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Olympic Pet Peeves


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The ridiculous scale of Ceremonies now. There are people starving in the world, and they (Sochi- Beijing for two) are spending $100 million plus for an opening.

I think they should have a strict maximum - say $30 million.. and force them to be more creative with less. The challenge would be intriguing. It is no challenge creating the worlds biggest and best with an unlimited budget.

In fact costs all round should be seriously managed.

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The ridiculous scale of Ceremonies now. There are people starving in the world, and they (Sochi- Beijing for two) are spending $100 million plus for an opening.

I think they should have a strict maximum - say $30 million.. and force them to be more creative with less. The challenge would be intriguing. It is no challenge creating the worlds biggest and best with an unlimited budget.

In fact costs all round should be seriously managed.

You're gonna go ahead and attack the ceremonies when the Olympics is nothing more than a self-jerkoff session??? Oh yes, the ceremonies are contributing to world hunger, not the multi-billion dollar event as a whole!

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i don't think a global phenomenon celebrating sports and active, healthy living has a net zero benefit for the world. (coke and mcdonalds -- who puts sugar in their salads -- are the top sponsors, naturally). plus, it's nice to see the world's countries doing something nice when they come together instead of just bickering in the united nations.

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Thanks for all the posts that have attacked me- rather than the issue I raised of Ceremony costs.

That is a pet peeve of mine- maybe we would like to hear yours.

I was not attacking you, apologies if that's how it came across. But I genuinely don't think capping he cost of ceremonies is helpful. Cities will pull back if they really need to.

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Thanks for all the posts that have attacked me- rather than the issue I raised of Ceremony costs.

That is a pet peeve of mine- maybe we would like to hear yours.

Oh I don't have a problem with you not liking the cost of the ceremonies. What I do have a problem with you is that you mentioned world hunger in conjunction with it. You could have just said it's an unnecessary cost, but no you had to add that tidbit instead.

And in general yes cities and governments shouldn't have to shell out so much money to host the bids, and the IOC should avoid awarding games to cities who have very little existing infrastructure to help bring down the cost of the games.

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i HATE that new olympic parks and venue clusters rarely have really nice landscaping.....its just strange that these cities spend all this money and just never make this final step in finishing these public spaces....... <_<

Well it's probably because cities have fallen so far behind completing the infrastructure that they focus all their time finishing that in time and winging the landscaping. It happened in Sochi there were stories coming out that they were painting the dead grass green days before the opening ceremony. The areas end up looking much better after the games once everything starts blooming.

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The ridiculous scale of Ceremonies now. There are people starving in the world, and they (Sochi- Beijing for two) are spending $100 million plus for an opening.

I think they should have a strict maximum - say $30 million.. and force them to be more creative with less. The challenge would be intriguing. It is no challenge creating the worlds biggest and best with an unlimited budget.

Party-poopers like /\/\ who complain about the cost of Ceremonies! Cut out the sports but NOT the Ceremonies if you want a balanced budget!! LOL!!

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Oh yes! Funny when it's about "the youth of the world" and then there comes a delegation with one athlete and five grey-haired, obese officials...

I think between the recent policy of limiting non-athlete participation, and the increasingly bouncy informality of the parade (zekekelso's word "marching" no longer applies) that problem is gradually solving itself.

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My pet peeve is less about the Olympics, more about NBC. It's just constant commentary on everything: sports, ceremonies, everything. JUST LET ME WATCH THE EVENT FFS. It's so hard to appreciate the ceremony when I have to listen to someone babble on about the costume designer's upbringing or the number of volunteer performers. I'd rather look it up later and enjoy the show.

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One of my pet peeves currently is very specific. As far as I know, the only full length version of the Sochi 2014 closing ceremony is on the Olympic youtube channel... commentated in English... and in Arabic at the same time. The english commentators are very sparse which is good, but the arabic one continues to talk through the music which I do not like.

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My pet peeve is less about the Olympics, more about NBC. It's just constant commentary on everything: sports, ceremonies, everything. JUST LET ME WATCH THE EVENT FFS. It's so hard to appreciate the ceremony when I have to listen to someone babble on about the costume designer's upbringing or the number of volunteer performers. I'd rather look it up later and enjoy the show.

I think in the age of digital TV surely an option should be offered to switch off commentary at events / ceremonies so the only sound is that from the venue... I'd enjoy just taking in the sounds at an event and relying on just the venue announcements for info.

