The Big Mac Blog

Aussie WNBA player has right attitude about disaster Olympics

Dallas Wings guard Erin Phillips (left) is going to play for Team Australia in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Dallas Wings guard Erin Phillips (left) is going to play for Team Australia in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. AP

The Summer Olympics begin this week, and tales of poop-filled water, human body remains on the shore, petty crime, serious crime, terrorism with a topping of the Zika virus have beset the Rio Games.

Sign me up.

Star-Telegram staffer Charean Williams will be covering this event, Erin Phillips of the WNBA’s Dallas Wings will be playing for her Team Australia ... and I am green with envy.

The Olympics are a cataclysmic waste of money for the host cities, and have morphed into an idealistic, corrupt cash-grab by the leaders of International Olympic Committee.

I will forever remain a sucker for the Olympics and have learned to ignore the typical tales of despair, panic and inadequacy that are normal pre-Olympic talk chatter.

“Why go?” Phillips asked rhetorically in a recent interview after a Wings game. “It does play in the back of my mind a little bit, but we have to keep living. You can’t let these things stop you from fulfilling your dreams and that is exactly how I look at it.”

So trite, and so completely true. Be smart but live your life. Good for her, Charean Williams and everybody else who is willfully disregarding all of the panic talk and doing the Olympics specifically because it’s still the Olympics.

You don’t go to the Olympics. You do the Olympics.

“I think the Olympics brings people together. If you took the Olympics away, what do athletes strive for? It’s the pinnacle of sport,” Phillips said. “It’s a huge expense but there has to keep being an Olympic games. I’m a big supporter in it.”

Now, she did say this before the leaders of the Australian Olympic team complained, quite loudly, of horrid living conditions at the athletes’ village in Rio. No worries - the mayor of Rio offered to give the team a kangaroo.

There have been tales of blocked toilets (not good), faulty wiring and other plumbing issues.

The Australian swim team, however, has had no complaints.

Phillips already competed in the Olympics before, so it’s not as if she needs this on her resume.

“I will be a lot more aware of my surroundings. I won’t be going out of the Olympic village unless it’s for practice or games,” she said. “The good thing about our team is we went to Rio in January for a pre Olympic tournament and we were able to do sight-seeing then.”

Unlike her previous Olympic experiences, Phillips’ family will not be making the trip to watch her play. It’s not cheap, and the logistics are not easy.

They will be at home watching, just like I will even though I wish I was there in Rio.

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