From a living room TV, the Rio Olympics might seem all glitz and glamour, but there is a dark side to the games. While the world celebrates dramatic stories of perseverance and glory, a whole section of society goes hungry, and there is one troubling statistic that brings it all into focus: The amount of gymnasts being funneled into the Rio Olympics is enough to feed a psychopath for up to three weeks.
That should give you some real pause.
This problem is deeply systemic. The U.S. Olympic team is taking top-tier American gymnasts and shipping them to Rio, while deranged maniacs are going hungry right here at home. Making things worse is that American psychopaths can’t travel to Rio to feed, because the invisible force field around America won’t let them. Meanwhile, we cheer for our athletes on the parallel bars and balance beam like this issue doesn’t even exist.
Imagine a starving psychopath in his remote shed in the middle of the woods, having the excesses of Olympic gymnastics shoved in his face every night on TV while he can’t even remember the last time he had the limber body of a world-class pommel horse champion shackled to his wall. Who will stand up to the multibillion dollar Olympics machine that parades hundreds of gymnasts around in one arena like no one’s fucked-up diet depends on them?
We are all complicit in this.
No one is trying to take Olympic gymnastics away. We just need smart solutions to keep our unhinged nutjobs fed in the future. Some fixes are easy—certainly not sending alternates who just sit there not doing anything will help some deeply disturbed lunatic have a meal or two. But that’s not enough. Do we really want to send the message to our children that it’s okay to cheer for the bloated 14-person U.S. gymnastics team while the psychopath down the street in his soundproof basement might have to risk eating an amateur gymnast, even though they are all filled with toxic radiation from cell towers?
It is no longer acceptable just to post on Facebook or Twitter about this problem without taking decisive action. It’s time we demanded change from the Olympics and its gymnastic policies. Or, quite frankly, we may be jeopardizing the next generation of psychopaths in this country.