More Olympic glory than ever before

Kevin Hotaling   |   Aug 6, 2016

While the majority of U.S. psudeo-intellectuals are freaking out over this year’s political circus, I’m just sitting back like “damn, Darya Klishina is looking good.” This isn’t due to her athletic training or genetic wealth: no, she’s looking so good because I just picked up a magical $15 antenna from Amazon.

Best TV quality ever

HDTV PenetrationThis may be the first Olympic competition in South America, but the Games have never been closer. NBC is beaming out professionally-produced 1080i coverage that is freely accessible to anyone with an antenna like mine. In order to truly appreciate this technological marvel, you’ll need an HDTV. But not to worry, 81% of American households already have one, and the remainder can pick up a gorgeous 42″ 4K TV for a few days’ wages.

More coverage than ever

For those with access to the full stream (via cable and internet), there will be 6755 hours of this stunning HD coverage. That’s about 40 times the meager 170 hours of grainy junk that NBC dribbled out for the 1996 Atlanta Games. A particularly obsessive fan could actually watch NBC Rio for 40 hours per week, every week, and barely finish in time for skateboarding’s debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

More participants than ever

If we’re going to have all this coverage, it’s fitting that there’s more to cover: the 2016 Olympics mark the first time that more than 11,000 athletes have participated. This can be explained in part by ever-increasing number of events (306) and sports (28) that are included in the games, which is fun, but it also a promising sign that so many humans – all around around the world – have the luxury to pursue sportsing so hard.

More women than ever

Women_percent_summer_olympicsI know we’re not supposed to acknowledge gender any more, but these Olympic Games are the first in which humans born with lady-stuff represent more than 45% of the participants. Although I’m no fan of forced equality, a world that’s open enough and wealthy enough to send thousands of scantily-clad women to an elite sports competition sure seems like a win.

More countries than ever

countriesWhere do all these people come from? Well, there are 208 countries at the Rio Olympics, plus a refugee team. This is intriguing because that actually exceeds the 206 sovereign states recognized by the U.N. For all intents and purposes, this is the first event in the history of the world that has included, get this: the entire f*cking world.

The nature of human progress is the pursuit of ever-larger, ever-more-cooperative, and ever-more-efficient win-win games. The 2016 Rio Olympics are the literal embodiment of this concept, and you can watch the whole damn spectacle from the comfort of your living room … in high-def, 1080i glory … for free.

So, what does it all mean?

Bu-bu-but, aren’t people calling the Olympics a horrible injustice? Yes, Olympic villages are clear examples of Keynesian economic idiocy. Yes, the monopoly / government involvement results in uncommon waste, theft, and corruption. Yes, some people use events like these to stoke nationalism and division. But when compared to real Keynsian idiocy, real government waste, true government atrocities, and our historical isolation, the Rio Olympic Games don’t even register.

What Rio does show us is that human civilization marches ever-forward. And the very same trends and technologies that produced the many superlatives identified above are producing similar results for virtually all human endeavors. Chins up, my fellow Americans: it’s a bright future ahead, regardless of what your politically obsessed neighbors might have you believe.