Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Idealism and the Olympics

The winter olympics of 2010 are now behind us. I watched off and on from the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony. I was intrigued by the athleticism of the world's sports figures. I was proud of the fact that the US medal count was in the number one position.

I just read that the endorsement potential of stars like Lindsay Vonn, Hannah Teter, Shani White and others has multiple million dollar per year potential. Much of the reason is because of Tiger Woods fall from grace as the golfing nasty boy who has lost millions in endorsement revenue because of his inability to keep his woods in his pants. Now those dollars are up in the air to other spokespeople who project a much more idealistic public personna.

I cannot help but reflect on just how far from the truth that most likely is. I had a friend who won 4 gold medals in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. I used to hang pretty close with this guy. I remember on a trip to an out of town football game almost 40 years ago he pulled out a cigarette case and fired up a joint and handed it to me to join him. I could not help but ask him what the heck he was doing smoking anything, much a less a joint? Aren't you supposed to be a world class athlete? He then went on to describe to me what it was like in the olympic village. You put several thousand young people together and what do you expect to occur in all that idle time when they are not competing? He said that there was a constant presence of drug use and sexuality in the village. I suppose that my bubble was burst for a brief time period but I settled into a general boys will be boys and girls will be girls and drugs will always be drugs sort of mental state over the matter.

I have taken Sports Illustrated for most of my life. I have to say that I like the swimsuit edition. The most recent one highlights Lindsey Vonn, Hannah Teter and many others in provocative poses in the scantiest of fabric to titillate and parade their extremely fit bodies for the benefit of the public ( and the coffers of SI ). I could not help but notice the comedic utterances of William Shatner, Kathleen Parker, Michael J. Fox and others as Canadiens sort of portending what went on in Mt. Olympia during the games. References from making love in a canoe to urinating messages into snow banks suggests that the boys will be boys with girls will be girls and all mixtures in between idle time play was most certainly present.

I have only to think back to some of the many conventions that I attended over my 30 years of working for a big company to apply the " What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas " mentality to the romping escapades of those looking for adventure, to the olympics. The human animal is basically a simple model of reaction to circumstances, endocrine function and frivilous nature.

So dear friends I express my pride for the olympics and the pragmatic opinion that many of the heroes we want to put on pedastals and bow to are foibled and coarse in their basic nature. If you want to worship a hero find a hard working mother somewhere, a hard working father, a minister, a neighbor or many of the millions of people who populate this land of ours. They may not look too great in a swim suit but you would be a whole lot better off emulating most of those people than the glitzy stars of sports, hollywood, the body politic, etc.

I know in the murky world of real estate there abounds much glitz, promotion and down right mysticism. There are many straight as arrow licensees that you can trust and emulate. There also exists many reptilian practitioners who will wrap you in their coils and crush the life out of you to lace their own pockets. Be careful whom you place up on that pedestal.