Volume 95, Issue 75

Thursday, February 14, 2002
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Good, bad & ugly

Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Board 2001-2002

Good, bad & ugly

The GoodIf nothing else, the Olympic games in Salt Lake City, Utah have eased tensions in the aftermath of Sept. 11. While security at the games is heavy in the wake of the attacks, there have been no reports of problems or threats thus far.

Despite the extra precautions, athletes from the United States have not been disenchanted by recent tragedies, hauling in the most medals of any country to this point.

But the U.S. isn't the only nation to express their love of country, as feelings of patriotism at these games are higher than average for every country.

The Olympic games are also bringing attention to the lesser known athletes, such as David Pelletier and Jamie Sale, who have become overnight stars due to the controversy surrounding their silver medal in the figure skating pairs event.

Back in Canada, coverage of the games are proving to be a boon for the CBC, which is once again proving its value as a public institution with its superb coverage.

The Bad

The International Olympic Committee has continued its commercialization of the Olympics – Coca-Cola dominates the airwaves with Olympic commercials, while even the Yankees are sporting Roots gear.

The Olympics now resemble one long commercial and the continued use of professional athletes to garner media ratings is taking considerable attention away from amateur athletes.

The games used to be the flagship event for international amateur competition, but each Olympiad seems to give less and less attention to amateur athletes.

Analysts and commentators seem to have nothing worthwhile to say – since most highlight clips of the Olympics are recycled throughout the day, commentators are running out of interesting things to say.

The opening ceremonies are supposed to be a musical overture before a symphony of sports, but Yo Yo Ma and Sting together? Not cool.

The Ugly

It wasn't bad enough that, despite allegations of bribery, Salt Lake City was bestowed with the honour of hosting the games.

The suspicious stink of something fishy still haunts the area, wafting around the figure skating judges' table – the allegedly crooked French and Russian judges appear to vote not on performance but on, well, who knows.

Other sports have implemented systems to review disputed results – maybe its time for figure skating to take the same step.

Salt Lake City did not win the games fairly and the Russian skaters received a gold medal most feel they did not deserve. When money is at stake, funny business always seems to take place.

Though the final verdict remains in doubt, the recent turn of events in the figure skating world will surely leave a black mark on the face of this year's Olympic games.

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