February 10, 2006

On The Eve of the Olympics

As ken said in the comments, Happy Opening Ceremony Day! I only have a couple of things to say about the Opening Ceremonies, so I'll keep this brief.

First, I will remind the spectators of Rule 6, paragraph 1 of the Olympic Charter, which states (emphasis mine):

The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries. They bring together the athletes selected by their respective NOCs, whose entries have been accepted by the IOC. They compete under the technical direction of the IFs concerned.

Try not to forget.

Second, I wanted to bring your attention to a quote that NBC's Olympics boss, Dick Ebersol, made earlier this week:

The Olympic opening ceremony is the most important event for the vast majority of the athletes here. Most won't come close to a medal. And for them, this is the pinnacle of their athletic careers.

Now, as thrilling as it is to march in the parade of nations national Olympic committees, the Opening Ceremonies are not even part of anybody's athletic career. Is it possible that the Chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics has so little understanding of sports? Does he really think that the "vast majority" of Olympic athletes would describe the opening ceremony as the most important event of the Olympics? Or is he just trying to sell a television show, and insulting the athletes to do it?

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