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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Boring-o in Turino (Column)

OK, I’m just going to come right out and say it: The Olympics don’t matter anymore.

Hey now, before you shoot me any dirty looks and call for my unpatriotic head, just let me explain myself. Although, I shouldn’t even have to-you know very well that I’m right. You know how little of the coverage you’ve actually watched.

Maybe you’ve had NBC on in the background while you did your homework or over dinner. But without the pressure to have civic pride, would you really care?

Now before anyone gets defensive, I’m not promoting this type of attitude. In fact, I think it’s kind of sad. The Olympics should be a big deal-and up until about a decade ago, they were. Always. They were something, dare I use the word, special.

I wish that were still the case, but with each Olympic year, the Games seem to become less and less important. I’m simply stating a fact. I don’t know what the Nielsen ratings have to say about this, but I can’t consider that a completely reliable source anyway-high TV ratings, if that’s the case, don’t necessarily connote general interest. Common sense tells us that.

Just look at this year. The Torino Olympics started just last Friday, and the hype had begun to die down practically before it began. And as for the events themselves?well, what have we heard about them?

The Michelle Kwan soap opera? The Apollo Ono tumble? That’s the only kind of stuff that can pique our collective interest?

I’d like to blame the declining popularity and importance of the Olympics on the grating, flowery, arrogant commentary of Bob Costas, but I don’t think I have enough evidence to support my theory. That’s certainly why I, personally, have lost interest. I can’t help it-every time I see his smug, pretentious face, I dash for the mute button.

But the real reasons for decreasing interest, I admit, are probably deeper than that. In all honesty, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that?well, the Olympics just aren’t that rare an event anymore.

In the olden days (by which I mean the early ’90s and before), the Olympics came around every four years, and that was it. The winter and summer games would both be played in the same year, and then the Olympics would disappear for another four years before capturing national and international attention once again.

When they changed the format-holding the Olympics every two years, rotating between winter and summer-surely there were those who criticized the change when it was first proposed. But their complaints were largely ignored, and that was that.

It hasn’t been too long since the change was enacted, but already, the mystique is gone. The world of media has changed exponentially as well, so perhaps the Olympics would lack their previous importance even if they were still just every four years. But the shorter wait time has definitely made a big difference.

Our lives are busy, and even when something as globally important as the this comes around, we figure, meh?we’ll just catch it the next time?or we’ll see a late-night re-run?or any number of Web sites will spoil the results for us.

I remember the days I’m talking about. I remember when the Olympics were a big deal, when everyone talked about them for weeks, months even, before they finally arrived. Now, even in the doldrums of February, I find it difficult to get excited about something that, after all, I saw just a couple years ago.

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