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The Olympics are a classic pastime. They feature the world’s most gifted athletes, competing for their respective countries. Sportsmanship, gamesmanship and competition thrive. Decorated in the colors of their native land, athletes contend for the pride and respect of their peers. That and some fancy bling.
These Olympic festivities come in two varieties, a summer style and a winter flavor. You would think since I reside in Minnesota – the winter capitol of
the world America – I would lean towards the winter games, but you couldn’t be more wrong. My preference for the summer genre has numerous reasons and justifications, which I have provided for you in the following helpful list below –
Basics – The summer Olympics focus on the most standardized of sports. Swimming, running and basketball for instance. All of these are fun, simple and available to the masses. Every major city is built on some form of waterway, swim on. Wherever you are at and for whatever reason – you are a criminal, a fitness buff or just scared ish-less - you can run. From the poorest of ghettos, to the nicest houses in Beverly Hills, you can find a basketball court. The summer games are the everyman’s sports. They are thrilling yet basic and as a result, everyone can have an appreciation for them. Which of course leads to my next point …
Money – The Winter Olympics is the privileged variety of the two, it takes wealth and influence to get you in the door. Whereas the summer events are easily accessible to the meek and humble, the winter games not so much. For an extreme example, I think I could be world-class bobsledder. I have muscle mass, I have quick dashes of speed – perfect for up to 50 meters – and I can sit still, for a long time, and often do. That said where does a dude like me go to practice bobsledding? How do I even get in the sport? My high school sure as hell didn’t offer it, and unfortunately my mom couldn’t afford to put a track in our backyard … It’s kind of ridiculous if you think about it. How is it possible that the team we send to compete is the best we have, when most people don’t even have the opportunity to try it out?! Think about the American bobsleigh team when you’re talking about the 1%; since the other 99% of the country won’t even do it once in their lives.
Now I get it, you are saying “Box, give us something more common, like say hockey.” Alright done. Yet this game is the most expensive of the four “major” sports. Skates, equipment and all the leagues aren’t cheap. As a result, most kids are eliminated from competing even before they hit their teenage years. Add to that ice time is hard to come by and the fact that half our country doesn’t even recognize the game as a sport in their high schools … Seriously, the Winter Olympics would be better off named the “Wealth Olympics”.
Weather – Yeah, I enjoy a ski getaway as much as the next guy – and probably more so – but there is a reason people run to the tropics by default. Sun and warmth is ideal. The summer games are a perfect temperature, and a perfect time of the year; usually the start of August. Granted, I have always found it fascinating that half the world is in the winter season during the summer games – see the 2000 Sydney dates, which took place technically in spring – but my point is still valid.
America – The good old USA kicks ass in the summer more so than the winter. We lead the summer medal count by an astounding number (over 1000). The winter games – where we come in second in the medal count – are not so much a reign. Granted the Miracle on Ice was incredible, but that is easily matched by Michael Phelps’ steamroll in 2008. Ultimately we tune into the Olympic games to see America kick ass and take names, and the fact of the matter is, it is much more likely to happen in the summer.
To sum this pig up, the Summer Olympics are greater than the Winter Olympics. In a month when you are watching the Olympics in front of the television, beer in hand, feeling sorry for yourself ‘cause you’re alone during the summer, take note of these subtleties. Subtleties that you don’t get in winter games. Or just go outside and run ya lazy bastards! Your sedentary lifestyle is the reason you will be watching the games on television and not representing the red, white and blue in London …
Mike ‘Box’ Elder is a firm believer that beer pong should be an Olympic game. He also finds it fascinating that the Olympic committee sends the Olympic village something like 100k condoms … Follow more of his curious thoughts on Twitter @mikeboxelder.
Category - Sports Culture