The 2016 Olympics in Rio are over and as they go so goes the glorification of so many pseudo-sports. We didn’t need to find out who the best trampoliner was in the world, we didn’t need to find out who walks the fastest without actually starting to run (i.e.,. ‘speed’ walking), we didn’t need to turn cool-dude BMX-like bike racers into Olympians, and we didn’t need to ponder over who deserves the medal more in equestrian – the rider or the horse. There were a bunch of other things we didn’t need from the 2016 Rio Olympics and here’s my take on them, in no particular order.
WE DIDN’T NEED BLIND OFFICIALS IN THE MEN’S DOUBLES TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil of Canada were in a coin toss with Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez of Spain in the men’s doubles semifinals in Rio. The officiating team’s line calls were generally fair throughout the match. However, at the critical junctures of the first and second sets, the calls all of a sudden went south and in favor of only one team – Rafael Nadal‘s.
Suspiciously enough the high-stakes match wasn’t played on a tennis court that had the computerized challenge system that basically every single major match in modern history has had. That anomaly, the fact that the controversial calls only went in favor of one team, and the fact that they only went wrong in the big points had all the markings of a very suspicious match.
Was it just human error? Not impossible.
But it looks to me that someone wanted Nadal, the biggest name in the men’s doubles tournament, to make the gold-medal final, maybe in allegiance with TV ratings. At any rate, Nestor and Pospisil looked like they got royally screwed and Nestor, despite being mild mannered in general, said as much.
“I mean, you saw it,” Nestor claimed in a post-match interview. “If you watched the match you saw horrible calls. One in the first set came at a critical time [with Canada serving up 3-1], and it could’ve made a difference.”
Nadal didn’t like that they played on a court without challenge reviews either. Unfortunately for Nestor and Pospisil, the loss in the semifinals and another the next day would mean no medal in Rio.
“If we would’ve played on a bigger court we would’ve gotten an instant replay, and that would’ve worked against (Nadal’s team), so he should feel fortunate that we played on that court considering what happened,” Nestor claimed. “We play at Indian Wells with 10 show courts with instant replay, and we play here with two.”
WE DIDN’T NEED A BOXING CONTROVERSY
I haven’t watched boxing since Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear. Accordingly, I won’t pretend to know a lot about the sport anymore. However, the backlash against the result that eliminated Ireland’s Michael Conlan had the boxing world fuming. Without much insight into the world of boxing’s scoring system, I’ll let Conlan’s post-match interview speak for itself (warning: he uses the F-word on live TV).
WE DID NOT NEED HOPE SOLO‘S NON-SENSE
How’s that joke go? Can you sing solo? ‘Solo’ that we can’t hear you?
Well, maybe Hope Solo needs to talk ‘solo’ that no one hears her. Unfortunately, the American goaltender audibly called the Swedes a “bunch of cowards” after the Swedish women eliminated the Americans in the Olympic quarterfinals. I commented on the matter several days ago in another article, and I won’t get too deep into it here.
Basically, the Swedes employed a style of play that didn’t win favor with Solo. Maybe their tactical and defensive strategy wasn’t gold-medal winning, but the Swedes still overachieved with a runner-up finish. I think Team Sweden will take the silver medal even without Solo’s approval.
WE DIDN’T NEED ELLEN DeGENERES TO BE PORTRAYED AS A RACIST
Ellen DeGeneres had herself photoshopped into a picture where she was seen getting piggy-backed by speedster Usain Bolt. Her tweet said that the picture depicted how she was planning on “running errands” in the future.
The blowback was immense because, if I know anything about the American public, many took it as a reference to the time of black slavery and white masters. It, the blowback, has to be called another fine example of hypersensitivity to quasi-racism in America, the land where issues of race are interjected into the banal by thoughtless knee-jerk reactionists with limited active gray matter.
WE DIDN’T NEED RYAN LOCHTE’S SHENANIGANS
Great, now allegations of Conlan, Nestor, and Pospisil being robbed aren’t going to be taken seriously. Thanks, Lochte!
WE DIDN’T NEED ALL THE SMALL STUFF
Mongolian wrestling coaches stripping in protest of officials – never again please.
A camera fell and injured several people – someone didn’t do their job right.
‘Muricans’ that didn’t know why Puerto Rico’s lone gold medal didn’t count as an American one – sports imperialism.