|>>|| No. 9719
I think it depends how into sports (that aren't club football) you are or were growing up. There was a big boxing scene in my hometown due to a few (now famous) faces turning professional, and many young talents cut their teeth by showing some promise in the Olympics.
I think everyone instinctively gets the "purity" of track and field athletics, and people with Jamaican ancestry are rightly proud of their achievements in sprinting. The swimming and horse stuff is mainly for the posh who had access to the facilities at a young enough age to get really good at it. Weightlifting and gymnastics were always massively popular in Eastern bloc countries, and you'd have had to have slept through the 2008 Beijing games if you didn't notice China's ascendancy in both, making for some really exciting competition.
Some hobby sports are now being picked up as niche events, like climbing and skateboarding. You could be cynical and say this is the Olympics attempting to stay relevant, but sports fall in and out of favour over time, and I would be inclined to say the more the better.
Personally I get more excited about the Olympics than any other big sporting event, with the exception of maybe a really big boxing matchup or the Six Nations, just because of the sheer amount of talent on display. I can tune into a discipline I know fuck-all about and see the world's best doing it. As much as I hate the commercialism, that still feels pretty special.