ROBBINS NEST, The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com
By Lenn Robbins
The Olympics have already started. The Opening Ceremony is Friday (7 a.m.; NBC). It gets worse.
Two weeks before they began, the host city of Tokyo declared a state of emergency so it’s kind of fitting that the director of the Opening Ceremony was fired on Thursday because it came to light he made a Holocaust joke in 1998.
These Olympic Games are such a yard sale we can only laugh at this point. There are no more tears.
Initially, only Japanese fans would be allowed to attend these games. But Emperor Yasuhiko Nishimura said in late June that he was “extremely worried” that the Games could accelerate the spread of COVID-19. By July 8th, the game’s organizers announced that no fans would be allowed to attend.
It gets worse.
American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was suspended for testing positive for marijuana, which is being legalized in states and countries as we speak. Australian equestrian athlete Jamie Kermond, saw Richardson’s faux paus and raised. He was suspended for testing positive for cocaine.
Was the horse he was scheduled to ride named Pegasus?
“I am truly sorry as I have let a lot of people down including my family and teammates,” Kermond said in a statement. “Hopefully one day I can be forgiven for my mistake and make amends through better actions and continued contribution to the sport I know and love.”
Are the horses tested? Is Bob Baffert in Tokyo? There sure have been a lot of folks associated with these Olympics who deserve a gold medal in the, “Horse’s Ass,” competition.
According to the Washington Post, Yoshiro Mori, former president of the organizing committee, complained that, “women talk too much,” at meetings leading up to these Games. And then there’s Hiroshi Sasaki, the creative director of the Opening Ceremonies, who suggested a plus-size woman athlete dress as an Olympig.
Clearly, they haven’t gotten their 2021 Sports Illustrated woke swimsuit edition. There is a rapper, a 57-year-old model, a tennis player and a trans woman. A man almost made it. Not sure whether he lost out on cup or jock size. It gets worse.
Keigo Oyamada, the music composer, was exposed as having bullied classmates with disabilities. And on Thursday, Kentaro Kobayashi, the director of the Opening Ceremonies, was fired.
Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics in September of 2013 so it’s not as if there wasn’t enough time to vet these fine fellows. Tokyo, courtesy of COVID-19, even got an extra year to prepare.
It’s amazing none of these open-minded lads suggested these games be renamed, The Covidlympics.
Not everyone is taking these games with a sense of humor. Alen Hadzic, an alternate on the United States Olympic fencing team, has been barred from traveling with the team and living in the Olympic Village because of accusations of sexual impropriety by three women. Hadzic has denied the allegations.
Hadzic’s attorney, Michael Palma, said his client is being barred because U.S.A. Fencing was attempting to hide Hadzic to avoid negative publicity. Of course, there’s no better way to avoid negative publicity than getting lawyers involved.
The concept of innocent until proven guilty is a wonderful concept but if there are multiple allegations against one, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to keep that athlete isolated. He is armed, right? It gets worse.
All of this, of course – the misogynistic thinking, the lingering of stench of Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, which smells worse than a Japanese fish market, the absence of fans – are side notes.
As the Delta variant threatens to return us to the days of masks and quarantining, the Games go on. Covid-19 testing will cost more than $1 billion. There are humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen, Congo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia. There are kids in the U.S. who go to bed hungry.
But hey, we’ve got to find the next athlete to have his or her face plastered on a Wheaties box.
I lobbied (and lost) against there being a college football season. Money always wins. Always. I’ll lose this argument, a more painful one to make.
For every college football player who gets his play on Sunday morning highlights, there are thousands of Olympic athletes who have trained a good portion of their lives waiting to compete if not recognized, these next few weeks. If we had to watch football we damn better watch the Unites States National Women’s Soccer Team, which already has lost, 3-0.
The one country that looks pretty smart right now is Guinea. Guinea has pulled out of these Olympics, citing concerns related to the coronavirus.
Guinea has competed in 11 Olympics. It has never medaled. Until now. Congratulations, Guinea, on your gold medal in Common Sense.