The thing I am looking forward to the least right now is the Olympics, and I have a colonoscopy scheduled. The only answer is a drinking game.

Enough with "politics by sportscasters for those who only care about politics." I threw away my Mao (and Che) T-shirts sophomore year. We all know Beijing is not a democratic regime. So for some sort of balance, can we all agree that for every hundred references to the Uighurs, Tibet and Hong Kong, we make one to where and how Covid all began? Or will the mainstream media continue...

The thing I am looking forward to the least right now is the Olympics, and I have a colonoscopy scheduled. The only answer is a drinking game.

Enough with “politics by sportscasters for those who only care about politics.” I threw away my Mao (and Che) T-shirts sophomore year. We all know Beijing is not a democratic regime. So for some sort of balance, can we all agree that for every hundred references to the Uighurs, Tibet and Hong Kong, we make one to where and how Covid all began? Or will the mainstream media continue their coverage détente? Bottoms up for every reference to bats, pangolins and Chinese wet markets.

Speaking of Covid, a drink every time announcers insist China’s Covid crackdown is autocratic draconianism while ignoring that much of the same was done in America. A drink for every explanation that China’s Covid autocratic draconianism crackdown is actually keeping the athletes safe, except when it makes China look bad, such as in the case of Belgian Kim Meylemans, who arrived in Beijing having tested positive and was sent to a hotel for three days of isolation.

When Meylemans was not released on her timetable to the Olympic Village, she went on social media and cried enough that she was then sent to the Village, where she lives in a single room and eats alone, raising the question of why any of this is happening at all. Somehow, despite the pandemic upending schools, jobs, travel, supply lines, and lives, we’ve still had two Olympics over the last six months.

I’ve got $20 on the table betting someone will later claim the Chinese manipulated the quarantine system to favor their own athletes and eliminate the competition in crucial match-ups, the way the Bulgarian judges always seemed to give US athletes low scores during the Cold War.

A drink if we ever hear again from American bobsledder Kaillie Humphries, who complained of all the unknowns surrounding the aftermath of positive tests, “It’s so confusing. It’s very frustrating. It’s scary,” after no doubt being tested a zillion times in the last year so she could live in America. Humphries tested positive and is staying in a hotel isolated from everyone except her bobsled partner, who had to sign a waiver. The whole US bobsled team is a mess, with multiple athletes testing positive, and others demanding to replace them and calling in the Court of Arbitration for Sport to basically sue to be added to the field.

Actually, new rule: just drink as much as you want anytime Covid is mentioned during the Olympics.

There is no value to hearing a twenty-something whose greatest achievement is skating in circles offer up her opinions on world events as though this were the Oscars. Have a drink the first time you hear someone from Team USA say “As a…” (Latinx, first something, gay man, etc.). Of course the award for the least effective political statement of the Olympic Games goes to Joe Biden and his “diplomatic boycott.” Nothing sends a stronger signal than for the Chinese to not see Kamala Harris in the stands.

Things have gotten so annoying I find myself agreeing with the Chinese government’s ruling that athletes are not allowed to make political statements. The New York Times reports that “China’s Communist Party has also warned that athletes are subject not only to Olympic rules, but also to Chinese law. The warnings have had… a chilling effect on dissent inside and outside the Olympic bubble.” There is no medal for dissent. They’re athletes, not spokespeople. Take a drink right now because the NYT misses the point.

Have a drink every time someone gets emotional talking about American skater Timothy LeDuc, who has already claimed the title of first openly nonbinary Winter Games athlete, a surprise considering nonbinary status is self-proclaimed and why didn’t anyone think of doing that earlier? LeDuc skates as the male in the male-female pair event. He says he and his partner ditched the romantic tropes that dominate pairs skating to focus on personal empowerment in their routines. Have a drink if you understand that.

In fact, enough with all the sexuality. That is so 1980s. Gay people of all flavors have been winning and losing since the Greeks invented the Olympics. Each medal does not really mean something significant in the advancement of human rights. Everything does not always need to be about social engineering. Each reference equals a drink.

If Chloe Kim or any other American quits or blames a poor performance on all the pressure, drink.

Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka won’t be at the Games. Have a drink.

Any mention of global climate change or China making artificial snow for the Games, throw your drink at the TV.

Free-drinking is allowed during any mini-documentaries about all the adversity an athlete had to overcome. (Does the US Olympic Committee screen for misery as part of the selection process?) Double-shots every time someone says she snowboards to honor her abuelita. Same for every omission from the biography of how mommy and daddy forced their child to hyper-train into an ubermensch, messing with her growth and sacrificing her childhood to their show pony dreams. After the tenth utterance of “my journey” or “giving back,” finish the bottle and throw it at the screen.

Like in every Olympics, some kind of Jesse Owens comparison must be found. The most likely choice will be Peng Shuai, the Chinese tennis player who largely disappeared from social media after making sexual abuse accusations against a political official. It doesn’t matter that Peng is not even competing in these winter games. Drink every time her name is mentioned.

The least likely candidate for the Jesse Owens comparison is “American” Eileen Gu. Gu, an eighteen-year-old born and raised in San Francisco with an American father, decided to compete for China based on her mother, who has lived outside of China for the last thirty years, being born there. Gu has millions of dollars in sponsorships inside China, showing the world what the true Olympic spirit looks like in 2022.

So every time someone not Chinese tries to justify Gu’s choice, take a drink. For any teary mentions of heritage, roots, or representation, make it a double.

The Winter Olympics runs until February 20. Cheers.