The Olympics are an obnoxious, monumental waste of money.
I wonder how many lives could be positively affected by the money China will spend hosting the Olympics this year. Estimates put the figure at around forty billion dollars.* Imagine that. As a race, would we really rather spend that money on a garish, gaudy, wasteful display than help feed or heal those in need?
Does anyone really care about the Olympics, anyway? Isn't it really just a dated, steroid-strewn path to the front of the Wheaties box? Television ratings are generally fairly low... it's amazing that NBC can afford to pay billions just for the right to cover the events.
I say keep the Olympics but conduct them in existing facilities. Make them about sports and national pride, not buildings and audacious displays of pretension.
And why not give out pyrite medals?
*The Iraq war costs more than twice that every year. Imagine that, too.