Sochi Soap Opera

Great Athletes, Crappy Coverage

Great Athletes, Crappy Coverage

Several of my friends and co-workers have asked whether I am following the Sochi Winter Olympics. I usually shake my head and say that I can’t take the typical U.S. sports reporting, with its emphasis on heartwarming stories of athletes who give their all for their late Uncle Poochie, who was caught in a threshing machine, only to come in seventeenth on the moguls. The vast majority of the media coverage is of American athletes. What I would like to see is a greater emphasis on other countries—without any sob stories or even biographies.

The young men and women who compete in the Olympics are too young to have a real biography. They have an incredible amount of dedication, but this is not limited to Americans. What about Slovenians, Icelanders, and others whose name the U.S. announcers can’t pronounce? They worked just as hard to get there and deserve a nod from us, even if we massacre their names.

Also, I am a little dismayed at the negative coverage about Russia. Having used Russian toilets in Hungary and Czechoslovakia back in the 1970s, I know that Russian workmanship can be a little dicey at times. Even if Vladimir Putin is an ass, he deserves better than a load of sneering press stories. Listen, guys, the Cold War is over. We won. Now let’s all try to get along together.