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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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Okay,

by mrabevigoda In reply to Don't take my word

to quote another line from your "Rant" ?

"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."

Once upon a time? The athletes received medals then as they do now, we honor the best of the best with Medals. The problem with that is?????

Winners, losers, it's a competition.

If someone does not perform as expected where you work, do you give them a raise or fire them? Just curious.

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To get to the Olympics, they have to be world class

by JamesRL In reply to Okay,

Would you fire the fourth best salesman in your company because they didn't make top three? Even if they beat out thousands of others?

And of course, sports is not like people who work in a software company.

I have no problem with honoring the winners, its the attitude towards those who do not win that is the thing I object to. If you did your best, and beat your own personal best times and still didn't win, that doesn't make you worthy of shame. It simply means you didn't win. People seem to want to blame their own countries athletes for losing, when instead, they should look at the winners and appreciate the effort.

The Chinese hurdler is a good example. He holds the world record, medalled last Olympics and won at the world championships. He had an injury and stopped running before he got to the hurdle. His coach cried his eyes out, because he felt he and his athlete let China down. That kind of pressure is insane.

If sports were all predictable, we wouldn't watch. So having expectations of a medal, when you don't control the other participants, the weather, the field etc. is not the same as coaching employees.

James

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Well

by mrabevigoda In reply to To get to the Olympics, t ...

If I only needed three salesmen ? #4 is history. That's just the way it goes.

I agree with your analogy of the Chinese hurdler BUT you're talking about China. They are not exactly the best example to hold the rest of the world to. That athlete and his coach will probably go back to the China none has seen in this Olympics.

The word 'oppression' comes to mind.

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Why would you have 4 in the first place?

by seanferd In reply to Well

If you only need 3?

Does this mean that the fourth salesman sucks, or that he just isn't as good as the other three at this particular moment? What if you have a sales force of hundreds? Do you berate all who are not in the top three, regardless as to how good they are? (These are all world-class salesmen, you've already binned the unproductive or bad salesmen.)


How does the fact that it is China matter for purposes of the example?

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#2

by mrabevigoda In reply to Why would you have 4 in t ...

"If you only need 3?

Does this mean that the fourth salesman sucks, or that he just isn't as good as the other three at this particular moment? What if you have a sales force of hundreds? Do you berate all who are not in the top three, regardless as to how good they are? (These are all world-class salesmen, you've already binned the unproductive or bad salesmen.)"

Talk about being OBTUSE! We can "what if" all day long. MY point was in the terms of competition. Hypothetically (look it up) if I had 4 salesmen and needed to cut one the lowest in 'ranking' #4 is gone. Or, if I need to hire 3 salemen and 4 apply, Duh. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Salesmen have worked the hardest, made more sales, and in turn won their status as "G, S, and B" and as such they deserve the spoils of victory. Sheesh ...

"How does the fact that it is China matter for purposes of the example?"

Did you see the (example) event and athlete we were referring to? If you had you would not have to ask this question. But I'll answer it anyway.

Because they (Chinese Government) have lied, cheated, and stolen throughout these games. Because of their history of violating the simplest of human rights. Because they oppress. But mainly, because I believe there is not another coach from any other country that would have let such an injured athlete suit up, much less make him 'take the field'. His excruciating pain and therefore inability to perform was obvious to all.

Edit: #4 missing

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Still obtuse.

by seanferd In reply to Why would you have 4 in t ...

For purposes of the example, it doesn't matter if the Chinese government sent an officer to shoot someone in the head. It is irrelevant.
I would agree that China can be pretty f'd-up, that's given.

To keep it simple for you, we'll stick to four salesmen. They bring in six new sales each, totaling millions in sales for your company. One guy brought in $15.00 less in total sales. Do you badmouth him?

Maybe you need to drop one man, but do you appreciate his efforts, give him good references, or do you just give him the boot and tell everyone in the office that he should have done better?

That is the attitude I see in the medal-watchers. If you don't see that attitude out there, then that's great. I see enough of it myself, and wish that I did not.

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That is what backups are for

by jdclyde In reply to To get to the Olympics, t ...

they always take "runner-ups" to fill in for an injured athlete along the way. An alternate.

If he was injured, why did he not pull himself sooner and let an uninjured athlete put in an honest effort? Something we will probably never found out.

Speaking of which, first cross-country match this weekend. B-)

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Backups in the Olympics

by JamesRL In reply to That is what backups are ...

The only time there can be backups is in the team events, like swimming relays or rowing, soccer, basketball etc.

For individual events, every individual must qualify according to the standard. There would be no sibsitutions for the Chinese Hurdler.

It was interesting, last night I watched the Men's triathalon, and Canada had an athelete who was there to help another, even though it wasn't a team sport. He obviously had to qualify, but his role was to ride with the Canadian leader, help him tactically if he could, and pace him. He was a strong swimmer and cyclist and not so great a runner. He came dead last, but he still celebrated cause he helped his teammate win silver. It was a great race by the way, dramatic sprints to the finish.

James

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Awesome!

by mrabevigoda In reply to Backups in the Olympics

Inspirational, eh? Almost seems as if you "cared" more for that competition than you did who won what medals.

Good on ya!

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In fact

by JamesRL In reply to Backups in the Olympics

I enjoyed the drama of that race far more than if the Canadian had the lead and held it for the last 1000 metres and won. The Canadian contender, who won gold in 2000 and nothing in Athens, was desparately trying to keep with the leaders. The Spaniards who set the pace were failing, and eventually dropped.

The Canadian, Simon Whitfield, trailed the leaders by 15 metres at about the 800 metre point but by 400 metres, he caught them and passed them. But one of the men he passed, a young first time Olympian from Germany, battled back in the last 100 yards.

Was I dissapointed Canada didn't win gold - not at all. The German who won truly earned his gold. The competitors congratulated each other, mugged for the cameras, arms around each other - that was the spirit of the games personified.

James

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