I was a huge fan of the Olympics when I was growing up, probably ever since I had to do a book report on Jesse Owens when I was in elementary school. I knew about the problems in the past — and have had an emerging appreciation for the difficulties and tribulations it causes the residents of host cities, particularly the lower-income folks. But, broadly speaking, I believed it was one of those things that had an important ideal for humanity even if it didn’t always meet it.
When I say I was a huge fan, I mean huge. In fact, from February 2002 (i.e. Salt Lake) to some time around February 2006 — maybe later even — my bedroom was always decorated with Olympics-related stuff. As a kid, I knew an insane amount arcane trivia about various Olympics, and I’m not even really big into sports. I even had an Olympics-themed birthday party one year. I’ve stayed up late so many summers and winters, night after night, to watch the games. I was very disappointed not to have a TV in 2010 for the Vancouver Games and kept trying to find TVs playing it in public spaces. In 2012, despite all the annoying tape-delay BS, I was relieved I had a TV to watch the London games.
This year, I would have all the time in the world and my own TV. But I won’t be watching any of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Not after everything that’s happened in the run-up to it.