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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Olympic games fail to capture interest

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It would be difficult to find less interest in any major event than the current Winter Olympic Games which are apparently under way somewhere in Italy. Television ratings for the event fall somewhere just below Judge Judy. And now the Games are marred by doping scandals.

What we need is Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding to make a return appearance. Those two loonies provided the only interest in the Winter Games in recent memory. The last Winter Games provided a bit of a scandal when a skating judge admitted cheating on the scoring. But this time around, boring would be a compliment.

The Olympics - as in Summer Games - has a history and legacy that reaches back to the domination of the Greek society. But the Winter Games are another matter. I can only guess they were designed to offer something to the cold-weather climates. Unfortunately, far too few people hold any interest in the Games and that's why Celebrity Bowling has a greater audience.

But here's what puzzles me. The television networks spend millions of dollars to compete for the coverage of these Games. Surely there's some network executive this morning who is wondering about his future having fought hard to spend money on the television coverage.

Aren't we just kidding ourselves? Americans to some extent flock to the ski slopes annually but you'd be hard-pressed to name one American ski star. Hockey is as close as we come to a Winter sport and yet, last year when the hockey season was canceled in this country, few people even noticed it was missing.

Even ESPN - that encyclopedia of sporting news - virtually ignores the Games. It's like someone gave a party but no one showed up.

Maybe next time around the USofA can recognize the shortcomings of these cold-weather activities and concentrate on Celebrity Bowling.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen