Feb 132002

Lies, corruption, bribes and secret pacts.

Ah, scandal. What would the Olympics be without it? Not our Olympics, that’s for sure. After all, they’re partially in Salt Lake City because of some rather, umm, unorthodox means.

There’s also the recent episode of the soap opera that has become figure skating (see Ben Sintas’ column). While this time, thankfully, the scandal doesn’t include Tonya Harding and her bat-wielding thugs, it has done nothing to buff the shiny image the Olympic committee tries so hard to maintain. But honestly, is it that big of surprise?

We all know the Canadian snowboarders like their herbal remedies, that members of the IOC accepted bribes and that some judges aren’t exactly bipartisan.

But shouldn’t we expect this kind of stuff?

After all, the Olympics are a mass potluck of an eclectic, even eccentric, bunch of people from every nation and culture. Do we really think everyone will get along and play nice when national pride is at stake? We can’t even get our parents to behave at an eight-year-old’s hockey practice.

There are those who will do anything to win, even if it means being deceptive, conniving and scandalous. Do we need to devote all our time and energy to covering the few, albeit glaring, negative facets of what are supposed to be 17 days of glorious gold, sensational silver and breath-taking bronze?

We don’t think so. We’re sick of seeing Pelletier and Sale on Larry King, sick of people accusing Apolo of fixing a race, sick of the whining and sick of the sensationalism. After all, what’s really important is that we got to see two medal winners, who would be considered enemies outside of the Olympics, hugging and crying up on the platform.

The petty arguments and accusations are but moments in the back of our minds when faced with the possibilities of Israelis and Palestinians high fiving, North Koreans and Chinese shaking hands, and Americans congratulating Russians.

This is what the games are about.

And when it’s all said and done, lest we forget, the Olympics are still just games.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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