I've been watching the Olympics all my life. I was born in 1964, the year the Olympics were in Tokyo. While I do not recall watching the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, I do recall seeing a brief clip on the news (probably anchored by Walter Cronkite) of a young heavyweight boxer named George Foreman, waving a tiny American flag in the ring, after winning a gold medal. This was the same Olympics when the American men's relay track team raised their fists in a black power salute. Sadly, George Foreman's patriotism was lost on me at four years old. The first Olympics I really remember watching with purpose was the 1972 games in Munich Germany.
The whole thing was captivating. The opening ceremonies, the lighting of the eternal flame, the Olympic theme song. An odd, yet satisfying mixture of sports and pomposity. With a healthy dose of good ol' "us versus them" nationalism.
Watching the Munich games I realized that the Olympics are a buffet of sports you never get to see on TV. All sorts of sports; kayaking, rowing, archery, table tennis, diving, swimming, gymnastics and on and on.
When, other than the Olympics, do we watch women's water polo? Exactly.
Honestly, I almost never watch any women's sports. The reason for this I believe, was because when I was in high school and played varsity basketball (not bragging, simply stating a fact) at a tiny division-A private school for pussies, our coach made the boys watch the girls basketball game. So after seeing four years of games with scores like 31-12, that had roughly eight hundred jump balls, I soured to women's sports.
But during the Olympics, I have become quite a fan of women's sports. Particularly swimming, diving, gymnastics and women's volleyball. Pretty much any sport in which fit young gals are wearing tiny outfits.
Then there was the 1976 Olympics and the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Bruce Jenner and the greatest gymnast ever, Nadia Comaneci.
In 1980, Jimmy Carter pulled the dick move of the century and boycotted the Moscow Olympics because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The hopes and dreams of athletes should not be decided by politicians.
In 1996, the Olympics came to my home town of Atlanta Georgia, Yippee!
I even wrote a funny book called How To Survive Atlanta In 1996, which sold several copies.
It was cool to actually attend the Olympics. During the 1996 games my lady and I went to soccer, field hockey, basketball, baseball and I think some other sport.
And then the 1996 Olympics were marred by a bombing by a Right Wing crackpot, named Eric Rudolph, who had already bombed a gay bar and an abortion clinic.
Of course the killing of the Israeli athletes, trainers and coaches by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics, was the most awful thing to ever happen at an Olympics.
So here we are, looking back on Rio; on Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt and yes Ryan Lochte.
First of all, after months of non-stop bitching in the media about how Rio was not ready for the Olympics, I think the record clearly states that not only was Rio ready for the Olympics, but they did one hell of a job.
If Ryan Lochte acting like a dipshit is the worst thing to happen during the Olympics, we should all be dancing in the streets.