I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around,
and don't let anybody tell you different

-Kurt Vonnegut

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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Save Olympia

You might have noticed that the 2004 Olympics ended the other day - that is, if you noticed that they were being held at all. Apparently, many didn't (or just didn't bother - in Greece, for instance), and even a sports fan like me has to admit to not being as interested in the Athens games as I was 4 or 8 years ago. Why is that?

The NZZ (once again proving that even when it comes to sports, it is still so much ahead of all other Swiss newspapers) has come up with three provocative ideas in its quest to "save Olympia", all of which I wholeheartedly agree with. So here's a quick English summary, provided by yours truly:

1. Reduce the amount of Olympic sports events
'Back to basics' - get rid of bizarre (and uninteresting) disciplines such as modern pentathlon, taekwondo and shooting as well as soccer, cycling and other events that have their own, non-Olympic arena.

2. Legalize doping
No prohibition has ever helped to end consumption. Allowing all athletes to use substances to enhance their performance would create fair conditions and much better control over what's available while preventing black markets.

3. End low-level corruption within the IOC
There are too many political appointments into the lower levels of the IOC. People whose goals have nothing to do with sports shouldn't be involved - professionalism is now imperative.

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