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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.


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You must have read it incorrectly, Oz

by jdclyde In reply to Just a quick question

As he would never have posted something both off-topic and intentionally insulting, would he?

Is anyone annoyed? B-)

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I think I'll start a new thread

by Oz_Media In reply to You must have read it inc ...

He is being an annoying and offensive spammer to say the very least.

UUUUUUUmmmmmmm, I'm telliiiiiiiiing!

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Why should the Olympics be immune??

by NotSoChiGuy In reply to James' Rant of the Week " ...

Ideals (Olympic or otherwise) have been on the express elevator down for the better part of the last 20 years or so (maybe longer, but it just seems most noticeable to me for the last 20 years).

I won't go into it much further than that (look at the various threads on this site, and you'd get all the elaboration you'd need); other than to say that when I was younger, a dystopian future seemed absurd. Now, not so much.

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I agree with you James

by TonytheTiger In reply to James' Rant of the Week " ...

Perhaps instead of admiring the medal count, we should admire (and who knows, maybe emulate) the work ethic of these athletes.

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The problem with...

by Jellimonsta In reply to I agree with you James

emulating their work ethic is that it takes too much work!

I have never really given a rip for the Olympics, but I have found myself watching almost every evening when gymnastics, swimming or sprinting is on. I had nothing but respect for those athletes and their abilities.

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by JamesRL In reply to I agree with you James

Even to qualify means you've dedicated yourself, made sacrifices and worked hard to get there.

When sometimes the margin is thousands of a second between a bronze and the fourth place, can you really be upset with 4th (unless you didn't try as hard as you could).

I know an Olympic athlete who almost died in a ski racing crash, but came back, trained hard and competed again in the Olympics. He never won a medal, despite being top 10 in the world for many years, but to me coming back from a near fatal injury and competing is a huge indication of his charecter, dedication and hard work.


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Sometimes I wonder

by Dumphrey In reply to Exactly....

if the Olympics are just a way to sell soda and other products to Americans. Maybe there is a commercial free channel for them, but I don't have it.
How much pressure on the Athletes is from the public, and how much from sponsors wanting gold medal reps?

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Very well said, James...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to James' Rant of the Week " ...

Couldn't have put it any better. Thanks.

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by Pringles86 In reply to James' Rant of the Week " ...

It's not all about the USA, but you would think otherwise if you watched the American programming here in the States. I would like to see more of the sports they aren't showing because the US isn't involved. I want to see athletes other than American ones. They did have a mens beach volleyball match that didn't have the US, Latvia vs Somebody, and it was because Latvia upset the USA.

I want to see other countries competing in live* events, not a recap of what the USA gymnastics team did, or another in depth profile of Micheal Phelps, it was cool the first time, but not the fifth.

*The events aren't even live on the west coast, or in Arizona, there is a 2-3 hour tape delay. However, NBC still says that the event is live.

I hope something changes, or that a TV network better than NBC gets the Olympics four years from now, or I won't be watching. Which is a shame because these people have trained so hard to make it, I admire all of them.

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by JamesRL In reply to USA, USA, USA!!!

Canadian coverage is becoming more like the US, it used to cover more events where Canadians aren't involved. I did see a good match between US and Japan in women's beach volleyball. And yesterday a great competition in mens weighlifting where no north Americans were involved.

But for the most part, our coverage is becoming more like yours.


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