Olympic endeavours while eating cheese sandwiches
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | February 20, 2014
Have you been watching the Olympics? Of course you have.
What amazing athletes. What death-defying sports. What the hell are those kids thinking when they opt to compete in the moguls? Don’t they know that they’re looking at a world of arthritic knee joint agony when they get to my age? I cringe just watching them.
But hey, go Canada! Go moguls kids (even though most of you are French Canadian and so probably don’t really want to be Canadian at all). Go Huntsville’s Dara Howell in slope style! Go our Matt! Yes, he’s mine too now. Go everyone, even Great Britain.
Believe it or not, Team GB has a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in the skeleton… I didn’t know there was a fancy dress contest in the Olympics but hey, if a British girl has won it good on her.
The Winter Olympics are fabulous, aren’t they? The phenomenal dedication of the competitors is matched by none and the feats that many perform, be they on skates, skis or snowboard, are out of this world. And then there’s the unbelievable amount of work to stage the Games, too. Hmm, let’s take a moment here…
Who decided to hold the Winter Olympics, winter being the operative word, in one of the few places in Russia that has a subtropical climate? I’m not kidding. Sochi has an historic average daily temperature of six degrees Celcius in February, and as I pen this article the thermometer has hit a balmy 18 degrees.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t begrudge Russia holding the Olympic Games, but aren’t there colder places over there? Places where the snow wouldn’t have to be manufactured for all of the events? One of the cities close to the Ural Mountains, maybe. Siberia, perhaps? Hell, why not St. Petersburg, where all you’d have to do is build the mountains! Basically, couldn’t the Winter Games have been hosted in a place that actually has a proper winter?
Holding the Games in Sochi is akin to holding the summer Olympics in the Antarctic and insisting that all the ice is melted so that Usain Bolt doesn’t slip when he breaks another record in the 100 metres. And this brings me to the cost of the Sochi Games. Fifty billion dollars, come on! And not Canadian dollars either. Fifty billion of the American sort. You know, the real ones.
Now, I could get all prissy about this and list off the many, many things that could have been achieved with that kind of money to create a better, safer, cleaner world, but lots of folks are already jumping on that bandwagon. No, I’m more for saving someone else from wasting so much cash again, or rather the guys on the construction site are.
Yes, you heard me correctly. As we sat there eating our lunch the other day the topic of the Olympics came up, and, after the obligatory discussion about hockey had been completed – the form of the goalies, why Matt hadn’t played in the opening game, when we’d meet the US if any number of logistical scenarios played out (we are in Haliburton, after all) – the topic of the cost of the Games arose.
“Fifty [expletive] billion! It’s [expletive] ridiculous!” blurted one fellow.
This kind of coarse rhetoric you expect on the construction site, but what followed I wasn’t prepared for. The boys came up with a plan. It was a plan that would save millions, sorry, billions of dollars and make the Olympics profitable. And they did it in the space of 10 minutes. Here it is.
We should build two permanent Olympic Games venues. One should be in a warm country, say Greece, the home of the ancient Olympic Games. The other one would go in a cold country, perhaps somewhere in or near the Rockies, Himalayas or Alps. Sounds sensible, don’t you think? Then, a different city or nation could be chosen to host the Games ever four years, just as happens now, at these permanent venues. Said country could pay a few paltry million dollars to give the Olympic City a facelift, drape their flag all over the place for the two weeks and then reap the financial reward of a profitable Games.
Bingo! The conundrum of how to make the Olympic Games viable would be resolved. We would stop wasting time, money and resources, reduce environmental damage, stop creating giant white elephant stadiums around the world, and, hopefully, divert some cash to solving worthy causes like global hunger. And it was all sorted out by a bunch of guys sitting around on the floor of a job site eating cheese sandwiches.
We were rightly proud of ourselves for a couple of minutes. Then someone changed the subject and informed us that he thought Jesus was an alien ninja. But that’s a story for another time.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider