RANT ALERT: I am not a fan of what has become of the Olympic Games, or more specifically, how the Olympic Games are covered on TV. As a boy, what I saw was competition, moving from venue to venue in order to capture the thrill of competition no matter how fringe the sport was. Today, we are treated to another helping of what I refer to as "The Feminization of Sports" (see: Super Bowl Half-time Show).
In the Feminization of the Olympics, network coverage focuses in on certain competitors, providing excruciatingly detailed backstories of how this competitor had "overcome adversity" in his or her life. Usually accompanied by mandolin riffs and filmed with gauzy lenses, these human interest stories are designed SPECIFICALLY to attract female viewers.
Cable and the internet are helping to combat this trend by providing the networks with methods of serving the hard core sports fan that which he invariably seeks: competition. But woe be unto the ardent sports fan who happens upon prime-time network coverage. Be prepared to bring your Kleenex's.
Just once, I'd like to see an Olympic medalist address the camera and say, "You know, I've had it pretty easy. Mom and Dad loved each other, along with me and my siblings. I was always better at most things than everyone else, and I'm pretty much just a happy person." Surely one of these people exist?