This year's Winter Olympic Games highlights may be placed in the Not Suitable for Work category.
While catching up on the headlines for the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, I was expecting to see a lot of articles about the athletes and their back stories of how they trained, were motivated, and prepared themselves for the competition on one of the world’s biggest stages.
To be sure, there are a lot of those types of stories out there, and they will certainly be told over the course of the games’ telecasts. But amazingly, there are some headlines that just don’t seem to fit in exactly with the spirit of competition normally associated with the spectacle.
Now, I don’t mean to belittle the efforts of some of the world’s greatest athletes; far be it, I am in complete admiration of them, even if some of the sports (or events) seem a little hard to understand. Yes, I’m talking about you, curling. How anyone came up with the idea to shove a crock pot down the ice and sweep a path to a circle with a pair of brooms is simply baffling to me. But I am not an Olympian.
In today’s news, it seems there is a controversy brewing over the selection of the flag bearer for Friday’s Opening Ceremony. After an election process that resulted in a tie between Erin Hamlin, the first American female to medal as a luger(?) and Shani Davis, a long-track speed skater, Hamlin was awarded the honor by virtue of a coin toss. Apparently, the criteria for settling a tie was predetermined, but the loser, Davis, in a tweet said the process was done “dishonorably,” and included a reference to #BlackHistoryMonth2018 in his tweet.
The hashtag prompted many to suggest that Davis was alluding that the selection process or possibly even the coin toss was racially biased. I, personally, can’t believe that any athlete with the skill set to make it to the Olympics could be so foolish to label a coin toss, probably the most random and fair selection method in the history of the world, as an act of racism. I just have to believe the #BlackHistoryMonth2018 was left over from a copy and paste error, or some other innocent reason.
At least I would hope that would be the case.
But perhaps the most amazing note is the announcement that a Korean condom manufacturer, Barunsengkak, had donated 100,000 condoms for use by the athletes at the contests. Not to be totally left out, the Korean Association for AIDS prevention chipped in an additional 10,000, presumably in case they run out.
I’m not all that good at math, but according to a Time.com article, that comes to over 37 condoms for each of the 2,925 participants in the games. Considering the Olympics are slated to take place over a 15-day period, that equates to almost 2.5 sexual encounters per day of competition per athlete, even more if the encounters take place between athletes, who, I assume, would bring their own condoms with them.
One may understand if not many Olympic records fall in this year’s games, considering the toll such extra-curricular activities may take on the stamina of the athletes. It may lend a new understanding of the total medal count by the time this is over. The resulting sexual harassment charges leveled against the competitors and coaches may set new marks as well. We may wind up with the first R-rated Olympic Games in history.
Oh, did I mention that North Korea is sending a delegation as well?