Post your Olympic gripes here.

Generally, I hate the Olympics, but that’s not important and it isn’t what I’m looking for in this thread. This thread is to complain about the way the Olympics work, or don’t work, officially or unofficially. I don’t care about who’s won or hasn’t won medals, but I do care that so many things strike me as stupid.

For instance, it seems stupid to me that as I write this on August 22, the US mens’ basketball team still has a chance to win the gold medal. It doesn’t make sense that even though they’ve lost 2 games they now reach the medal round, where their previous two losses don’t count. As an American and a basketball fan I hope the US team wins, but it seems unfair that they’re still in the hunt after impressing absolutely no one so far.

It also seems stupid to me the way the medal count works. I know, the powers that be at the Olympics frown on official medal counts, but every newspaper has them, and IMHO they’re all wrong. They all equate a bronze with a silver with a gold, and they all equate multi person events with individual events. It seems obvious to me that winning a gold should count for more than winning a silver, and winning a silver should count for more than a bronze. It also seems silly that team event medals count the same as single person events. For instance, a 4 person relay event should count for 4 golds, 4 silvers and 4 bronzes, because that’s how many medals get handed out. Similarly, a sport like basketball, which has 12 players on a team (I think) should count for 12 of each type in the medal count.

But that’s just me. I just have to ride out one more week of this nonsense.

All the judging sports bother me, gymnastics, diving, etc… To me, an event should have a clear 1st, 2nd, and 3rd determined by who finished it the fastest, farthest, highest, longest, etc… And while we are at it, get rid of the low popularity events, like curling and the triple jump. Lastly, put their foot down and penalize crawford/gatlin (or anyone for that matter) for grandstanding.

So you’re a professional athlete, who does nothing else all day but train in your chosen event; let’s call it the triple jump.

For months, if not years, you work towards giving it your all on the finest stage in the world - the Olympic Games! You work on your fitness, your technique, you get a tattoo of the Olympic rings on your biceps (probably) and dye your hair a funny colour so that your mum will recognise you on the telly.

And then, when the moment comes, what do you do? Make a complete hames of it and all three of your jumps - plus the extra one they let you have because you protested so much - are fouls. Step up Phillips Idowu of GB&NI!!

Was it too much to ask you to measure your run-up properly? Or could you not be arsed?

I don’t care much for sport, even ‘special’ events like the olympics (although I’ll sometimes watch the obscure, fringe stuff), but the BBC Olympic Promo thing just makes my blood boil - it is the most patronising, trite piece of intellect-degrading drivel I have seen on television in a long while (granted I don’t watch much TV).

I agree that simply counting medals is inaccurate. Instead, suppose a gold was worth 3 points, silver 2, and bronze 1.
Then the current (8-23) standings would be:

United States 21G 22S 15B = 58 medals or 122 points
China 22G 15S 11B = 48 medals or 107 points
Russia 6G 14S 7B = 37 medals or 53 points
Australia 12G 8S 13 B = 33 medals or 65 points

By strict count of medals, the Russians are having a better Olympics than the Aussies. But if you count values of medals, the Aussies are besting them.

You have to do that per head of capita. Australia has a tiny population compared to America and China. They are definitely winning (bastards :smiley: )

I don’t like when they have sports represented when those sports already have an international arena, such as soccer/football…tennis…marathons and other events fall into this gripe.

I loathe the gymnastics and other judge heavy events.

I also cringe when they show the **3,000-meter-broken-paddle-flinging-squashed-noodle-hurling-combined-relay-medly-of-rice-over-modifed-handball-of-arrow ** event and then tell me that is a national sport almost everywhere except the U.S.A.

Then they top it by telling me that so-and-so “dominates the 3,000-meter-broken-paddle-flinging-squashed-noodle-hurling-combined-relay-medly-of-rice-over-modifed-handball-of-arrow event in his country” and that he is a national hero.

Damn. I missed that. Freaking TV coverage didn’t broadcast it.

I hate all the freaking replays. I guess they have to fill time between the actual event and the judges judging, but, really, are eight replays necessary? I was watching the women’s 100 meter run, and, I swear, watching the winner run her victory lap would have been far more interesting to me than the replays, especially since she clearly won the race, so I didn’t need to have it pointed out to me again, and again, and again, and…

Also, I heard one of the commentators commenting on how much one of the gymnasts weighed. Good lord - the girl can’t be older than twelve, and she’s already skin and bones. I guess they have to be as light as possible to be able to do what they do, but I think the girl had gained like five pounds over the course of a year or a season or something, and the commentator said something along the lines of, “Whoa, she’s really put on a few pounds - I hear she gained almost five this season! You can really tell - it’s slowing her down considerably.” Jeez. :rolleyes:

How professional athletes can get into the olympics: tennis, beach volleyballers, and basketballers, don’t leave the room - I’m talking to you. (Hockey guys, see you in the winter.)
I thought it was the worst thing the IOC did a few years back, letting in the pros, and I haven’t seen anything to show me different.

When will beach volleyball end? It’s the only thing shown and it’s gotten really old. With TiVo I can watch it much faster (I control time!! Fear Me!!) but why is it the only thing on? I hate NBC. And that includes the minion channels as well. This weekend I recorded 6 hours in the wee, small hours of the morning from a minion. It was listed as “Beach Volleyball, Equestrian, Swimming, Diving, Weightlifting, Water Polo” – It was 3 hours of BV, 2 hours of swimming, 30 mins of diving, 15 of Weightlighting and 15 of water polo. Ack!! I like weightlifting, and got nothing but a couple of clips. Not even enough to play “Guess who’s doping”!!

I hate NBC. And they have insured, through mindless repetition alone, that I will never willingly watch a single episode of Joey.

