Dédé the Sardine is a big Olympic fish.
“I am the master of the universe,” Dédé said a few years before his death in 2016, at the age of 97. Dédé was born in André Guelfi. His confidants in the International Olympic Committee called him a sardine, which is a tribute to their riches in sardines.
Back ashore, Guelfi is the consultant to the legendary godfather of sports and the president of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch. He figured out in 1980 how to use television and corporate sponsorship to dying Olympic Games Resurrected as a prosperous multimedia behemoth, now in hospital and not vaccinated with COVID-19 in Tokyo.
“The International Olympic Committee is indeed the master of the universe,” the Sardine murmured. “When we ask for something, we will get everything.”
They did it. The Moroccan-born French businessman and Formula One driver has helped the 91-member International Olympic Committee weather storms of scandal, greed and misery for decades. Like his friend Samaranch, Guelfi was vaccinated with a phonograph needle and did not sneer at what you said he or his sometimes stinky, always colorful derailment on the multi-billion-dollar Olympic gravy train. The only requirement is that you spell their names correctly and the story appears on the first page, above the fold.
Guelfi is more cunning than those of us who reported the six Olympic Games I recorded in the newsprint era. He knew that global criminal investigations covering corruption, corruption, malfeasance, and extortion of the International Olympic Committee and a large number of boxcars in US Congressional hearings would derail the moment the athletes stepped onto the center of the stage.
Exercise is the ultimate goal of distraction. This is Sardine’s calculation-because the 3.2 billion fans who watch the Olympics on TV always prefer heroes to villains. The pleasure of victory, the pain of defeat. Everything else is meaningless.
COVID-19 may be an Olympic event that cannot be whitewashed. The coronavirus has buried more than 4.5 million people worldwide, of which about 15,000 are in Japan. Only the columbarium in Tokyo is operating at full capacity. The government has ordered the emptying of the stadium, quieting the audience, and emptying the corporate reception tents. However, the “Master of the Universe” demanded that Japan’s $25 billion performance-the most expensive performance in Olympic history-must continue.
The reason is of course money.
The postponement of the 2020 Olympics to 2021 dazzled them. Nearly 75% of the income of the International Olympic Committee comes from the sale of broadcasting rights. It is estimated that if the Olympics are cancelled, it will lose between 3 billion and 4 billion U.S. dollars. Consider the 126 million people in Japan, 83% of whom are not vaccinated, they paid about 19 billion US dollars for the lock-in event, and they were unable to recover more than 820 million US dollars in ticket sales.
“How to prevent people enjoying the Olympics from going out to drink is a major issue,” said Norihisa Tamura, Japan’s Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare. According to Japan’s coronavirus Olympics agreement, anyone found having fun will face arrest, and if they are foreigners, they will be deported.
When Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, arrived at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, it coincided with the fifth wave of COVID-19. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a six-week state of emergency because of the increasing number of cases. Bach was taken from the anti-Olympic protesters to the luxurious Okura Hotel for a three-day self-quarantine. In the room, he provided a menu suggestion of $40 for soy milk skin and sea urchin with starchy soy sauce. In addition to the 1.3 billion U.S. dollars invested by the Olympic Committee in the Tokyo Olympics, the polite Japanese officials were too shy to formally ask him for a few dollars.
This discomfort caused Bach to seek a grand posture through television to shift the focus from the number of casualties of COVID-19, and eventually became his favorite candidate to win the 2021 Olympic gold medal in the cognitive dissonance of the Hiroshima Sprint. That’s where the 15-kilometer nuclear explosion in 1945 killed more than 135,000 people and caused the largest untreated human trauma before the coronavirus. The 64,000 radioactive ghosts on the pilgrimage of IOC Vice President John Coates to Nagasaki were selected to collect silver.
Civil organizations in both cities said that this divisive gimmick “humiliated” what happened in their communities. The anger is obvious. They sent Bach a petition signed by more than 40,000 people, and everyone begged him to cancel these events. But the International Olympic Committee only accepts the guidance of Mount Olympus, and the modern muse Otter is likely to order Bach to listen to his wisdom for another troubled Greek life organization in the movie Animal House:
“This situation absolutely requires someone to make a futile and stupid move.”
This is the Greek gods-they inspired the game, the IOC embraced their mythology enthusiastically-called arrogance. This is a crime, and ancient Greek judges are not ashamed to convict. Sometimes, punishment will fall into the hands of higher authorities. “After arrogance,” a Greek poet wrote, “the goddess of nemesis” came, and Zeus appointed the goddess of justice to visit the earth in the form of a goose. Even Croesus could not buy Nemesis.
But the cash flow of the International Olympic Committee is better than that of the King of Lydia, and Tokyo is just another goose. The next stop of the Brotherhood is Beijing 2022, followed by Paris 2024. Once the master of the universe leaves the city, no matter what financial misfortune, political chaos or medical disaster is left behind, it is irrelevant to them, just like the situation in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Salt Lake City and all other host cities.
Sardines once joked bitterly that the IOC’s interest in changing its behavior rarely goes further than ordering something other than prawn cocktails from the room service menu. I suggest they try Okura’s $30 bowl of seaweed in vinegar.