I love the Olympics, but not for the reasons you might think.
It can be truly inspiring to watch the best athletes in the world – and the best Canada has to offer – compete against one another at the highest levels of sport.
And I’m proud when Canadians do well. I was elated when sprinter Ben Johnson won gold for Canada in Seoul 1988 (and disappointed when he was stripped of his medal for steroid use). I was perhaps even more thrilled when Donovan Bailey did it again – cleanly, one assumes – in Atlanta in 1996.
But rooting for Canada isn’t why I’m fond of the Games.
I love the Olympics because, ultimately, I couldn’t care less about them.
They’re over-hyped, treacly, meaningless fluff.
Every other year, in the weeks leading up to the Winter and Summer Games – and once they’re finally up and running after months of relentless promotion – I can safely ignore most of the Olympics ephemera crowding the pages of my favourite news websites and my already-skimpy, ad-deprived morning papers.
It’s a real time-saver.
This year, unfortunately, has been a bit different.
That’s because I’ve felt compelled to read as much as I can about the ultimately unsuccessful international effort to hold a minute of silence at the London Games’ opening ceremonies in honour of 11 Israeli Olympians who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games. Continue reading