The Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger." This creed of the Olympics was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin upon the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894. de Coubertin once said, "these three words represent a programme of moral beauty. The aesthetics of sport are intangible." The motto was introduced at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris along with the better-known, less formal motto that, "the most important thing is not to win but to take part."
I've only tried skiing once, and very unsuccessfully so. Likewise with ice skating. My knowledge of the Winter Olympics is probably best framed by the movie, Miracle, which tells the story of Herb Brooks and the 1980 U.S. Olympic team's "Miracle On Ice" gold medal-winning performance.
Brooks famously told his team that, "when you pull on that jersey, you represent yourself and your teammates. And the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back!" And, in some ways, that's what makes the Olympics unique.
In team and in individual competitions alike, Olympic athletes are competing for something bigger than themselves. They're competing on behalf of - and representing - their countries.
The opening ceremonies epitomize pomp and circumstance; bread-and-circus on an Olympic-sized scale. But, once the Games begin, they represent the best in sport-fueled nationalism.
Unfortunately, I have no idea about the rules of the Nordic Combined, Curling or the Biathlon, and you probably couldn't pay me to watch Ice Dancing. And, like UFC has done to boxing, while I may, at one time, have been intrigued by the spectacle of Ski Jumping, it just doesn't seem as insane now that folks are flipping snow mobiles over themselves in mid-air in the X Games. Even the Skeleton seems a bit tame compared to the X Games' adrenaline-and-Red Bull-fueled hued.
The IOC and NBC are missing out on what could be their best source of Games-driven Nielsen ratings. They should borrow a page from the Bravo Network and MTV's The Real World, and reality TV-style live broadcast the shenanigans that take place in the Olympic Village.
Take a minute and Google and read an article by Sam Alipour titled, "Will you still medal in the morning?" that appeared in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue in July of 2012.
Roughly 2,700 athletes will compete in the Winter Olympics. The Game's organizers have a standing order for 100,000 condoms (per Olympics). Yes. One-Hundred-Thousand condoms! Math was never my strong suit. But...
Dear Skinemax, you're missing out on what could be the biggest after dark pay-per-view payday, ever!
I do not understand the psychology behind why people pay for premium cable to watch Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo Boo and other train-wreck-styled, mind-rotting, reality television programming, or why people pay upwards of $60 for UFC and WWE pay-per-view events. And/but, if ever e.g. Netflix wanted to continue its full-frontal disruption of the way people watch and consume TV programming - Orange may be the New Black, but beautiful people partying and having sex is the original pay-per-view, premium must see TV. It would be like Girls Gone Wild meets the Playboy Channel, on steroids, almost literally. Ok. Literally.
Maybe this comes off as a bit crass or lacking in class. But, Olympic athletes are people; really pretty, testosterone-filled people who spend 14+ hours per day training; whose collective ability or desire to mature beyond the lustful fulfillment-orientation of one-night-standerish behavior stunted; and, their on-campus, in-village and after-hours antics would be must-see TV! [Not to mention the backstory, framing and fun that would be added to the broadcasting of the same athletes during the Games themselves. And, not to go too far astray, but, Netflix or Skinemax could host a post-Olympics awards-styled show, complete with categories and trophies; or, host a Bachelorette-styled post-Olympics reunion show with interviews.]
The Olympic village is like a college campus, if the college campus was exclusive to world-class jocks from all over the world and each fraternity and sorority was made-up entirely of hot, horny athletes.
Where do you think the saying, "when in Rome" came from? The Olympics, right.?
de Coubertin was right all along. The Olympics spirit is about an intangible aesthetic and beauty, and about taking part in the Games and the games.
Herb Brooks told his team that, "great moments ... are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight." Brooks' pre-game pep talk takes on an altogether different meaning when held against the Village's sexual shenanigans and Skinemaxy backdrop.
In case you're curious, the math comes out to just over 37 CPOA (or condoms per Olympic athlete), which (only really) comes out to slightly fewer than 2.5 CPOAs/day; giving a whole new meaning to the term "world-class athletes."