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My Nickel’s Worth                                             by Randy Ooney




Each leap year, we are treated to a number of sports on TV that we only see about once every four years.  This year, in the opening ceremonies from Beijing, we were treated also to an event that contained more color and pageantry than a pair of Guppy Troup’s pants.   So the games have begun.


I’m not sure who gets to decide which sports are Olympic events.  Basketball is a slam dunk, Track and Field events are a given.  Baseball and Softball are on the way out.  But bowling is a never was.  Amletto Monacelli and Mats Karlson proved it was an international sport, and there is now a Japan Cup stop on the PBA tour  But bowling has not found its way to the Olympic venue.  Equestrian is in there  I would venture to say that more people in the world own a bowling ball than own a horse.  Volleyball, Badminton, Ping Pong, and Water Polo have all made it. 


McDonald’s is one of the sponsors of the Olympics, and they show people who look like Olympic team members enjoying a Happy Meal with maybe some chocolate covered bacon bits for dessert.  I think it’s a Kroc.  I’ve seen the physique on some of the Olympians and I doubt if they’ve actually been to a Mickey Dee’s in their life.  But Olympic marketing is also an event that happens once every four years.


My wife was born in Xi’an, China so as we watch the games we are like the couple at the Metrodome where the guy is wearing a Twins cap, while his significant other has on a Sox jersey.  So while I root for the red, white, and blue; she is partial to the Big Red Machine, (not the one from Cincinnati).  That’s okay.  Politics has no business in the Olympics, and I hope the athletes are allowed to compete on their own skills and merits, without controversy or reference to what’s going on in the world.


So, congratulations to Beijing and the Peoples Republic of China for providing a great theatre for this page of Olympic history, and here’s hoping that we may someday see bowling as an Olympic event.     


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