1. The 1936 Berlin Olympics, in which American participation was ensured by the racist, sexist, antisemitic, Nazi-sympathizing future decades-long IOC president Avery Brundage (also, the IOC’s subsequent failure to accept responsibility for its role in legimitizing Hitler).
2. The 1972 Munich Olympics (and the IOC’s subsequent refusal even to memorialize the victims, apparently for fear of antagonizing those Olympic countries that still celebrate the murder of the 11 Israeli athletes).
3. Even after you leave out 1936 and 1972, the repeated granting of unearned legitimacy to the world’s murderous dictatorships—as well as “glory” to those countries most able to coerce their children into lives of athletic near-slavery (or, in the case of more “civilized” countries, outspend their rivals).
4. The sanctimonious fiction that, after all this, we need the Olympics because of their contributions to world peace and brotherhood (a claim about which we now arguably have a century of empirical data).
5. The double-standard that holds “winning a medal is everything” to be a perfectly-reasonable life philosophy for a gymnast, yet would denounce the same attitude if expressed by a scientist or mathematician.
6. The increasingly-convoluted nature of what it is that the athletes are supposed to be optimizing (“run the fastest, but having taken at most these performance-enhancing substances and not those, unless of course you’re a woman with unusually-high testosterone, in which case you must artificially decrease your testosterone before competing in order to even things out”)
7. The IOC’s notorious corruption, and the fact that hosting the Olympics is nevertheless considered such a wonderful honor and goal for any aspiring city.
8. The IOC’s farcical attempts to control others’ use of five interlocked rings and of the word “Olympics.”
The fact that swimmers have to use a particular stroke, rather than whichever stroke will propel them through the water the fastest (alright, while the “freestyle” rules still seem weird to me, I’m taking this one out given the amount of flak it’s gotten)
10. The fact that someone like me, who knows all the above, and who has less interest in sports than almost anyone on earth, is still able to watch an Olympic event and care about its outcome.