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Why Can’t They Show One Event From Start To Finish At The Olympics?

Updated on February 16, 2010


I know why the network doesn’t want to show one event from start to finish in the Olympic coverage but it makes me absolutely crazy. I get that by the time I’m watching the event the event happened hours before but please allow me a little bit of feeling as though I’m watching it in real time by showing me the same event the people who bought their tickets for the event are seeing. I hardly think that after the Chinese short figure skating program that the audience there was rushing to get out to the mogul ski event and yet there I was in my family room being transported when I didn’t want to be. Why can’t they show one event from start to finish at the Olympics? – Don’t Get Me Started!

I know that they think that everyone in the American television audience has the attention span of a gnat but I assure you that I can get through fourteen couples skating and then hang around for the mogul skiing event (and what the hell is a mogul ski event anyway by the way). I get that they want to tease us by showing one pair skate and then come back to the rest of the skaters in an hour or two so as to not hurt the lesser events or events that we may not care about feelings but more importantly to get more sponsors to buy more commercials but come on people, don’t you get that you’re killing the momentum of the event itself? I know to some of you right now you think I’m going on and on because it’s the figure skaters which some think as a stereotypically gay dominated event but I assure you that it could have been any one of several skating events I’d be talking about and I’d still be upset. (What can I say, I’m not all that ashamed to be a gay stereotype.)

A friend of mine years ago said that we have Sesame Street to blame for the fact that we don’t have any attention span anymore. If you think about it she was kind of right. Sesame Street was the first show to bring information to us faster and faster. There were flashy images for five seconds as the guy stood atop the stairs proclaiming, “Six chocolate sundaes!” before he fell to the doom of the sundaes and possibly his back and then it was onto the ladybug picnic where they all sat around telling knock-knock jokes for the next five seconds and then onto the actual Sesame Street to hear Oscar complaining about something. The information kept coming faster and faster until now I sit in front of my computer and if it doesn’t get out to the Internet and find what I Googled in less than two seconds I want to throw the thing out of the window. That said there are some things that I would like to see in their entirety, the way that they were meant to be seen and not edited by the video producers at MTV.

I like being able to see an event from start to finish and then see the scores. I don’t need the instant replay, the insipid commentary or the new fangled slow-motion 360, 3-D lifelike filming when the event has enough drama all on its own. The whole thing has been overproduced. Perhaps that’s why so many athletes feel the need to get on steroids or anything they can get their hands on to make them bigger, faster and better than the next person because we’ve over-produced the events and they have to over-produce themselves just to be seen over the green screens. Look, we all know that the film industry could produce the entire Olympics like Avatar and it could win awards but I’d much rather see how people who work so hard for years finally make it to the top of their game and compete against others who have done the same without all the crap getting in the way. When I see someone in a show on Broadway, I don’t need a slow motion replay on a scene that was amazing, I use my mind to remember it but what sporting events and especially the Olympics producers forget is that our minds are more powerful than they think they are, we can watch, remember and enjoy all at the same time. Sure, show the amazing things that happened a second or third time but how can I sit on my sofa and judge the athletes if I don’t see them in the order the judges are seeing them? That’s what made me feel a part of the Olympics when I was young and let me tell you it was not being able to see the actual texture of the snow on my HD TV! There used to be a time in the Olympics when the judges would all hold up their scores. This was so iconic that I used to say about things that happened in my life, “Israel gives it a 7.0”  but now it’s all electronics and the bionic man and woman couldn’t even compete with the athletes that steroids have built and the same is true of how the show is produced.

I sat and watched four hours the other night and was disgusted the entire time. If they had showed the events in their entirety, showed less commercials, gotten rid of the heartwarming stories of the athletes at home and those horribly uncomfortable moments with Bob Costas in the studio the whole thing could have been done in less than half the time.  I like Bob Costas but please, put him and his interviews on after the Olympics for those who want to watch a man who has dyed his hair so much that the texture is now the same as his tweed coat and had his face painted an odd sort of color usually reserved for the open casket dead after the events. I don’t want my Olympics interrupted by stories of the athletes, what they’re serving in the dorms or even listening to Dick Button handicapping what I could be actually watching if he wasn’t on my damn screen. I just want to see the Olympics, is that so wrong? Why can’t they show one event from start to finish at the Olympics? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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      Susan Keeping 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      That bothers me too. Luckily the Olympics are on 3 stations in Canada and two of them show complete events. But still, there are some events they only show snippets of that I would like to see in their entirety.