The Winter Olympics in Beijing are once again causing a stir in the media. There are essentially 2 factions. One claims: Mass sports events are not-political and can only be seen as sports and one has to think of the athletes who have trained for so long and simply want to show what they can do undisturbed, as well as the spectators are only interested in sports and not politics, especially since the income would benefit mass sport and not just a few corrupt sports officials and top athletes. Furthermore, this would serve the friendship of peoples and world peace and the Olympic spirit. The range of criticism from the other faction: These mass sports events are pure propaganda shows of the respective authoritarian or neo-autroitarian states, are highly political like Hitler’s 1936 Olympics, especially commercialized and corrupt, a billion-dollar business in which organizers, real estate lions, IOC, states through mass advertising of corporations and broadcasting rights make profit. All this is correct, but that hardly bothers any of the sports enthusiasts: If you look at the news in the German media for the week, the sequence was Corona, Ukraine crisis, Jungle camp and then sport as essential important information. Even in Heute Journal there are only two news anchors: one for the news, one for the sport. Sport occupies a central position. Especially since everyone in society wants to become more sporty, from fitness studios to weekend marathons in the mountains, be it goose-stepping with Nordic walking sticks, mountain bikes or whatever. But does everyone want that? Health insurance companies, as illness insurance companies are now called, and politicians are complaining that 60% of Germans are overweight, some are apodic (politically incorrect: fat) and that they, like people who have not been vaccinated against corona and smoke, are a huge burden on the entire health system because they don’t take part in sporting activities plug in and prefer a more comfortable existence as a couch potato. But even upper-class and middle-class circles are in the field of criticism and not just the eternally presented precarious Hartzler, who hangs around with chips and beer on the TV couch, sends his wife to the fridge to get beer and doesn’t want to work because the social aid is enough. The phenomenon is: The enthusiasm for sport increases among parts of the population to the extent that one does not take part in sporting activities and only feels nationalistic as part of a (national) community and only watches the national sports teams that are supposed to fight against each other to unite peoples of the world. Extreme sports broadcasters like Servus TV enjoy the highest ratings because they serve the two extreme factions, even from apodic and fat and lazy viewers who admire sports without ever doing it, and the Red Bull boss who founded this TV station also knows what he has in his viewers and consumers and sells at record levels and happily sells his supposedly sporty energy drinks. It’s often the unhealthy people who only watch sport on TV, shout hurrah with their football team or cheer winning athletes as „We’ve won“ along with the whole mass of other active sports fans. Extreme sports broadcasters like Servus TV enjoy the highest ratings and the Red Bull boss who founded this TV station also knows what he has in his viewers and consumers. In addition, sport is seen in connection with health, youthfulness and high performance, not to mention all the strokes, heart attacks and sports accidents associated with it and not just because of an unhealthy life, as well as the weekly mountain rescue missions. Especially since they are also equipped with so-called health bracelets, which statistically record heartbeat, blood pressure, steps taken, altitude meters and whatever else and are also meticulously recorded by some as a graphic of their daily performance. In addition, one looks at these mega sports events in order to weigh oneself in the illusion of a truly achieved sporting performance – despite or because of all the doping and other cheating. But basically it doesn’t matter if an athlete finishes 0.4 milliseconds faster or jumps 2 cm further – what’s the point of this display of completely brainless performance mania? Especially since there will hardly be any new world records that can be increased if there hasn’t been cheated or doped in some way. A single self-deception, which is also perceived as such, but is just accepted. Churchill’s motto „Sport is murder“ may be an exaggeration, but George Orwell’s „Sport is war minus the shooting“ is correct. So millions will again indulge in the Beijing Olympics despite human rights violations, commercialism and political propaganda just like the Olympics in Japan when nobody called for a boycott after the Japanese government decided to dump all the radioactive Fukushima waste water into the ocean. But reducing sport in the media would lead to just as veritable a popular uprising as cutting series as crime novels, quiz shows, jungle camp, Traumschiff, Rosamunde Pilcher or Red Roses and Forbidden Love. That there could be regular political magazines on ARD/ZDF and the public media, which not only bring queer issues and consumer and animal protection along with any isolated scandals, but also political magazines at prime time and not just at midnight ala Precht or Scobel, geopolitics, research and technology, economy, philosophy, start-ups and strategy seem to be unthinkable. Better to flood everyone with sport to excess. And if there is a rare exception on 3 Sat, Alpha Education or ARTE or ZDF Info, then you should be happy with it. But the escalating broadcasting times for sports and yellow press programs should then be the actual educational mission. You then have to search for educational offers in the social media and You Tube, which are of a very questionable character. But everyone asks why strategic thinking is decreasing in Germany, the technological difference is getting bigger, why conspiracy theories and the most insane theories are gaining ground. But sport is more important than anything else. One only reads the BILD newspaper for the sports section. So:welcome to the next Olympics and World Cup. And the Winter Olympics in Beijing were already nicely introduced by the government spokeswoman, who said that foreign athletes should refrain from making political comments and not interfere in China’s internal affairs, otherwise they would be sanctioned , so they should shut up and hop, jump, fidget or otherwise move to the Chinese propaganda show. At the same time, naval maneuvers are held in the Pacific and fighter planes fly over Taiwan – this is the Olympic spirit and international friendship and world peace and what that means. If George Orwell said: Sport is war minus the shooting, in the case of Taiwan and Ukraine it remains to be seen whether sport might not become war with shooting after all, especially since Putin was the first to promise Xi Jinping his attendance at the Olympics.
Final remark: There is nothing wrong with saying that we should behave in a healthier way. But if as part of a broad and smooth gradual movement. To both extremes: Not just couch potatoes and not extreme athletes, even if one should let some extrem sports pioneers run their course, but all these ridiculous imitators of them should be smiled at. But as a mass phenomenon, normal walks, some exercise are enough, or would it be an absolute achievement if everyone, far from the lack of exercise, those from capitalist computer work and office work and home office , which produces more and more sitting and less and less movement, would move or even more after a period of getting used to it. Just like the social aid „Hartzler“. But bringing them under the thumb and the dominance of maximum and extreme sports performance misses the goal and is also intolerant to the extent that beer drinkers, smokers, lazy people, etc. used to be accepted as part of society, yes in the 70s were even considered to be life artists. Otherwise one wants a kind of social-Darwinist puritanism, which in particular wants to compulsively re-educate or fight or exclude 50% of society. Therefore, a kind of gentle physical exercise would be the order of the day, which would get the 50% overweight person into acceptable exercises as they would perceive it as their own movemnet if they get incentives to do so. .
And the ultimate song for the Olympics: Rammstein’s Stripped, based on Leni Riefenstahl’s film „Triumph des Willen“ (Beauty of Nations) for the 1936 Hitler Olympics in Germany. Very classically humanistic: A healthy mind in a healthy body? Nietzesche´s Übermensch and body cult.
The right sound for the Olympics and sports: Peter Gabriel Games Without Frontiers