Sunday, August 31, 2008

Triumph of the Human Fucking Spirit

The Olympics have come and gone once again, and anyone who spends any time in bars has had to deal with the usual annoyance of people who, once every four years, try to act like they actually give a flying fuck about gymnastics or competitive swimmings. Worse than that, we've had to deal with the most puke-inducing aspect of Olympic coverage, the overly dramatic athlete biography in which every minor setback the athlete has ever suffered is treated as a great obstacle to be overcome--you know, when Bob Costas dramatically intones "in the third grade, the young athlete accidentally sharted at the school play..."--that kind of thing.

In the interest of eliminating these exercises in faux drama, and perhaps giving Bob Costas back an iota of self-respect, I now present to you the real and true story of every Olympic Athlete:

[Athlete] was born to an upper middle class family in [City]. At an early age, he showed a small degree of promise in [Sport]. At this point his father, an athletic failure, saw a chance to live vicariously through the child and perhaps even parley the child's talents into endorsement deals that would allow him to quit his soul-wrenching job. At the same time his mother, who by this point defined her entire existence by the fact that she had produced offspring, saw the child's talent as an indicator of her own self-worth.

There were probably other children equally or more talented in [Sport], and even children more driven to excel, but fortunately [Athlete] had overbearing parents with the cash to afford the trainers and coaches necessary to help the child improve his skills. [Athlete] soon grew to hate the sport and resent his family, but by this point the sport was the only identity he had. Fortunately by high school he was able to ad "Jock Asshole" to his identity, bullying those who were not as rich, popular, and athletically talented as him. Now, he hopes to win a gold medal and cash in on endorsements in the 3-6 months before the general public forgets about his sport for another four years.
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