The biggest threat to the Olympic Games

27 Jul

Over the past week, I’ve seen enough of American swimmer Michael Phelps’ screaming face to last a lifetime.

Michael Phelps screaming after winning

He is the great Olympian, winner of 14 gold medals so far and a dominating presence in every race he enters.

There is something obscene about such a routinely successful athlete doing the angry-celebration when he wins. Perhaps it’s the lack of humility. It seems very much the antithesis of the Olympic spirit.

This angry fist-pumping and screaming has already completely taken over professional sports. Whatever happened to joyous celebrations?

Rafael Nadal screaming in victory

Swimmer gives fist pump

Andy Murray screaming in victory

Serena Williams angry celebration

Tiger Woods angry celebration

Today’s amped-up pro athlete is a poster-child for too much testosterone. Jack Nicklaus smiled and waved. Tiger Woods pumps and screams and looks like he wants to eat your children.

Now we see the angry celebration creeping into the Olympic Games, the last holdout of tears and hugs and running-around-the-flag.

With more and more pro sports coming to the Olympic party, and the Games’ star athlete apparently in a permanent state of homicidal rage, how long before their example takes root?

Boo to all that. Bring back the tears.

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4 Responses to “The biggest threat to the Olympic Games”

  1. Chris Burdge (@b_WEST) July 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    I don’t mind the angry celebration. They’re professional athletes that have dedicated their live’s to training and being the best. When that pays off in a win they deserve to celebrate however they like. The adrenaline is running so high at that point they probably aren’t aware of what they look like.

    What bugs me are some of the Olympic sponsors like McDonalds and Coke which represent the antithesis of the Olympics. They may as well throw in Marlboro and Budweiser.

    Go Canada!

  2. Doug Brown July 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Hey Chris. Well, I can’t say I like looking at any of these faces. But I recognize that it’s not about me. I think the angry celebration is a behaviour that’s evolved- not a necessity of winning.

    As for the sponsors, I’m surprised there aren’t more pharmaceutical companies on the roster! Call me a cynic. 😉

    Go clean athletes!

  3. Scott (@FootButterGuy) July 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    To be fair the line up was very USian-centric (is that a word?) – so I wonder if this is just a certain sport thing (like grunting in tennis) or all pervasive. You don’t see Sumo wrestlers doing that when they win. You don’t see Jukoka doing that. I hope you are wrong and that this is just another, albeit more modern face of the Ugly American. When I see the Dalai Lama scream in victory at another moronic and genocidal Chinese outburst over Tibet, I think I will admit you were right and then take Douglas Adams’ advice about getting off the planet.

    Go Canada Go (sans screaming!)

  4. Doug Brown July 31, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Actually Scott, only 3 are Americans. There’s a bias in the photos towards tennis as that professional sport that has been overwhelmed by anger in celebration. Even Federer occasionally dips into the pool.

    (On a side note, nothing made me laugh harder last year than to see golfer Davis Love lll, the whitest person on the planet, do an angry fist pump. He almost immediately checked himself and self-consciously put his fisted hand into his pocket…then did a little dance instead. There are hold-outs!)

    I suspect this all originated in American football, the cradle of chest-thumping, scowling happiness.

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