The governing bodies don't come off well. The quote that aggravated me most came from USOC CEO Blackmun. “You have to look back at where the Olympic Movement came from. It was an amateur-based movement. Nobody got compensated,” said Blackmun, who made about $1 million in 2014, tax records show. “It’s not a for-profit movement. Nobody in suits is getting paid for this beyond what you have to pay people to raise all the money we have to raise. . . . We are in good faith trying to maximize the level of support we can provide to our athletes. I wish we had the resources to support more athletes.”
Bottom line: the men in suits will steal the athletes candy and consider themselves noble for it, until the athletes control their own future.
One poster, Will, posted the following, made some very good points on how the athletes could do that. With his permission . . .
Nothing is too big to fail. The Olympics have become too big, and as such, have become wasteful. There are plenty of other companies out there other than Nike who seem to be willing to sponsor athletes if their companies can get some notice out of it.
Why not hit the reset button and set up something at home? Set up something in the U.S. (or elsewhere) and keep it in the same spot to avoid the cost of hosting a different place each year. For coverage, find some computer engineers (I hear India is ripe with them) to set up a streaming website that can utilize real time feeds from peoples phones. Most people have smartphones now days, so set up “citizen videographers” throughout the events and courses to record and stream to the website. Since most people already willing pay for these phones and internet options, and many are fans of professional sports, and enjoy filming things anyway, I’m sure enough would volunteer to film for free.
There are plenty of athletes in this country who write and blog who can effectively advertise to the necessary audience to drum up awareness and views. The website can easily track who watches what events, and this can be used to help draw sponsorships for individual athletes.
This isn’t a new idea. Citizen journalists have been doing this to factually report what is going on in their country, state, and local areas as big media no longer provides the service. The same setup can easily be applied to athletics.
There certainly seems to be enough athletes in this world who have done well financial (perhaps not in athletics) who could come together and purchase some land to make this happen. Start small. Build a track. It doesn’t have to be “Olympic” caliber construction. Start on dirt, or cheap asphalt. The stadiums don’t make the event. The athletes do. So just focus on them, because they are what is enjoyable.
Feel free to add your own thoughts - and do think about sharing it around.
For those in Seattle, Laura Fleshman hosting a group run from the Oiselle store at 6:30PM tonight. Olympian Kate Grace, a fellow runner sponsored by Oiselle, is one of those affected by Rule 40 - she can't support the company that helped her during the critical Olympic season.