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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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Outstanding

by mrabevigoda In reply to Backups in the Olympics

James!

"The competitors congratulated each other, mugged for the cameras, arms around each other - that was the spirit of the games personified."

I have seen this type of "seen" over and over again in these as well as other Olympics.

I am sorry you feel "The Whole World" does not feel as you have just described. Again my contention all along is that that may be the impression you are getting (for whatever reason) but from your words, my words, the words of others, the countless untold stories of awe and inspiration DO matter. We, as a species may not see every single one of these moments but just knowing these moments exist, and most definitely the ones we do observe should give us all hope.

After all, we are ALL one race ... Human.

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But "success" is the only thing to which some pay attention

by seanferd In reply to Hmm

They aren't really interested in the competition at all. This is the issue, not that there are winners and medals.

Obtuse.

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Good point!

by TonytheTiger In reply to But "success" is the only ...

But "success" is the only thing to which some pay attention

and that's not where most lessons are learned!

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#3

by mrabevigoda In reply to But "success" is the only ...

"They aren't really interested in the competition at all. This is the issue, not that there are winners and medals.

Obtuse."

By "they" do you mean YOU? Because, again, I do believe there are millions around the world that ARE "interested". Over **,000 in the birdsnest alone, highest TV ratings around the world. Sports bars, restaurants, Internet feeds, "Jumbo-trons" before during and after sporting events here in the states. This has been my point from the beginning ... This was one man's opinion/rant about what and how the "Whole World" feels or sees or thinks about the Olympics.

Do try and keep up.

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Yes James, the atheletes should have the focus

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

Not just medal counts. It is an amazing feat just to make it to the Olympics let alone be in contention for a medal. We humans have such a hunger for the thrill of victory that we lose sight of the true spirit of it all. Sometimes we are reminded of it when we see our favorite athletes congratulate the losers. But more often then not (and due alot to how the media focuses on things) we are more interested in how many medals, especially Gold, our country has won.

My husband and I have also discussed how using pro athletes (like in basketball and baseball) has taken away some of the thrill and true spirit of the Olympics. Sure our pro athletes kick butt and win medals, but what happened to the young athletes' opportunities to compete for the chance to be in the Olympics? I understand we may have started using pros when it was realized that other countries were already, but shouldn't we still offer the opportunity to the younger up and coming athletes as well? After all, that made it more exciting to see fresh new faces, full of potential, "fighting" for our country.

Alot of the true spirit of the Olympics has been lost. Hopefully we can begin to recover it in the future.

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What killed amateurism...

by JamesRL In reply to Yes James, the atheletes ...

...in my mind was the communist countries.

In many sports (like basketball) you had true amateurs from the west competing against full time athletes from the communist countries, and the results were inevitable. Until they allowed pros and things shifted the other way.

James

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Games

by mrabevigoda In reply to Yes James, the atheletes ...

I disagree with the assertion that the "True spirit of the Olympics has been lost". Maybe some countries (Ahem, China for one) governments puts more value on medal counts, enough to cheat even. But you said it yourself ""fighting" for our country", that sounds like someone who is hoping their countries athletes do better (win more medals) than others.

I have swelled up watching athletes swell up for other athletes while their families and fellow country men swell up at whatever moving Olympic moment just happened. Whether it was a "thrill of victory or agony of defeat" moment. Watch the games for yourself and tell me you don't get emotional when something great or something heartbreaking happens.

It is okay to want your country(men or women) to beat the living snot out of every other. It's also okay to feel for the loss of others, be it your "team" or not.

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True, the emotions are felt when watching

by Tink! In reply to Games

but it is limited to what the media will show. Of course they show the GREAT wins and the DEVASTATING defeats and we all feel the emotions of whomever it may be, whichever country, but what of everything in between? The media likes to show the hugely emotional scenes. But there are many touching and thrilling moments that don't warrant the media's attention, but catch the eye of those bearing the true spirit of the Olympics.

And when your country's athletes are not in contention for a medal, do you still watch the event? Not if you watch TV. They primarily focus on the events that involve your country. And that's because they know the majority of viewers only wish to see their country's athletes (hopefully winning of course.)

But many of us do like to root for another country when our own is not involved. Thanks to the internet, we can follow the events that aren't televised. It is a grand feeling to see whomever you're rooting for reach the end and win - no matter what country they may be representing. For us, the spirit is not completely lost. But for those reliant mainly on the non-internet media, they are strung along the "our country is the best" line.

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True, enough .... true enough

by mrabevigoda In reply to True, the emotions are fe ...

Okay, I am a little confused. Is it the "Media", the "Olympics", or the "Medals" that seem to be an issue???

I do agree that "Prime Time" in U.S.A. is mainly filled with red, white, and blue. However, does kind of make sense from the perspective of any given Country to showcase their own.

I also agree with your basic sentiments but will add that with Cable TV and a DVR I have watched NOTHING else sense the Games began. As a matter of fact I am running out of space on the moments I have missed. I have tried not to dwell on the Politics of any given nation (even my own) while enjoying the games and what a nice change/relief that has been! : )

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Medals never were the issue

by seanferd In reply to True, enough .... true en ...

Just those people who only care if their country's athletes win medals, and that there seems to be too many of these people.

Root for your country: great.

Be happy your country took the gold: Great.

Talk $#!+ about the athletes when they didn't win a medal: Not in the traditional Olympic spirit. Not very sportsman-like at all, really, whether it is the athletes or observers.

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