1. The Olympics are hosted by a CITY (as opposed to country)
I’m sure the idea of having a single city host an event like the Olympics worked fine 100 years ago but now there are so many sports and nations involved that the whole single city thing is ridiculous. It places a tremendous burden on the cities involved and guarantees that only rich cities supported by rich governments can actually host. All of the major single-sport tournaments like the World Cup, Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup, etc. are hosted by a NATION, or sometimes 2 nations. In this way everything is spread out in a manageable way.
2. The whole thing takes place over approximately 16 days
Once again making a comparison to the big single-sport world events, the Olympics are really short. Granted, the Rugby and Cricket World Cups are way too long at 6 weeks but soccer’s World Cup is about 4 weeks, which seems just right. The primary result of having so many sports contested in such a short period is that most sports are buried under the popular Olympic sports of gymnastics, figure skating and athletics (aka track & field for us Americans). It makes more sense to schedule the sports like pentathlon, water polo and field hockey early in a one-month schedule, building up to the more popular sports taking place over the last 2 weeks. All the sports will get more attention and more $$$ will probably made AND less of a scheduling burden would be placed on the host city.
3. The admissions process is run by a Good Ol’ Boys Club
The criteria for a sport to enter into the Olympics is impressive, it has to be played in something like 75 countries on 3 or 4 continents, I can’t remember. On paper this makes sense but it means that sports like team handball, which is played in many countries but not especially popular in any of them, is in the Olympics but cricket, which is very popular in about a dozen countries with a combined population of about 1.5 billion is not included. Now, if the 75 nations/4 continents thing was a solid rule granting automatic membership that would be good but nope! All the sports that are currently in get together and vote on whether these other newfangled sports get to compete.
Not long ago baseball was kicked out because Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball don’t let the pros compete. For no good reason at all softball was kicked out at the same time even though it does send its best players and is played in many more countries by many more people than sports like equestrian riding. Rugby, a much, much more popular game than most Olympics sports, was supsequently considered for inclusion but since denied. Meanwhile, soccer, which only allows Under-23 teams (plus 5 overage players) is not singled out for its policy of not sending the best players available.
Many of the current member sports are incredibly obscure and probably no longer fit the requirement of 75 nations/four continents but they all band together in a voting bloc to protect themselves. Don’t kid yourself when you hear about seeing the premier athletes in the world at the Olympics. So many of the sports are not taken seriously by their best athletes (tennis, bicycling, maybe even basketball) and so many others are obscure sports that only a few thousand psychos play.
As we all know, the various Olympic committes have quite a weakness for bribes. I don’t have to go into this one, as the various law enforcement agencies of the world have done so already.
5. Stupid TV contracts
The TV contracts for the Olympics are not about getting the best exposure for sports but rather for getting the most $$$ possible. NBC seems to always show the games here and they almost completely ignore the events that are legit but not popular in America which bugs me as I enjoy national team sports in general.
I do not hate the Olympics. I especially like the team sports, which includes basketball, soccer, ice hockey, field hockey, team handball, water polo and volleyball. Unfortunately, they probably won’t be shown very much, what with all the GYMNASTICS and TRACK.