The Olympics are a cost-prohibitive monolith that exploit the cities and nations that play host to them.

The places that do manage to avoid ruin do so at the expense of being seen as tacky. See Dick Yarbrough’s column in last week’s Covington News about playing a role in the 1996 Atlanta Games, and how they were panned for looking like a flea market.

Rio was a disaster. Toyota even backed out of advertising in the upcoming Tokyo Games because it doesn’t want to be associated with an event so deeply unpopular in Japan.

And still.

There is something so captivating about the Olympics.

Every four (and now five) summers, it’s all I have on television. The stories and the sports are amazing to watch.

And this year it’s even better. Beyond a rooting interest for Team USA just because they’re Team USA, we have a real, live, Walton County woman competing in Tokyo.

Javianne Oliver, a 2013 Monroe Area grad, is taking part in both the 100-meter dash and the 100-meter relay. I think she’s got a real chance at a medal.

The Monroe Diversity Advisory Board has a series of watch parties planned for downtown to help local people gather and cheer her on. That’s going to be a fantastic experience.

The Games definitely have their issues, but for the events themselves, I’m sold out and can’t wait to tune in — especially this year. If you need me, I’ll be on the couch, or at one of these parties, watching.


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