An Olympic decision has to have the whole world in mind
It’s not often there’s a lot of good to say about the International Olympic Committee, it’s basically a group that’s out to protect its own interest, maximize profits and it’s turned the Games into a spectacle few cities in the world can afford by allowing the bid process to get horribly out of control.
Yesterday, they did something right, putting wrestling, baseball and softball and squash on the final list of sports to be added for the 2020 Games.
Now, it’s kind of crappy that only one of them will get on the program in seven years but at least they picked one sport that has what the Olympics need.
With no disrespect to baseball and softball and squash, if they don’t put wrestling back in the Games, it will be travesty.
The one thing you want – or I want, at least – from the Olympics is some kind of global appeal to the sports, I know we here in North America have a huge abiding interest in baseball and softball and to a lesser degree squash. We see those sports played, we want to root for our country’s team, we know what they are and would be entirely comfortable with them in the Games.
But, really, neither of those have the global reach that wrestling does; I’ve seen Olympic baseball and softball and while it was entirely familiar to me, trying to find legitimate teams worthy of filling out an Olympic tournament is hard.
I don’t know much about squash – I respect the abilities of the best players in the world and admire their dedication to their sport – but I cannot imagine it has the global appeal of wrestling, either.
The Olympics should be about sports the majority of the world plays and appreciates; it can’t be simply a North American television show with tricked up events aimed primarily at attracting viewers.
There are too many of those already and that’s a debate for another time; I think we can all agree there are some sports in both the winter and summer Games that don’t really need to be there.
But wrestling does. It has a truly global reach, it is played on every continent, it has a rich tradition worldwide and outside of North America, it has far more appeal than baseball, softball or squash.
Forget for a minute Canada’s excellent Olympic wrestling history and the North American bent that will have everyone up in arms if baseball gets dumped again.
To me, the Olympics are world event, wrestling is a world sport. It has to get back in the Games, doesn’t it?
If you’re facing a long day, this helps; or so I hear.
As debuts go, it’s been a pretty good one for new head coach Lisa Thomaidis and the national women’s senior basketball team.
No one was sure what they’d get or how they’d look when they headed to Europe for a series of exhibition games after a week of training around these parts.
Well, two wins over the Czech Republic (58-52 in the first game, a buzzer beating 67-65 win yesterday) would seem to indicate they are on quite the right path.
Now, these are just the first two games in a long busy summer (the women are off to Serbia for a weekend tournament) but Czech Republic is a traditionally strong program and it’s got to feel pretty good for the women to win right out of the gate; the main goal remains qualifying later this summer for the 2014 world championships and those were excellent first steps.
I fully expect the women to qualify, it’s a very good team with a lot of seasoned veterans who’ve been in worlds and the Olympics, but one of Lisa’s goals was to find out how the younger players handled tough international competition.
It would seem they’re handling it quite well.
Attention all conspiracy theorists out there, a question.
Who wins tonight, Miami or Indy?
What’s the story line since we know the NBA’s pulling all the strings, right?
Anyway, tonight should be a game that’s about Indiana’s suddenly efficient offence or how Dwyane Wade plays or Chris Bosh’s apparent aversion to rebounding.
But why do I think all the chatter and attention will be on the officials?
That’s true, and too bad.
It’s been about a month since I’ve had a question for the mailbag about Andrea Bargnani and from the bottom of my heart I thank you. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things on your mind, I would imagine, so …
It’s firstname.lastname@example.org; bring the best you’ve got.
That was an entirely interesting evening and given what’s going to be part of my future, quite timely.
The Mighty Navy Tigers get rained out (it was 30 and sunny at game time, the park was under water from the earlier downpours) so we’re of course on the stools plotting strategy, or telling stories and talking to the staff, I can’t remember which.
Anyway, we get introduced to a sort of familiar face sitting next to us.
Well, all you Argo and CFL fans out there, I can dutifully report that Cory Boyd’s doing pretty well, living here and waiting for the inevitable chance to get back on a roster somewhere.
You know that chance is going to come, proven 27-year-old running backs are always going to find a place to play and chatting about what’s gone on with him – released totally by surprise in Toronto when he was the CFL’s leading rusher, I believe; let go out west again, a career momentarily put on hold – provided an interesting take on pro athletes caught up in financial games or numbers games and too dependent on issues beyond his control to get his career going again.
It can’t be easy, but that’s the way it is, I guess.
And thanks to some staff changes at our place (lucky dogs who made a buyout work!), I’ll be reprising a role as Argo Boy more often than not this summer and I’m quite looking forward to it.
The CFL is rife with good stories, I’d imagine, and it might be fun to discover a few of them.