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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

question of the weekend: Is the Olympics relevant anymore?

Olympics 2012 logo

Once upon a time, in the era before jet travel and mass communications, perhaps it made sense to gather athletes together from all over the world every four years to test them against one another. It would have been a rare and exciting moment for the whole planet, and for sportspeople everywhere.

But today? Fast jet travel means athletes are competing all over the world every day in high-profile events. Satellite television means that fans in Canada can watch Australian-rules football live, and South America soccer fans can witness the World Cup as it happens in Italy. Even when Olympic athletes are technically amateurs, many of them are already famous, known and proven quantities on their field of play, and beloved personalities off. For team events in sports with national or international leagues — soccer; basketball; ice hockey — the Olympics now serve either a tryout for a spot on a professional team, or Olympic rules about amateurs are bent to allow pro players to compete.

I’m not sure any of this is wholly in keeping with the Olympic spirit.

What do you think? Is the Olympics relevant anymore? If it isn’t, is there any possibility that the tradition of the modern Games would end, and if so, what might make that happen?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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