The latest from the industrial grade rumor mill is that in a desperate effort to attract a sizable audience and avoid another catastrophic financial nightmare, the International Olympic Committee is securing the services of former NBA defensive guru Dennis Rodman to boost ratings and offer the olive branch of peace to Kim Jong-un and North Korea.
Known to teammates and fans affectionately as the “worm”, Rodman will allegedly leap from the blazing confines of the main Olympia torch in a flame retardant onesie designed by Donna Karan, featuring an assortment of bling as a celebration of his perpetually changing hair color over the course of his career, and will team-up with musical artist Kangnam to kick off the opening ceremonies. A recent survey of military personal along the Demilitarized Zone, showed nearly unanimous approval for the controversial pairing, while disapproval for United States participation within the games was slightly higher from the North.
In reality, the Atlas-like lesson stemming from the god like effort to host a Winter or Summer games, is that megaprojects do far more worse than good and with the existence of chaotic economics, which feature a multi-billion dollar cost, the hosting city or country realizes a substantial debt. The caveat to the pending fiscal disaster is that certain corrupt organizations and individuals allied with the IOC stand to fatten their pocket books, while television audiences dwindle and ticket sales are abysmal. The estimated price tag for the 2018 PyeongChang games is just over $10 billion of bureaucratic delight, which surely includes many instances of subversive handshakes with “preferred” contracting entities. While the daunting amount will never attain the startling cost of the 2014 Sochi games, with a Russian mob infused twist edging the total bill to the north side of $50 billion, fortunes will be made, and it won’t trickle down to any of the athletes.
The shame in fabric of the modern Olympic hierarchy, is that the hard working women and men, who participate in sporting events that are well outside of the lucrative confines of football, soccer, baseball, basketball, and hockey, and fall into the obscure shadows of the news cycle, are hurt by the greed and overall gross mismanagement of what should be the ultimate celebration of the competitive spirit of humanity. The majority of these individuals are veritable shining stars and as quickly as they ascend to momentary heroic status, with an instant swipe of the smart screen, they are earthbound and are destined to be mentioned as the answer to a difficult and eclectic question on trivia night at the local Irish pub. At least the athletes in the Western world are afforded the privilege to move on from a unique experience and live productive lives, and thankfully do not have to face sanctions offered by authoritarian regimes, in offering a full “retirement” plan for the whole living family tree.
Fortunately, February is a short month, and for the range of dates between the 9th through the 25th, we can only hope that the folks in Pyongyang stay well behaved and for the sake of their competitors, a medal or two is won.