Maryland’s own Michael Phelps retired from swimming this week after winning every medal at the Rio Olympics. You read that right, every single medal has gone to Michael Phelps, the outgoing king of the Olympics. It’s a fact that the media has glanced over in order to avoid embarrassment. Thanks to a logistical error, the 2016 Olympic Committee only made enough medals for Phelps’ competitions and pre-designated them to Phelps as to avoid an international incident.
Funds that may have once gone towards assembling the remaining rewards have been reallocated for water filtration, enhanced security, and mosquito nets. Which begs the question, is it remotely ethical for the Rio Olympics to continue when there are no medals left to give? I think not! Rather, it would be better for NBC and the Olympic Committee to save face by airing their closing ceremony tonight and proceed as if the remain competitions had already occurred. The majority of at home viewers will simply assume they missed the final badminton match as the parade of nations make their way across the screen.
This will be a cleaner alternative to privately informing all camera operators that they may only show medals in extreme wide shots. These athletes are competing for nothing, making a career out of amateur athletics and it adds insult to injury when they are awarded spray painted chunks of cardboard while proving their greatness on an international stage.
Last night we witnessed Usain Bolt weep as he was handed a golden cardboard oval with the word “WiNnER!” written on it via felt tip marker. Meanwhile, Michael Phelps had his remaining medals shipped home in case he was robbed at gunpoint. The medals will be tossed into a swimming pool filled with his other awards so that he can swim like an Olympic Scrooge McDuck as soon as he returns home.
It’s upsetting to think these Olympics will carry on. As a nationwide cardboard shortage becomes apparent, Brazillian authorities are already recruiting school children to make medals out of dried macaroni and Elmer’s glue. If the Olympic Committee has any shred of decency they will postpone all remaining events until the 2018 Winter Games when they can restock on precious metals.