Once again I am thrilled to be able to see the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. How grand, spectacular, and invigorating.
But once again NBC Sports has let down the spirit of the games, and the dream of each athlete who has earned the right to walk into the stadium with their flag and fellow athletes.
It was as if Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira recycled the same remarks used by Bob Costas from the 2010 Winter Olympics. Once again there was the lack of a respectful Olympic spirit of sportsmanship and endless possible dreams for all the athletes who entered the stadium during the roll call of nations. Almost from the beginning the correspondents mentioned that some countries had no chance of winning a medal.
That is not the Olympic spirit.
In other words the NBC correspondents were saying ‘thanks for showing up.’ That the other athletes from nations with less national resources, or corporate sponsorship might not somehow show the world a medal winning performance is not just shoddy sports journalism, it also reeks of an ethnocentric mindset. That it is wrong to make such statements is obvious. The Olympic ideal trumps nationalism and world politics. It is supposed to be the place where the human spirit is on display, and the individual abilities are tested. To count athletes out before the games started is a shallow way to broadcast an event. It is also a misguided way of looking at the world.
I am hoping that one of the nations belittled on the NBC broadcast will open a can of whoop-ass in the next 18 days and make someone eat crow.