General Question

andrew's avatar

Do you think the Olympics generate a net-positive or -negative emotional experience?

Asked by andrew (16380points) August 17th, 2008

Sure, you have all the amazing wins (and feelings that go with it), but you also have tons of disappointment. Of course, you also have the unexpected people who are happy with zilver or bronze, but then the upsets as well.

What do you think?

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6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I think for the athletes that attend the experience is positive no matter what their personal outcome is. The shared experience with people from around the world, the chance to compete with the best in their sport. The Opening and Closing ceremonies marking the games as something special, a time set apart.

For spectators, I think we like to root our teams on, but we also like the heatwarming stories from around the world. We like to root, period.

Win-win even if you don’t win, I think.

lefteh's avatar

I agree with Marina.
Participating in the Olympics is something special. It is an honor for each athlete to don the colors of his or her country and be deemed a representative of the same. Even if you don’t bring home the gold, you have that honor.

andrew's avatar

I dunno… I just saw the Brazilian blow his floor routine and he was pretty full of anguish…

lefteh's avatar

I would be too, at that moment. After I just blew my chances at an Olympic medal, I would be upset. However, after the initial shock and anguish subsides, I watch my teammates compete, I attend the closing ceremonies, and I remember that I was chosen out of everyone in my country to represent the nation, I would be filled with pride.

kevbo's avatar

I would say net positive. It’s inspiring to witness world class athletes do their thing. As Phelps’ teammate said of his accomplishment, it was bigger than a clutch putt in the US Open or any other championship moment. There are already a lot of negatives that have happened during these games, but there’s still plenty of magic happening, including a 33 yo gymnast taking silver, a 40 yo swimmer taking silver and a 38 yo marathon runner taking gold (not that magic requires age, but they’re just recent examples).

I think it’s probably hardest for athletes who are on the bubble of medal contention and don’t make it, but for everyone else it goes more or less as expected and thus “losing” isn’t as much of a hardship.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s drama. Better, it’s drama without a predetermined ending. People love it. The good and the bad. That’s entertainment!

As far as the athletes are concerned: they want to do their best, and when you fail to do what you know you can do, you are understandably upset. For the audience, that’s a crucial part of the drama. We can all identify. For the athlete, it can follow them a long time. It’s the risk they take. Some will tell them they did well for making it to the final round. But they’ll think about what coulda been, maybe for a long time.

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