Olympics rhymes with politics


Chris Cox

Junior Mark Carlson

Mark Carlson, Sports Editor

Welcome ladies and gentlemen, the other 56 gender options and children of all ages to the greatest spectacle on earth, The Olympic Games! As 207 countries compete for 306 gold medals, you see stories of achievement, anguish and overcoming odds. Where else do you get all this other than in the Olympic Games? You also get to see the uniqueness of each country during the entirety of the event.

As all of the competing countries are “putting their best foot forward,” for the Olympic Games, all of the world will watch the teams and the athletes and judge them and their countries. Essentially the Olympics are a 16 day documentary profiling all 207 country’s culture and worth. Since the athletes are representing their country, the nations try to make them look good on the world stage, especially in the opening ceremony, unless you are Croatia. As all the countries compete to look the best in medal counts and fashion, the Olympics are a political slugfest to be at the top. First round is the Parade of Nations.

Opening the parade of nations was the coastal nation of Greece. Their flag was carried by Sofia Bekatorou who competes in sailing. Bekatorou is an Olympic veteran with a gold and a bronze medal from previous Olympics. With just this information, we can conclude that Greece is a smaller nation situated on the ocean, that has not won many Olympic medals. In fact, Greece has only won 113 Olympic medals since the modern games began. To put that into perspective, team USA won 103 medals in London alone.

Going through the parade, you see countries with disproportionately small or large continents of athletes. One such country, Russia, was recently involved in a doping scandal that saw 118 athletes barred from the 2016 games. The country of Russia has only been independent of the former Soviet Union for 25 years. The Soviet Union was notorious for having suspiciously masculin looking female athletes and being at the center of doping allegation. With the bans of Russian athletes for doping, it shows that there is still residue from the governing of the Soviet Union in Russian athletics and politics.

Then the “greatest country on earth,” the U-S of A, the United States of America comes out of the tunnel. The USA has the largest athlete representation in the Rio Olympics. During the Parade of Nations, our flag was carried by the most decorated Olympian ever, Michael Phelps. He had won 18 gold medals coming into Rio, and as of right now, he has won five more while in Rio. The athletes from team USA wore too-small looking Polo suits. Thus, we can conclude that the USA thinks they are fashion forward, and Ad-Block software hasn’t quite evolved to block out blatant product placement at the Olympic games. We also win a lot! ’Murica!

As the games are currently progressing, we will see the USA take home the most medals in individual sports, including basketball. You also see the highly populated country of China sit behind the USA in the medal table, waiting to take home the most medals in a future Olympics, as well as take over from the USA the spot of the head of the global economy. We’ll also see the United Kingdom try to stay relevant in the medal table, as well as in global politics and the economy. Countries that are developing will try to “pull a fast one” and finesse a medal from one of the global giants. Or if that fails, take one from the UK.

So grab some generic brand popcorn, sit back and watch politics, excuse me, the Olympic Games!