I grew up at a time when the Summer Olympics were more of the traditional athletic events, leaning heavily toward track and field and the competitors were amateurs or at least supposed to be. I believe allowing professional athletes leveled the playing field, especially for the USA, as all countries can now send their best to the games.
When watching them as a kid, I pretty much always felt I was watching a competition of athletes – the best in the world. Now I see such events as synchronized swimming, ping pong, badminton, and archery (re-added in 1972) and have a hard time overcoming my bias and thinking of the participants as athletes – the same could be said for other events as well. But I’ve never done them at the world class level and feel sure the badminton competition looks pretty different than our back yard games.
Having said all of this, I’m now able to look at the games as a collection of events where the best-in-the-world competitors (athletes or not) come together every four years to show their skills, see who really is best, develop national pride, re-develop part of a big city, and hopefully make money for the host city.
In looking over the events, there seems to be something that all but a hermit can enjoy watching, so I just watch the ones I like and pass on the others. It’s great being able to overcome my bias and look at something from a different perspective – one down, thousands to go, and so little time J.
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Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.
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