I was watching the women’s marathon yesterday and the commentator was doing the same thing - going on and on about how much or how little the runners weigh. Paula Radcliffe, one of the favorites who dropped out of the marathon at mile 22, had to bear the brunt of the commentator’s stupid comments. The commentator said repeatedly that Paula’s weight of 112 lbs put her at a disadvantage in the race. She only weighs 112 lbs! Many of her competitors weigh less than 100 lbs, but that’s because they are not as tall! Paula has the world record in the marathon and I can’t believe that commentator had the audacity to make such a groundless comment.

It sends a terrible message to runners who believe they have to be super thin in order to be fast and competitive runners. The same can be said for many sports and this can lead to eating disorders and debilitating injuries. I could go off on a tangent about this because those commentators really need to shut up about weight.

My gripe? The athletes wear too many clothes.

Back to the naked Olympics - top athletes, in peak physical condition, in the nude. Every other channel could close up shop for two weeks.

This is a coverage gripe. I’m watching the 4 man sculls rowing final race, of course on huge tape delay… The commentators are jawing near the end about the russians and the czechs battling it out with poland in 3rd and germany surprisingly falling out of the race, blah blah blah. They show the finish line, with the russians, czechs and poles in the middle of the frame, when I see a boat crossing WAY at the bottom of the screen just barely in front of the poles. It was the ukranian team, who was 4 seconds off the pace just 90 seconds ago, and roared back to get a bronze. That was a really fine job of completely ignoring a potentially thrilling finish for a medal.

I agree about the nudity. They keep talking about how hot it is in Athens – there’s your solution. :wink:

My biggest gripe is that they don’t show full coverage of the events I really want to see, like archery, judo, karate, table tennis, all the ones where I’d be the only one watching. I have about 50 channels I can watch basketball or baseball on if I want to, and I NEVER want to.

My biggest gripe so far is that I’m too cheap to buy cable, which would allow me to watch the sports that I actually enjoy watching (ie, everything but gymnastics, swimming, and diving.)

I watched all of the women’s breast stroke competition and didn’t see a single breast actually being stroked. What a ripoff.

I’m not a sports enthusiast, but I like what the Olympics could be. They could be a chance to admire extreme human endeavour and dedication in many different disciplines; they could be a chance to marvel at the limits of human anatomy and performance; they could be a chance to see some extraordinary people fight and struggle to achieve supreme mastery of a particular skill or set of skills, and to be able to deliver peak performance on cue.

But it seems the Olympics are so rarely allowed to be what they could be.

You want gripes?

  1. Get rid of anything that involves a set of judges. It’s a complete farce. The judges don’t agree among themselves - a gymnast does her routine and the scores range from 9.15 to 9.73 or whatever… which one is deaf, dumb, blind and stupid? Or maybe they all are? They are making arbitrary judgements about split second events that can be hard to evaluate even with repeated slo-mo replays. What’s more they can’t even implement whatever rules are supposed to be involved (hence all the disputes, claims and appeals). The Olympics should be about events that don’t need a judge or panel of judges: fastest, highest, strongest, furthest etc.

  2. The TV coverage is crazy. I’m sure that the idiocies vary from nation to nation and broadcaster to broadcaster. It seems few Dopers who ‘enjoy’ NBC’s coverage have much to say in its favour. Here in the UK, if you rely on the BBC’s normal free-to-air coverage, its skew-whiff coverage has always been baffling and this time round is no exception. We get every second of every lap of every heat of every track event, at every distance, for men and women. Is anyone really interested in the endless initial heats of the so-and-so metres? I think it’s enough to start coverage once we know who’s made it through to, say, the semi-finals. Meanwhile, if you happen to be interested in some of the field events, say the high jump, you would have to study the schedules with hawk eyes to spot the 3 minutes of coverage offered at 2.30am in the morning. (The only exception is if there’s a Brit competing.)

This year the BBC has been giving acres of coverage to sailing, with daily updates and interviews, because we’ve got a decent sailing team. But they can’t get around the fact that there is nothing to see. There’s either no footage of the events, or if there is a little, it’s utterly incomprehensible and nobody but the keenest expert has a clue what’s going on.

  1. The TV coverage is crazy #2. The BBC always defends its highly erratic coverage by saying ‘we can’t please everyone’. However, it sincerely believes that watching its small army of over-paid ignoramus presenters chatting among themselves about sweet nothing sideways for anything up to an hour at a time is more worthwhile than, say, showing us some other Olympic events. There has been negligible coverage of the field events such as high jump, long jump, discus, javelin and hammer; negligible coverage of judo (even though we had a moderately good team in the event); negligble coverage of weightlifting, archery, shooting and dozens of other sports. And yet incredibly they can find plenty of screen time to show some paunchy over-paid pundits lounge around on a sofa yapping mindlessly about anything at all for anything up to an hour. How about actually showing us some of the Olympic Games?!?!

  2. The Games are too bloated, too big, too far away from their original spirit. It doesn’t need looney tunes fringe sports like beach volleyball where they play music and have cheerleaders after every few points; they don’t need synchronised anything; they don’t need the big sports that already have their own perfectly good annual calendar and circuit, like football and tennis. We just need to see people find out who can do the fastest / highest / strongest / furthest thing with NO JUDGES.

Minor pet peeve. Different news outlets updates stuff at different rates, so I was getting a little confused. I would find it quite helpful if on the internet charts of the medal standings, you could click on the number of medals to see in which sports they’d been won.

Example/ I want to be able to look up Ethiopia there it says 2, 1, 1. And click on the 2 to see in which events they’d earned their gold medals.

I was getting confused by Canada’s medal standings and had to hunt through news story after news story to sort it out.

Nude judo would be fun, but getting a good hold might be painful :wink:

Purely judge scored events are not really suited to such a high level of sporting acclaim as judgements seem to often to be biassed.