Several weeks ago I was commenting on the Wimbledon tennis tournament. It was so poorly executed I predicted that the Olympics being held in London would probably be FUBAR. I WAS WRONG! So far it appears the games have been run smoothly from where I sit here in Panama. We have two local stations that are broadcasting the Olympics almost exclusively.
All of my novels and screenplays went on sale with the provision that the sale would last until Panama won a medal in the Olympics. Panama’s best chance, Irving Saladino the broad jumper who won the gold medal in 2008, scratched three times and didn’t even qualify to compete. So, there are three other competitors that may have a chance. The 99c sale is still in place!
The Olympic Games in my day were just for Amateurs. Professionals were forbidden and if one received money from endorsements or direct pay from any professional sport, that person was disqualified. Jim Thorpe, one of the USA’s finest athletes in track in field, was stripped of all his medals when it was discovered he'd earned a few hundred dollars over one summer playing semi-professional baseball.
I have strong opinions about Professionals in the Olympics. When I witnessed what the USA basketball team (all big name millionaire professionals) did to Nigeria. I believe the rules need to be reconsidered. Maybe each professional should be required to run the 3000 meter steeplechase just prior to their performance; with the ladies from Somalia and Kenya setting the pace. In events like tennis, maybe Roger Federer and Juan Carlos Del Potro should have been forced to play left handed. I’m certain that their third set wouldn’t have gone 19 games. Something needs to happen to level the playing field.
In the meantime we can always hit the off button whenever the pros appear.