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I think in the age of digital TV surely an option should be offered to switch off commentary at events / ceremonies so the only sound is that from the venue... I'd enjoy just taking in the sounds at an event and relying on just the venue announcements for info.

For London 2012, because of various media rights exclusive to cable providers in the USA, the only was I could watch online was via a tunneler to European broadcasts. It was so much better than NBC. BBC was my first go to. Then I discovered the raw feed, which was perfect.

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I have a lot of complaints about NBC Universal's Olympics coverage. But one thing that really pisses me off is that every two years, they build up many American athletes as not just gold medal favorites, but favorites to win multiple gold medals. I think that NBC plays a significant role in athlete's Olympic campaigns.

It wasn't necessarily always like this. Ever since Mark Spitz won 7 gold medals in Munich, subsequent US Summer Olympic teams have had at least one person who was touted to win wheelbarrows full of golds: Shirley Babashoff in 1976, Carl Lewis in 1984, Matt Biondi in 1988, and Michael Johnson in 1996. But then it kicked into overdrive when Marion Jones announced her Drive for Five in 2000 - and we all know what happened there. Since then, irrespective of the end results, most every American athlete has come into the Summer and Winter Olympics with gold medal hoarding potential. Winning one isn't enough; the more golds you can win, the more it benefits everyone involved, including NBC, who plays a significant role in the Olympic movement as the most lucrative broadcaster. NBC craves ratings and money, and there's no better way to guarantee that than turning athletes who would kill for one Olympic gold medal into athletes who would kill if they don't get eight gold medals. Is it talent that they're showing off, or just pure greed?

(Sidebar: Call it sacrilege to say this, but I have never understood Michael Phelps' hoarding. With 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them gold, he is essentially the Crazy Cat Lady of the Olympics.)

And now every American athlete is being touted as a potential Michael Phelps/Crazy Cat Lady. With Rio coming up, swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles are already being touted as the latest. Simone has won multiple world titles, and I would not be surprised if in a year's time, NBC plays up the possibility of winning as many as all six Olympic golds in women's artistic gymnastics.

I also think that NBC thinks that if any athletes other than the Americans become Crazy Cat Ladies of the Olympics, they would prefer that they be Chinese and/or Russian. I think that NBC thinks that their Olympic mandates won't be fulfilled if a Japanese, Australian, Canadian, or even a Ukrainian athlete runs the table in the "primetime" Olympic sports like athletics, swimming, and even figure skating. The most prolific Winter Olympian of all time, Norway's Ole Einar Bjørndalen, got scant primetime Olympic attention from NBC. He was mostly a daytime Olympic coverage personality, and NBC's bread and butter comes from their flagship primetime coverage. (Back when CBS showed the Winters, they did show Bjorn Daehlie more than a few times in their primetime coverage.) Though if a Chinese or Russian did likewise, NBC would constantly blab on about how such wins mean the world to one billion Chinese and 140 million Russians and other over the top, hyperbolic statements.

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My biggest pet peeve can't be attributed to the Games, but a bit to the media: Eric Heiden. The guy won 5 gold medals in a single Games - on his own national soil - and all anyone ever talks about when they discuss Lake Placid is the hockey team. I understand the drama of the hockey team's win, but Eric Heiden is probably one of the US' top winter Olympians ever and the guy's unbelievable athletic achievement has been reduced to a footnote.

Agreed! And the biggest insult came in the Lighting of the Flame for Salt Lake 2002. He was offered a spot beside Bonnie Blair (down on the ice) but he declined saying he wanted to Light the Cauldron and rightly so. But Mitt Romney and Dick Ebersole of NBC had already decided on, again, the US Hockey team. Heiden said it was the final spot or nothing at all -- which is why you never saw him amongst the final runners of the Torch in 2002; and Dan Jansen took Heiden's place beside Bonnie Blair.

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Agreed! And the biggest insult came in the Lighting of the Flame for Salt Lake 2002. He was offered a spot beside Bonnie Blair (down on the ice) but he declined saying he wanted to Light the Cauldron and rightly so. But Mitt Romney and Dick Ebersole of NBC had already decided on, again, the US Hockey team. Heiden said it was the final spot or nothing at all -- which is why you never saw him amongst the final runners of the Torch in 2002; and Dan Jansen took Heiden's place beside Bonnie Blair.

Heiden is not a person who seeks out accolades, but he's well aware of the significance of his accomplishments. It was less a matter of his being upset over not being selected to light the torch, than disinterest in participating in a production that would put him in other than his proper place.

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