The title above is borrowed from a Simpsons special episode for the London Olympics. While I have seen this a while ago, I could well discern the similarities between the parody and the current Olympics concluding in Rio. Below you’ll find some reasons as to why the 2016 Olympics has been one of the wackiest in recent memory:
- The swimming.
This is consistently one of the more popular sports in the games. The caliber of athletes has people awed, with records shattered all the time. The US has always dominated the competition, with a virtual monopoly of individual and team competitions. While the US has once again remained on top, the conditions of the pools have made headlines for the wrong reasons. The bean colour of the water, reportedly with a bad spell, has been a PR disaster for the host. There has also been the thing of lifesavers hovering around the pools. This has been discussed in the news, with other swimmers questioning the logic behind this. Apparently, Brazilian law emphasises the need for lifesavers in any Olympic sized swimming pool. Therefore, these guys had to stick around till the last heats, no matter the talent level.
- The ‘King’
One of the bigger storylines during the games has been the war of words between Aussie swimmer Mack Horton and his Chinese counterpart, Sun Yang. Horton beat Yang in the 400m freestyle, before calling it a ‘win for the good guys’. The controversial Sun was previously suspended for alleged ‘drug issues’. The whole net lit up, with Chinese fans supporting Sun and trolling on Horton, pushing for an apology. As of today, the requested apology never came: Horton had the full confidence of Aussie officials and even other swimmers. The final straw came when Sun boldly proclaimed that he was king of 1500m, before failing to make the final.
- The doping
You’ve heard about it in the news. You’ve seen their fall from grace. You know the deal with the Russians, how their entire team was banned from these games. While some were still able to compete, the Russian contingent was heavily diminished. While they still made a valiant effort, it’s hard to remedy a tainted reputation. As per the news, it was left to the individual governing bodies of their respective sport to decide on whether to allow the Russians to compete. It’s still a bit hard to swallow though that this diminished Russian team still won more gold’s and medals than a full Australian contingent.
- The lie
The last few days has featured the American swimmer and how authorities hounded him after leaving for the US. Mr Lochte is a decorated man in the pool, having won a dozen medals at age 32. However, his alleged story about Brazilian muggers has added bad publicity that the Americans could do without. At his age, he should know better than manufacturing stories about strange men cocking a gun at his forehead. Rather than tainting the Americans’ golden run at the meet, I would admit that un poco loco doesn’t hurt but sometimes beware of taking it too far. If it satirises the competence of the host’s authorities, and mocks the safety of the host city, it’s best to be a wee more reasonable.
- The c(h)oke
The Australian hurdler, the centre of the Coke ads, the attractive youngster, well, she disappointed. We had such high expectations for her, never mind that this was her Olympic debut. Her jig so captivated us, her potential equally as enticing, and her image plastered all over the streets of Rio. All that promise only became sound and fury. For her to not even make the finals, she clearly choked. There was so much hoopla, her dance moves, her modeling etc., but these were irrelevant on the hurdling canvas. In fact, one news outlet was quick to point out that she was the only athlete featured on the Coke ads not to medal. I hope they take down those ads quick, as we’re all getting tired of them.
So there you have it, five subplots that make this dopest Olympics ever. Of course, these games offered more than this rundown. I believe though that we’ve heard too much about either Michael Phelps’ historic greatness, or Usain Bolt’s sustained excellence. With the closing ceremony coming very soon, I hope that you, like me, enjoyed this edition of the games. If the noise and bad PR deterred you, don’t worry: there’s still another one, in the land of the rising sun. The Tokyo games kick off four years from now. ‘No problemo amigo’.