Let the games begin. Please.

What do ballet, the opening ceremonies at the Sochi Winter Games and Russian winters have in common? They are too long, too dreary and too boring. You almost expected to see a camera shot of President for Life Putin fast asleep. And the silliest expectation was the Russians giving the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge a script to explain what was going on in the centre ring of the arena. Not only was his timing off but his reading would have been more appropriate for a funeral.

And who says the Olympics are not political? They have been politicized since Athens first challenged Sparta. How soon we forget the games in Berlin of 1936! Every country tries to make a political statement. Only the Brits would host an Olympics with the only apparent objective of boosting tourism. And they made fun of themselves without hurting others. President for Life Putin would never understand that.

But what is with all of this silly emphasis on medals? Whatever happened to sportsmanship? If some other country gets one more medal than Canada, good on them. We come to honour the athletes not their countries. All this crap about “owning the podium” is unsporting, callow and a disgrace to the games. Putting such undue extremes of pressure on our athletes is unhealthy and unwarranted. And we should put a stop to this jingoism of raising the country flag and playing the national anthems of the athletes just because Julian beat Harry by two-tenths of a second.

The athletes who really do not need to remind anyone where they are from are the Americans. Those costumes they wore in the opening were hilarious. They not only lost the fashion race but they gave the world a good laugh—which is always welcome.

The fashion police probably gave the gold medal in costuming to the understated French. Try as we can though, there is no way to admit that khaki and grey are compatible. At least our Canadians looked like dismounted Mounties in toques. They had fun.

When Catherine the Great decided that Russia would expand its domain to the Black Sea, it was assumed that she just wanted a dacha there to get away from Moscow winters. It is an unusual place for Olympic Winter Games. Mind you at $50 billion for almost getting things ready, President for Life Putin has sure beaten Catherine’s bills.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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