Sunday, August 5, 2012
Are the Olympic Games Bad for Your Health?
The track and field events have finally started, the real Olympics as some say. But you've been watching en masse sports such as rowing, trampoline, archery, women's Greco-Roman wrestling, or beach volleyball, which is to sports what Play-Doh is to sculpture. Who knew you had developed a passion for weightlifting?
That's the beauty of the Olympics: to get people to root for sports they did not even know existed.
The Olympics used to be about the keen interest of the public for amateur sports. Clearly, it's never been so un-amateurish. Or did I miss something? Because on our side of the pond, no one who has half a brain would think of saying that Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James are amateurs.
The Olympics are more popular each time. At the same time, the obesity rate has never been so high. The more you watch sports on TV, the least you practice any. The Olympics is bad for your BMI.
That's not what my beloved countryman, Pierre de Coubertin, the inventor of modern Olympics had in mind. (No, the Olympics were not invented by the Greeks. The French invented the Olympics. Sorry, Arianna, on this one, I have to take the credit!)
In the end, one should wonder, are the Olympics "sports porn," the same way Master Chef is "food porn"? The more you watch it, the less you do it. You enjoy it as a solitary venture. You live vicariously through those amazing athletes, while keeping your calories nicely snug on your thighs.
Or maybe there is some Einsteinesque theory to be developed proving that while all these athletes burn inordinate amounts of calories, the rest of us should refrain from burning any, for the sake of keeping the global calories expenditures book balanced.
In any case, while the athletes are getting fit, most likely, you're getting fat.
I wish I could give you some advice about the French way of watching the Olympics or practicing sports. But French women don't do sports. They don't jog, they don't bike, they don't swim. (Except our few French athletes who win medals on our behalf).
The only sport that French women claim to be experts at is what they call "sport en chambre -- "bedroom sport" -- which does not require any further explication. French women probably deserve a gold medal for it, but somehow it has not become an Olympic discipline, which is a good thing because if it were an Olympic discipline, no one would practice it leisurely.