Three weeks ago the Wire was pleased to bring you four reasons not to watch the Winter Olympics. On the eve of the games, here is, correspondingly, a roundup reasons of why you should watch the games.
- Continuing Controversy With Figure Skating The 2002 scandal over questionable judging wasn't the end of the matter, warns Slate's Ray Fisman. "Just in time for Vancouver's Games," Eric Zitzewitz, who published a study after the 2002 event, "has released a follow-up study showing that reforms aimed at keeping judges honest have been ineffective at best, and possibly have even made the problem worse." But he did have suggestions: "the ISU could leave judges behind their masks of anonymity but reveal their scores to a group of data crunchers like him. If the ISU can't keep skating honest," points out Fisman, "maybe economists can."
- New Precedents for Handling Sex Ambiguity? Time's Meg Handley reminds readers that international sporting events still haven't figured out how to deal with "sexually ambiguous" athletes; the controversy over Caster Semenya is still fresh in the minds of many.
- New Precedents in Racial Representation? At Foreign Policy, Annie Lowrey recalls a Slate piece back in 2006 about the dearth of non-Caucasians at the winter Olympics. "Surely," muses Lowrey, "globalization, the world getting flatter, has meant that more countries have started competing in winter games, as their athletes can train abroad."
- Cool Animals A lynx "popped up on an Olympic ski-run" yesterday, much to Huffington Post blogger Giles Slade's delight. He pens a tribute to this "one animal that says wild-ness to [him]." They're exceedingly rare in the United States, but more common in Canada, "one of the last wild places on the planet."
- Snow and Global Warming As the Wire covered yesterday, lack of snow in Vancouver is playing into a debate over climate change brought on by the mid-Atlantic U.S.'s heavy winter storms. The debate continues, with both The Weekly Standard and environmentalist site TreeHugger covering the Vancouver shortage of snow. "Winter Olympics 2056 in the South Pole, perhaps?" asks Stephen Messenger for TreeHugger. "As global temperatures rise, cities hosting the Winter Olympics may find it increasingly difficult to ensure, or at least confidently predict, the weather will allow the games to be possible."
- Canadian Government Making Enemies With the Canadians "forced to import snow--on the public dime," The Nation's Dave Zirin
argues that the public is getting irritated, and, thus, "the need to
silence dissent becomes an International Olympic Committee imperative."
Border control has tightened, he reports.
- Canadian Government Positively Shutting Down D.C. dysfunction during a snowstorm is nothing, asserts Newsweek's Sarah Kliff: "using the Olympics as a partial justification, the Canadian Parliament is in the middle of a two-month shutdown."