Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Olympics Are Old School
In a few short weeks the world's greatest athletes will take center stage in London for the 2012 summer Olympics. For these athletes it is the culmination of years of hard work, practice, and preparation, or as Bill Parcells would say "This is the reason you lift all them weights!" The entire globe tunes in to see their countrymen compete for their respected nations and for two weeks the Olympics have the planet's undivided attention. So why is this special event held only once every four years? It makes no sense.
It probably made sense when the Olympics started in 1896, but that was before we had planes, trains, and automobiles. Very few people had a telephone back then and the mail took weeks to reach its destination. Our ability to travel and communicate has improved exponentially in the last 100 years. The obstacles and impediments associated with bringing the world together simply don't exist anymore. Having the Olympics every two years is a much better approach.
A shorter interval between Olympic games also benefits the world from a monetary standpoint. More countries would get to host the event and stimulate their economy and sponsors would shell out billions of dollars in advertising.
Four years is an eternity in the life of an athlete. It's hard to sit around that long waiting for your chance to compete at the highest level. The current format robs athletes of their prime years and their chance to cash in on Olympic success. It's unfortunate that the traditions of a world long gone shape the way we approach the Olympics in the new millennium. It's time for a change.