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James' Rant of the Week "The Olympics"

By JamesRL ·
Somehow the whole world has lost the ideas of sportsmanship, fair play and the idea that the Olympics is about competition, not just winning.

The emphasis on medal count is just one example of this. I think its great that Micheal Phelps can win in the pool. Does that mean the US is better than everyone else? If so, then what about Jamaica, which dominated womens and mens sprints?

The athletes are individuals, and once upon a time, we honored them, instead of what happens today which is essentially making them pariahs if they don't perform as expected.

The nation of China is in shock because a hurdler had an injury - do we wonder why some athletes suffer from nerves when they feel the weight of the whole nations expectations on them?

Canada was laughed at earlier this week when it had zero medals and even Togo had earned one. Does anyone seriously think that Togo has better athletics than Canada? Of course not, but somehow the Olympic fever has turned into an ugly sickness.

Getting to the Olympics is a crap shoot. Its not enough to want to win. Genetics plays a factor, coaching, and even now science - US swimmers had scientists analyze their strokes on custom tweaked them to be more efficient.

But in the end of course, all the genetics, coaching and science can't give someone the drive to win, it can only put them in position. And outside pressure can undo years of training and hard work.

We shouldn't judge our countries and our atheletes solely on medal counts. Canadian swimmers only won one medal in the pool, but a very young team scored a number of personal bests - can we ask for more?

When the Olympics were revived, it was hoped that they would be a place for young people from around the world to gather, meet, compete against each other, learn about each other, and dissolve some of the barriers between them.

It seems to have turned into just another competition for gold.

James

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Ski race judging is comparatively easy

by JamesRL In reply to He is far to busy for tha ...

The races were ran, including provincial championships and the odd national meet, were all Giant Slalom. All the judges have to do is make sure the skiier doesn't miss a gate, and usually if they do, there are telltale tracks to help the judge. I know how to set up electronic timing equipment and keep it running in all conditions, maintain the race course, record the results etc. It wasn't glamourous but it was fun, and that work allowed us to ski at a private club for free for the year, and they usually held a thank you party.

Ski judging is rather unlike say, diving, where the judges must assess the performances based on sometimes subjective factors.

The big changes came about due to scandals in figure skating, where bribes were paid and votes traded. So now in many judged sports, they throw out the highest and lowest marks, and multiple by a degree of difficulty (in diving for example). That makes it more difficult to cheat, because you would have to involve all the judges not just a select few.

One of the things that multiple replays has pointed out to me is the fact that the judges don't get all the perspectives the cameras do. I noticed in diving that some teams had flaws overlooked, but it seemed to be only visible from a different angle than the judge had (or slo mo).

Bad calls also exist outside of the Olympics, I see them in world cup soccer and other big events. Its one of the reasons I prefer not to watch figure skating or gymnastics.

James

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Ah well,

by mrabevigoda In reply to He is far to busy for tha ...

I suppose as long as there are "Humans" judging anything there will be errors, cheaters, etc.

It just seems to be extremely prevalent in the '08 Summer Olympics. Hopefully they will manage to work out any 'bugs' for future Olympics.

I'll check back in 2010 to see what you have to say about the Judging in the skiing events.

Hey, here's a thought. During the Winter Olympic skiing events they should leave Country and names out of it until the judging is over with. As much gear as they wear they could just all have the same colors and use a number/draw system that they work up the day of and change daily so the judges (or fans) would not know who was who or where they are from until the Medals are awarded. Just a thought ...

Take care JameRL and I appreciate your level headed responses.

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No wife, no horse, no moustache

by seanferd In reply to #1

I'm glad you care, whatever it is you care about.<br>
<i/>Just because some have cheated and some have shown bad sportsmanship does not devalue or negate others efforts, hopes, and dreams.</i> <br><br>
Who said it did? Who brought cheating into the discussion? I don't disagree.
<br><br>
There was no proposed requirement to follow every sport known to Man, in order to cheer you favorites at the Olympics. The point, for the other half of the slow crowd, is that there are some (not all) people more interested in the medal count than the Games. There are those who boo and boo-hoo over the medal count, with very little interest in the sports. That's all.
<br><br>
You can disagree all you like, but if you can't even understand the point, what is <i>your</i> point?
<br><br>
I read everyone's posts with interest. I responded to yours because you are so far out in left field. I see now that, difference of opinion aside, there is no communicating with you.
<br><br>
\/ Later.

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The only thing I have seen change is the attitude

by jdclyde In reply to Innaccurate and incorrect

of "Anyone but China", where it used to be "Anyone but the Commie Rushkies".

It is and should be about being the best of the best though, like any competition.

There are a lot of non-swim fans that are not happy with all the hub-bub being made about it, with a single athlete dominating so many competitions and making so much press. The fact that he set records at almost every event, and DID take Gold every time, does say a lot about him, as a swimmer.

I was amazed at that 100 meter dash and him slowing down before the race was even over.

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Having read JamesRL...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Hmm

for a few years now, that is extremely unlikely.

I agree with him, and I'm not from Canada, I'm from the USA.

It should be about the games, the skill, and overcoming barriers. Big deal on the medals.

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Canada

by -Q-240248 In reply to James' Rant of the Week " ...

No medals. LOL!

Even West Des Moines, Iowa has a medal!

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Again out of date

by JamesRL In reply to Canada
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Why are you posting here Q?

by jimmy-jam In reply to Canada

By your definition is this not spam?

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And worse yet

by jdclyde In reply to Why are you posting here ...

he wasn't very nice or polite, was he?

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Just a quick question

by Oz_Media In reply to Canada

"Canada

No medals. LOL!"

What does that say to you?
Canada hasn't got any athletes?
Canada is a weaker country?

You make a comment that has no value to it at all and expect it to mean something, so what's the end result?

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