Tuesday , December 18 2018
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I LOVE the Olympics

Summary:
I've heard many people on Facebook and elsewhere talk about how politicized the 2018 Olympics are. In this case, though, I think politics is in the eye of the beholder. Sure, I thought that Mike Pence had incredibly bad manners in standing only for the U.S. team at the opening ceremonies. And some of the mainstream media went gaga over the sister of North Korea's chief murderer. But if you choose to focus on that, that's your choice. My wife and I have watched about 3 hours of Olympics every day--and have been loving it. SportsThe sports are incredible. One of my favorites is curling--hey, I'm Canadian, you hoser. It reminds me of the fun I had in the only bonspiel I was ever in, in my last year of

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I've heard many people on Facebook and elsewhere talk about how politicized the 2018 Olympics are. In this case, though, I think politics is in the eye of the beholder. Sure, I thought that Mike Pence had incredibly bad manners in standing only for the U.S. team at the opening ceremonies. And some of the mainstream media went gaga over the sister of North Korea's chief murderer. But if you choose to focus on that, that's your choice.

My wife and I have watched about 3 hours of Olympics every day--and have been loving it.

Sports
The sports are incredible. One of my favorites is curling--hey, I'm Canadian, you hoser. It reminds me of the fun I had in the only bonspiel I was ever in, in my last year of high school, a very tough year for me. I particularly like the way the husband and wife team from Russia tell each other to "sveep."
The ice dancing has been wonderful: beautiful music, amazing moves, beautiful costumes, lots of emotion.
Japanese skater Yuzuru Hanyu was amazing. I loved his moves, his grace, and, after he was waiting for competitors' results, the sweet way he interacted with the other at-the-time contenders for the medals.
Watching 6 men or 6 women racing downhill on snowboards side by side was amazing.
There are many more.
The one thing I didn't like is the women's hockey game between Canada's team and the team from the Country that Dare Not Be Named. The refs missed an obvious icing call that allowed Canada to score. They also missed a high stick by a Canadian woman on a Russian woman's chin. Although given how dominant the Canadian women were, they almost certainly would have won anyway.

Interviews with Athletes
My favorite was the interview with the French cross country men's winner who won by a few inches and was so overcome with emotion. He made funny mistakes in English and then said that he was so stoked that he couldn't even speak well in French.
I think Mike Tirico is doing a great job. He has a childlike appreciation for the events and the athletes and when he interviews them, he doesn't prompt them to say what they "should" say but, instead, lets them talk.

Absence of Award Ceremonies
One thing I've liked about Olympics is the absence of award ceremonies. When say, three women are at the bottom of a hill and they find out that they are gold, silver, and bronze, they stand beside each other with their arms around each other and pose for a camera. I thought I would miss the anthems because I'm still emotionally moved by both the Canadian and the American anthems, but I find that I prefer the focus on the athletes and not the country.

I haven't said a thing about the awful cost of the Olympics and the fact that millions of South Koreans are on the hook for billions of dollars. I'm not indifferent to the injustice. But it's a sunk cost. Whether I watch the Olympics or not won't at all affect that cost.



David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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