Wednesday, July 6, 2005

The crushing loss of the 2012 Olympics

An AP story claims:

Madrid residents and Muscovites erupted with hoots, whistles, insults and boos. Parisians folded up French flags and emptied ice buckets of victory champagne. New Yorkers stared silently down at subway platforms.

Deflated, dismayed and downright depressed, people in the four cities who lost out to London on Wednesday in the battle to host the 2012 Summer Olympics found themselves coping with the agony of defeat.
. . .
The mood was subdued on a gray morning in New York, which had hoped winning the games would give it something bright to focus on after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"Everybody seems disappointed," said Nick Patrickas, a painter from Long Island who came to Manhattan early Wednesday hopeful of a New York victory. A planned Rockefeller Center victory party instead turned into an outdoor wake. A giant Jumbotron, used earlier to beam in a feed of the vote, carried a message of defeat: "Thank you New Yorkers for your support."

See, this is what happens when you interview three people who were waiting at a victory rally. There was no staring down at subway platforms today. There was no discernible shift in the mood around Manhattan, because most people just didn't care. At worst, they were relieved that the city wasn't going to spend a few billion to disrupt everyone for seven years and incur huge graft and cost overruns, just to host some javelin throws that no one from the area would be able to get into the city to see anyway.

"OH MY GOD," no one wailed on the 42nd Street 7 train platform this morning, "ON THE HEELS OF 9/11, THIS IS LIKE A SECOND ATTACK IT'S SO TERRIBLE." No one stared down at the platform as they were waiting for the train. We were all standing there wondering why the V train came and left while we were all crammed onto the B train across the platform. No one ever stares down at the platform, because if you lose your focus for one second on the subway, you end up naked and unconscious in a Dumpster in Canarsie. This is why this story is hyperbolic crap. Maybe if the vote had occurred in November 2001, yeah, this would bring people down a bit. But on the other hand, I rooted for the Yankees to lose in October 2001 and when they did, it cheered me up!

There's too much great about New York to worry about whether the Olympics will make it a world-class city like, er, Atlanta and Salt Lake. No one has been saying "if only we had something bright to focus on in 2012." No one who is still suffering from PTSD or clinical depression is going to have it cured by the promise of an Olympics in 7 years. They need proper medical attention.

Congratulations, London!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only truly sad people are the French. Now they will be unable to make back alley arms deals with unscrupulous nations as a consolation for losing the Decathalon.