Olympic Games Beijing
Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

I remember back in my childhood, every Olympic Games were a special event to me. The first time it was the 1980 Olympics, by the way, boycotted by the West because of the Afghanistan invasion. Sure, I didn’t know that then.

My father took me to a basketball game, USSR v Yugoslavia. Funny, those two countries don’t exist anymore. The Yugoslavs beat the Soviets then. I didn’t really care; I was just 5 years old. I remember they were in blue uniform and the Soviet team was, of course, in red. I’m still, 42 years later, not a basketball fan. 

Now the magic is gone; to me the Olympics are now just a big event, but not an exciting one. I remember the Sochi Winter Games in 2014: it was staged really well, the Russian team performed fantastically and then, sometime later, the doping news began to pop up. The triumph turned into shame with all those urine tests replaced by the FSB, Golden medals taken away, etc. 

It’s funny but most of the people in Russia still think this doping scandal was not our fault but the West provocation or something like that. They might have questions to the current regime but, oddly, the doping issue is beyond their sober judgement. They blame everyone except for our own sporting authorities and the Kremlin masters of puppets behind them. Well, like I said, the magic is gone. 

Beijing 2022 Olympic Stadium

I believe this is not just me but most people. Maybe we’re just tired of those multiple political issues overshadowing true sport spirit. 

This is why I don’t really care about the Beijing Games. Yes, China wants to establish itself as a new world leader and respected power. Fine, not my problem at all.  

My point is that I don’t have a thrill anymore when the Winter Olympics is coming. Hey, I don’t like China plus I know that China is not good in winter sports, too. It was strange to me to award this country with the Winter Games, especially after the 2018 Korean games: two times in a row in the same world region. Weird. Hidden political or corrupt issues, again, behind it, just to show how mighty China is. Fuck them.

Plus, the NHL players (the world’s strongest hockey league) are, again, not allowed to participate. One more time, just like in 2018, the hockey tournament, the jewel of any Winter Olympics, is going to be a second-rate event. 

That said, I don’t follow the Beijing Games and have no particular thoughts about it. Yep, probably I’ll watch some sport events like biathlon or ski racing but there will be no interest, no true emotions behind it to me. 

Thoughts on the Winter Olympics.

Roger Bara

Usually, I don’t give a damn. Unless there’s a Torville & Dean, or an Eddie Edwards, it all leaves me a bit like the weather, cold, damp and uninviting.

But this year is different. Its’s in a place that gave the world Covid – where the government is amongst the world’s harshest, cruellest and most conniving set of bastards you would ever want to not meet. I simply hate China, and everything it stands for. Not the ordinary people. They are superb. Too trusting by half, and probably extremely naïve, but marvellous folk. If only their rulers had a modicum of the decency of the inhabitants.

Anyway, let’s get straight to the biggest talking point of these Games, at least in my office. Fake snow. Why? If there’s not enough natural snow, then don’t hold the Olympics there! 

Beijing 2022 will be the first Winter Olympics to rely almost 100% on artificial snow. There was another candidate to host these games, Almaty, a city in Kazakhstan which boasts snowy winters. Of course, Beijing was considered a safer pair of hands. Or rather, hands that contained shedloads of bribes to satisfy one of the most corrupt sports bodies, the International Olympic Committee.  Almaty simply could not compete. Shame.

Olympic Logo Beijing 2022

To create the snowy conditions needed to host these Games, Beijing will need 222 million litres of water, and guess what – Beijing is one of the world’s most water-scarce cities. You simply could not make this up.

China, believe it or not, has pledged to deliver a “green and clean” Games, using 100% renewable energy. Total and utter bollocks. The production of artificial snow is energy and water-intensive, and chemicals are added to enhance quality and slow melt. Green and clean my arse.

And to add insult to injury, artificial snow delivers a surface that many competitors say is unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

Not that the  International Olympic Committee gives a fig about all this. Fuck the environment, fuck the sport, the money is in the bank and nothing else matters.

Thoughts on the Winter Olympics.

Photograph of Dean Lewis

It’s not often I miss the chance to trash the IOC and I will certainly not let that opportunity slip by today. The International Olympic Committee has a great racket. They get to collect billions, take bribes, and sell the broadcast rights for events they don’t pay for. And if anybody complains, they get to dribble on about the purity of the Olympic Spirit before they hop on a private jet (paid for by others) and fly off to another “candidate city”. 

Perhaps you think I exaggerate? American TV, alone, pays billions; here’s a quote from the IOC’s own website: “The agreement from 2021 to 2032 is valued at USD 7.65 billion, plus an additional USD 100 million signing bonus to be used for the promotion of Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020.” FYI: Olympism is not a word and I have no idea what that means. I assume they are trying to say they promote amoral values.

Boycott Olympic Games

Now, let’s say you’re that US television network, NBC, and the IOC holds the Olympics in a totalitarian nation currently in the middle of committing genocide. There is no way in hell you are going to speak the truth. Yeah, maybe you will mention it but you sure the hell are not going to make any real statements. Even if you did, nobody would see it: the satellite feed would suddenly suffer an unexplained technical failure. There’s too much money at stake for things like morals. People kill for less.

Moreover, the IOC has forced candidate cities to build bigger and bigger facilities to the point it now cost taxpayers billions to throw an Olympics. Despite what the IOC lies, this money almost never really benefits the community after the party is over. In other words, the taxpayer gets shafted and the IOC millionaires hop on their jets in search of the next victim.

I don’t get it, why would any city want the Olympics? If you need improvements to your rail system, then build a new line. Why build new swimming stadiums that will be used for a couple of weeks, then all but abandoned? Yet this is exactly the logic we hear: The city will get much needed infrastructure. Just build the stupid rail line already!

Consider this: I like kayaking, I went when I was younger and I enjoyed it greatly. But is this really something the taxpayer needs to build for use a single time? So the land is purchased, a course gets designed and constructed, stands are erected, these talented folks paddle around this artificial track for a few days, then what? For the same money, the city could have built a new high-end elementary school.

According to Wikipedia: “The most expensive Summer Games were Beijing 2008 at US$40–44 billion,and the most expensive Winter Games were Sochi 2014 at US$51 billion.” Now how do you suppose that happened: the most expensive games were thrown by Putin and Xi? Perhaps it is the opportunity for a certain type of leader to showcase how wonderful his paradise is. 

I think the Olympic Committee needs scrapping, at least in its current form. I suggest the UN take over, then the piles of cash could go to feed refugees. The Games need to be held in the same location using the same facilities every time. The city needs to have professional sports teams that can use the stadiums at other times. Greece would be the obvious choice for the Summer Games but it doesn’t look like modern Olympia is close to a big city that could utilize the facilities. So that’s out.

Another thought would be to cut the number of the sports represented. Fewer events (sports) would create smaller games. I’m sure others have even better ideas.

I don’t know what’s right but I do know the current system is a joke.