But on the other hand I remember when the Olympics meant rooting for American amateurs competing against the "professionals" from the Soviet Union and other Eastern Block countries.
1980 US amateur hockey team beating the Soviet Union and winning the gold metal? We were "David" to the Soviet Union's "Goliath." A real life Rocky movie. But with the breakup of the Soviet Union and the introduction of American professional athletes the roles have reversed in the past few Olympics. Somehow I can't find myself rooting for the Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James led US basketball team beating up on mismatched teams from other countries. I actually find myself hoping some other country might play their "game of a lifetime" and sending a message to these over-hyped, over-payed professionals.
It also seems that the coaches from the countries that produced the past foreign dominant teams have all migrated to coaching the American athletes. Coaches, like professional athletes, go where the money is. The best coaching and training facilities have tipped the competition in the United States favor. Has the US Olympic team become the New York Yankees and we win by outspending our competition? It is probably unrealistic to think that the Olympics will ever return to its amateur model when the Olympics have become another money-driven corporate entity.
It also seems that the size and expense of the Olympics, especially the Summer games, has become so expensive to host that only a handful of countries have any realistic chance to host the games. For most of the world's athletes competing in the Olympics will be an "away game."
Call me a socialist but I would like to see some type of revenue sharing plan for the Olympics (like the NFL) that gave talented athletes from all countries the same competitive resources. And to tell LeBron that winning an NBA title in the professional world should be enough glory for him in one year.
If you want to see an amazing Olympic story look at this.
Heard the report of the landing and first pictures.