Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm tired of the Olympics.

I will admit that I just haven't felt very excited about the Olympics this year. No doubt part of it is the controversy about China and human rights and all of that. Part of it is that I'm increasingly more angry about the business side of the IOC, about Olympic branding, Olympic sponsorship, the IOC's lack of concern for anything other than making a buck off of the backs of amateur athletes.

I think I can attribute part of it to fatigue about the 2010 Olympics. I'm tired of hearing about it. I'm tired of the logo controversy. I'm tired of the ugly mascots. I'm tired of hearing about how all the merchandise is made in China, not Canada. I'm tired of hearing about the IOC stepping on small, local, well established businesses for apparently using their brand.

I'm tired of the Olympic themed commercials that have been on TV for well over a year. I'm tired of the Olympic billboards, seeing the Olympic logo on everything everywhere. I'm tired of the "we are all Olympians" message because we are not. The athletes are.

I'm tired of hearing about people getting evicted. I'm tired of seeing the people of the Downtown East Side get displaced and forced out into suburbs that lack the resources to deal with drug addiction, mental illness, disabilities and homelessness. I'm tired of seeing buildings torn down and replaced with high priced condos full of yuppies and dog spas.

I'm tired of collapsed rooves and mold in Olympic venues. I'm tired of the fact that while we pour massive amounts of tax dollars into Olympic venues and infrastructure projects, our hospitals do not have enough beds and the government has been slashing funding to universities.

I'm tired of wondering how much it's going to drive up property values and the cost of living for all of us who paid for it but will not benefit from it.

I don't like that even though we've spent so much money to put the games on, they will not be covered by our national broadcaster so that if you want to see the games on TV you will need to purchase cable.

I'm not looking forward to the increased traffic or the security concerns, the anticipated bedbug infestation or the throngs of tourists that will crowd the sidewalks and get between me and where I want to go, because unlike them, it will be two weeks of business as usual.

I hate to be such a sourpuss about all this. I wish I wasn't but I am and I think I have good reason to be. So fuck the Olympics.

I do like rowing though. My parents are boycotting the Olympics but I've been watching because I want to see how the rowers are doing. The problem is that the events schedule has been vague at best so I've ended up seeing a lot of other stuff too, but I'm just not excited about it like I used to be. It's sad.