By Ken Reed

The London 2012 Olympics have wrapped up. In retrospect, from an athletic competition standpoint, the Games were a huge success. There was plenty of athletic drama, exciting finishes, and world-record performances. But as I wrote during the Olympics, there were several disturbing stories too.

The extreme commercialization was nauseating, and the reports of freedoms and rights being taken away from athletes by Olympic power brokers were depressing. Moreover, the over-the-top nationalism surrounding the incessant medal count discussions took away from the athletic competition itself.

Nevertheless, as a lifelong lover of sports (i.e., the action on the fields, courts, etc.), I was captivated by the amazing — and varied — collection of athletic talent in London and the terrific competition.

I love the fact that the greatest athletes in the world gathered in one place to test themselves in the most pressurized situations imaginable. I love seeing how elite athletes train physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I love the drama of athletic competition on the biggest stage.

I just wish it didn’t come with all the baggage that the Olympics do.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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