Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic burnout & overexposure

Unless you have been living on Mars for the past few years, the Olympics are being held in Beijing for the next two weeks. Already I'm sick and tired of the Games.

I'm not usually a great fan of the Olympics. There are a number of things wrong with the whole Olympic movement. I hate that the Olympics have to sell themselves out to companies like Coca Cola and McDonalds just to make themselves viable. The whole Olympic ideal is to be "stronger, faster, higher" and I don't think you will be doing that consuming soft drinks and burgers.

I also don't like the way the Olympics are treat by viewers. Everybody uses the Olympics for blatant country bashing; to say one country is better than another. Let's face it, you can't watch an event if there isn't anybody from your country competing. We all great when our country wins but try to make excuses when our country loses - we can never applaud the fact that our country's athletes were beaten by better athletes. In the modern age when war has been phased out (almost), the Olympics is our substitute for war.

Taking this idea that "our country is great" is the host nation itself, China. Politics and sports are not supposed to mix but China are just doing that with the Olympic Games. They are using the who event to show the world just how great they are, just glossing over the act that they have a poor human rights record, they only could just manage to hold the Games by shutting down all the factories & taking away half the vehicles off the road and they don't do much in the world politics such as matters dealing with Sudan, Burma and Zimbabwe. Why am I not surprised that they used a little girl in their little propaganda? Just read this article from BBC News and you know what I'm write about. I just hope Great Britain don't go down the same road with London 2012.

What is much worse than China using the Olympics Games as a propaganda tool is the local media coverage of the Olympic Games. Most of the Olympic Games is being broadcasted on TVB Jade, a local Chinese TV channel. Unfortunately the word "unbiased" is not what I would describe their coverage to be. I understand you will broadcast all the events China and Hong Kong are taking part. However to hear in the commentary "this just shows how great China is" or "Come on China!" is not what I want to hear. The media is supposed to be impartial, non-partisan and professional, not some crazed sports fan who has the microphone. They are not supposed to impose their own views on the event. I have heard BBC commentary on sports when England are playing. I was in USA when the Atlanta Games were on. I have never heard any of the commentators going throughout the whole coverage saying how great the nation is.

I remember eight years ago in the Sydney Olympics when one Hong Kong female TV 'reporter' (I use the word 'reporter' lightly when in essence she is a TV 'personality') when one Chinese athlete won (I think it was in the swimming events). I could hear was her screaming in delight that a Chinese swimmer one and I don't think she got a question in because she was so excited. That's when I started hating TVB's coverage of the Olympics and wished for more professionalism. If I was in Britain, at least I would be listening to seasoned sports commentators or ex-professionals who can string a sentence together. Unfortunately I'm in Hong Kong and I get TV 'personalities' and actors commentating on the Olympics. I'm sure they could find some former athletes who could commentate on the events instead of getting Dodo Cheng or Hakken Lee (yes, those are their real names).

I was going to go on about how competitors would rather compete in the Olympics than represent their own country but we still got two weeks left of the Olympics. I can rant and rave later about that.

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