The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat….
No, that’s not the Olympic motto (they’re all about their Faster, Higher, Stronger…). But it is the tagline that ABC’s Wild World of Sports came up with for turning athletic competition into, well, a soap opera.
Faster, higher, stronger is awesome, but it’s the personal stories that keep viewers in front of the tube, cheering for athletes who don’t have a shot at a medal… as long as the story is a good one. Quick, name the folks who actually beat Eddie the Eagle in skiing, or the Jamaican bobsledding team. There. See?
But turnabout is fair play. If the Olympics are now just a multi-week soap-opera (that, ironically, is preempting an actual soap-opera, Days of Our Lives) with periodic bursts of running, swimming and tumbling to break up the tear-jerking but ultimately uplifting tales, why shouldn’t Olympians get the chance to periodically pop up amidst the tear-jerking but ultimately uplifting tales on soaps?
Check out our Top 5 favorite appearances at Entertainment Weekly!