generally regarded as genteel sports so such intrusions are particularly jarring.
Berlin,there is an example to follow,or do I have an irony deficit?
posted by Fat Buddha at 1:14 PM on February 15, 2002

The olympics have been a sham (in my eyes) ever since I saw Michael Jordan playing basketball in a olympic event. Amateur athletes? Right...

Just FYI Jordan was an amateru athlete when he competed in the 1984 Olympics.
posted by gyc at 1:39 PM on February 15, 2002

I agree with the idea that the Olympics is no more than a circus. Not only have medals been removed in the past from atheletes that deserved medals yet took money for their sport once, but it disgusts me to hear about post-race/game disqualification for atheletes that took a cold remedy or some other kind of benign non-performance-boosting supplement.
posted by Quixoticlife at 1:51 PM on February 15, 2002

And what of "The Dream Team"?
posted by Quixoticlife at 1:52 PM on February 15, 2002

It would be pretty cool if NYC2012 went through. I can imagine taking the G train into Brooklyn here from Queens and watching the rowing races.

And maybe having the olympics will get the 2nd ave. subway line built.
posted by meep at 1:55 PM on February 15, 2002

Yet, if something were to happen in SLC, we'd be blamed our lack of security, lapse, what have you.

I'm far from being an ultra-nationalist, but this is getting ridiculous. Too much flag waving for the US, gosh, we should be cheering exclusively for the Belarus team. Sele and Pelletier? It's the US behind the uproar. An American newspaper totalling medals incorrectly? Heaven forbid!

posted by digital_insomnia at 2:10 PM on February 15, 2002

The IOC is embarrassed that the very public presence of the 15,000 police and military is projecting a tense and uncomfortable atmosphere for an event that, since its first staging in 1924, has been a sedate, friendly festival.
posted by mimi at 2:12 PM on February 15, 2002

Hahahah much snowboarding going on in Atlanta.?
I don't think anyone objects to people supporting their team,I support Birmingham Cuty who are noted for the noise levels and general unpleasantness of their fans,but thats football and parochial.
As far as the olympics goes, in your face nationalism goes completely against the grain,thats what people find offensive about the us.In my hapless opinion.
posted by Fat Buddha at 2:42 PM on February 15, 2002

And what of "The Dream Team"?

IMO, the most boring shit in the history of sports.

A bunch of arrogant multi-millionaires beating small Euro counties by 70 points.Yeah, that was exciting.

I was so proud.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 4:22 PM on February 15, 2002

The winter olympics are much more intresting then the summer games, I think. People go so much faster.
posted by delmoi at 8:06 PM on February 15, 2002

did Athens get 2004? I wish the int'l community would help them get it together so that their hosting of the olympics could be the great event it ought to be. It's still an amazing city, just dirty and run down. (But marble streets! the acropolis! ) - I mean, it's the start of the whole thing. doesn't that count for something?
posted by mdn at 8:17 PM on February 15, 2002

It ought to, mdn. The Olympics were born in Greece, but all anybody wants to talk about now is how far behind Athens is in planning its Games. I'd love to see them pull it off.

And as for the Olympics being for amateurs, surely nobody thinks all the national teams that competed at least as far back as the 1960s (when I started paying attention) were made up of amateurs. Their professionalism seemed pretty well documented, as I remember. I also recall the announcers talking about how Olympic weightlifter Vasily Alekseev (I'm pretty sure I'm spelling it wrong) of the Soviet Union got a nice little cash bonus every time he broke a world record.
posted by diddlegnome at 8:29 PM on February 15, 2002

Nonsense. Security was expected to be very tight , after 9/11 and jingoism, while certainly part and parcel of NBC coverage, is no higher among the crowds than it was in Seoul or Moscow. If you wanted to see real jingoism, you should have watched the Mediterranean games in Tunis where the crowd was booing whoever their athlete was up against.
And, living in Athens as I am, I'm very afraid of crowd reaction when Greek and Turkish weightlifters compete for the medals. Other than that, it's Atheneans that should worry about the 2004 Olympics, not the rest of the world, as, among other problems, traffic is going to be even more impossible for the next couple of years due to heavy construction work. I don't expect any major problems for the Olympics here.
posted by talos at 2:45 AM on February 16, 2002

They're going to be absolutely drooling to give the games back to a country they know can organize and host them properly.

Well, if you ask the Belarussian team, that's not the US. They're staying 50 miles outside of SLC and complain that they haven't had adequate nutritious food (hello, McDonalds, official food provider of a sporting event???) since their arrival.

In any case, as much as I love both NYC and DC, I'm part of a group which would love to see Pittsburgh get the games in 2016 (the first year we'd be ready for it, infrastructure-wise) and the chances of two consecutive games in the states are slim and none, so I've got to root for the other major 2012 summer contender (of the moment), Paris.
posted by Dreama at 6:32 AM on February 16, 2002

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