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Mike's Minute: The Olympics have been spectacular

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Aug 2021, 9:29AM

Mike's Minute: The Olympics have been spectacular

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Aug 2021, 9:29AM

With the Olympics wrapping this Sunday, the big winner is the Games themselves.

It's a testament in a worried Covid world you can run events without disaster, even in a country with a shocking vaccine rollout.

And it's another example of how the world has worked out that we will be living with Covid, and the elimination strategy so dearly clutched to by the likes of us and Australia was never going to be able to last.

The irony, of course, as pointed out yesterday, our team is one of the few in the world coming home to MIQ. We've seen pictures of the British arriving to friends and family, kids holding medals, them off home for a celebration.

For our lot, 14 days by themselves.

That's what you get when you were run by fear and the needles never quite got ordered early enough.

The ratings aren't what they have been. Hard to say whether that’s just the modern world and people do their own thing these days as opposed to the collective thing, or whether it was time zones, or lack of crowds.

The crowds in parts were a shame. Not all sports need crowds because of distance and place. But where there were stands built and they were mainly deserted, you are reminded of the magic of the moment a crowd can create and the interaction between the athletes and fans.

Simone Biles was a low light; it was way too self-indulgent. Laurel Hubbard was a low light given the build-up versus delivery component. Although she was very eloquent in defeat, I thought.  

Some sports I tried but am still not convinced they belong there. Football, tennis, surfing, wall climbing, baseball, basketball, and golf are all bigger outside the Games, not inside them. And some of them are barely sports. They're good fun on a Sunday, not sport. Skateboarding looks out of place.

All in all, though, given the circumstances, this has been a spectacular success.

I didn’t think it would go ahead. I thought given the political pressure domestically, the outside Covid mess that Japan has, the fact they have an election shortly and the polls show the locals didn’t want it, this carried huge risk.

But whether it was for the money, or the contract with the IOC they couldn’t break, they held their nerve and breath, and it worked.

Gold medal Japan.

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