The Olympics are worth saving.
The movement and the organization that runs it, the International Olympic Committee, have rightly taken some knocks in recent years.
There is very clearly some serious reform needed as it goes forward.
The IOC must reduce its increasingly ridiculous demands on host nations.
More and more countries are simply deciding that they just can’t afford to host a games. This is tending to leave only bidders that are unsuitable in some way vying for the prize.
The cost of hosting a games has to come down.
And standards have to be brought up for ensuring that hosts are on track to provide the facilities promised.
Accommodations, sidewalks and more were notoriously unfinished when Russia hosted the games in Sochi in 2014.
The 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Brazil, are even further behind, with some items already crossed of the list altogether — things like cleaning up some of the water venues so they don’t make athletes sick.
Crime and the Zika virus are scaring away potential visitors, and even athletes, in droves.
It’s ridiculous that it’s come to this point.
The blame lies not so much with the host nation as it does with the IOC, which decided on the host in the first place. It was ultimately up to them to review the promises made and determine whether or not the bidder could meet them.
Was it ever realistic to expect Rio to clean up its raw sewage problem in time for the games?
Then there’s the scandal of the Russian doping.
The entire track team has been suspended from international competition and cannot compete in Rio. There are serious allegations that some medallists from Sochi got onto the podium with help from banned substances and a bizarre and clandestine sample-swap conspiracy.
And they’re far from the first athletes to be caught up in doping scandals.
So why keep it up? Why should we still have the Olympics at all?
The Olympics is about the world coming together in peace for competition.
It is about pride and setting goals and inspiration.
In spite of everything, we still love to watch the athletes, decked out in their country’s colours, strive to be the best in the world. It is still the most prestigious sports title anyone can earn. It has inspired millions to cry, cheer and hold our breath. It makes us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. That’s worth saving.