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Diary of a Baltic exile

  • 2004-08-12
Get out your barf bags - it's time to be sick again. The Olympic Games are here, and once again the world, so bloated with hatred and violence, will be forced to endure almost a month of shameless scandals, unfettered commercialism and displays of drug-enhanced heroism. I dread the thought that over the next three-and-a-half weeks there will be no shelter from the deluge - every last bar in the Baltics is bound to have a monitor faithfully broadcasting this narcissistic spectacle.

I feel sick just thinking about it. True, every time I recall the farce of Salt Lake City two years ago, I reach for the bucket. Crybaby Canadians, politicized Yanks, overzealous French... After that double set of gold medals for figure skating, who can possibly take the Olympics seriously?
Okay, okay... it's awful playing the cynic, especially when so many talented, dedicated athletes are involved, but the plain truth is that once the corporations were allowed in the Olympic doors, all honor made for the exit. Nowadays it's all about money. Thanks to that immoral dictatorial cretin Juan Antonio Samaranch, who presided over the International Olympic Committee for 21 years, there is only one creed at the modern Olympics: he who has gold makes the rules. To maximize revenues and spread corporate influence, he allowed the number of "sports" to increase exponentially. Badminton, softball, handball, beach volleyball - anything is allowed. You don't even have to break out in a sweat. Just look at curling!
In all seriousness, can anyone honestly consider synchronized swimming a sport? Sure, so is the polka - just have the dancers hold their breath. And what is Olympic about the equestrian events? It's nothing but a clique of stuffy Brits prancing around on a dumb animal. And judo? The poor Greeks probably thought it was an old Beatles song.
I can imagine the Olympics in Tallinn, around 2096. The complete roster will boast 632 different competitions, including golf, mountain climbing, Russian billiards, tightrope walking, pearl diving (just so the United Arab Emirates could win something), wife carrying (for the home team, of course), tag-team whale wrestling...
I find it fitting that this time around the Olympic Games - irrational, undemocratic - will be held in Athens, ancient flowerbed of reason and democracy. For now that the event, so pumped full of bucks and steroids, has come full circle, maybe someone will have the good sense to lay it to rest.