Is the Olympic hype healthy for our country?

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06/09/2012 at 11:21

Does anyone else share a sense of uneasiness around the hype and almost hysteria for the Olympics and Paralympics?

I know this will be controversial but I feel that the fervour that is being whipped over both Olympics this summer is actually a bit worrying and could set an unhealthy trend?

Don’t get me wrong I love watching and participating in sport – but the change this time with London 2012 and “Team GB” and the focus on medals seems to me to step over the line into nationalism and to an extent loses what is great in sport?

kittenkat    pirate
06/09/2012 at 11:22

What does it lose about what's great in sport, sorry I'm not following your point.

06/09/2012 at 11:24

the "it's the taking part that counts" and being good losers.

06/09/2012 at 11:28

I'd agree it's been near the wrong end of the nationalism scale. However, I've lost count of the number of people I've spoken to who, having been sceptical about the whole thing, have been enthused by the sport itself, without worrying too much about who was actually winning. I do worry that we exult elite sport whilst doing little to promote it further down - sale of school playing fields has continued apace, for example. There has to be a better balance between elite and grass roots.

06/09/2012 at 11:29

I don't think there is a hysteria.   The Olympics captured a lot of people's imaginations and they enjoyed watching it but I can't see the problem beyond that - if anything there's been less hype than some sporting events like Euro 96.   Don't believe what the TV commentators tell you - of course they'll hype it up and maybe for them it's been a huge event as they've been working on it for weeks - for most of us it's been a pleasant distraction over the Summer and nothing more.   

As for the focus on medals - I do think we emphasise winning medals too much - when we are doing it by pumping huge amounts of cash into elite sport at a time when facilities for grass roots participation are suffering then I think we've got the priorities wrong.

kittenkat    pirate
06/09/2012 at 11:30
skotty wrote (see)

the "it's the taking part that counts" and being good losers.

AND WINNING! ESPECIALLY THE WINNING!

(and caps lock)

The Silent Assassin    pirate
06/09/2012 at 11:36

Whats wrong with celebrating success?

 

So many non British athletes at the Olympics stated that they loved the crowd because they cheered for everyone and not just the home nation

 

 

06/09/2012 at 11:37

I don’t know whether you saw the drama Bertie and Dickie on the BBC recently – it was a true story about two oarsman winning a gold medal in the double skulls in the 1948 Olympics starring Matt Smith and Sam Hoare and portraying Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell.

I found it interesting as it portrayed the last bastion of amateur sport and the tussle between Bertie and his father Charles (who also won an Olympic gold medal) and his view on “fair play” amateur sport which to an extent they were challenging….

Anyway I have just felt that I have witnessed (am witnessing) a nation in raptures over Team GB rather than really appreciating sport for its own sake…

I guess to an extent the answer will be in the legacy?

06/09/2012 at 11:42
The Silent Assassin wrote (see)

Whats wrong with celebrating success?

 

So many non British athletes at the Olympics stated that they loved the crowd because they cheered for everyone and not just the home nation

 

 

I just feel a line has been crossed that's all!

A colleague who attended on Monday said that every time a British athlete came out into the statium the place erupted and went wild irrespective of their ability i.e. ranking and likelihood of doing well in their event! Is that healthy and respectful?

The Silent Assassin    pirate
06/09/2012 at 11:47
uknick wrote (see)

I just feel a line has been crossed that's all!

A colleague who attended on Monday said that every time a British athlete came out into the statium the place erupted and went wild irrespective of their ability i.e. ranking and likelihood of doing well in their event! Is that healthy and respectful?


I take it you have never been to a football match between two local teams?

The hatred shown to a rival team from the same district is amazing, there was no hatred shown at the Olympics.

06/09/2012 at 11:51

A line has been crossed! please expalin.

What exactly is wrong in supporting your home athletes, yes it is healthy and yes it is respectful, it's also very good to see. It seems you're concerned that we cheer our own people regardless of ability? Would you seriously expect any less in any partisan stadium across the whole world?

06/09/2012 at 11:56
uknick wrote (see)
The Silent Assassin wrote (see)

Whats wrong with celebrating success?

 

So many non British athletes at the Olympics stated that they loved the crowd because they cheered for everyone and not just the home nation

 

 

I just feel a line has been crossed that's all!

A colleague who attended on Monday said that every time a British athlete came out into the statium the place erupted and went wild irrespective of their ability i.e. ranking and likelihood of doing well in their event! Is that healthy and respectful?

I dont' think a line has been crossed at all. I think it showed how 'equal' everyone was. Yes, GB got a big cheer but so did the other nations (e.g. Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps). I think that shows athletes who work hard for several years that their country supports them and celebrates them. An example to show why it was not nationalistic?

- Long Jump. His competitors were clapped, celebrated and were never ever made to feel anything less than common competitors. This shows a fantastic spirit for ALL competitors and celebrating the sport.

Also, another example of people 'going wild' was the female Saudi 800m athlete. She was last in her heat but was given a roaring reception and cheer in the last 100m. Her reception and applause was bigger than the winner in the heats.

06/09/2012 at 12:08
Peter Collins wrote (see)

I'd agree it's been near the wrong end of the nationalism scale. However, I've lost count of the number of people I've spoken to who, having been sceptical about the whole thing, have been enthused by the sport itself, without worrying too much about who was actually winning.

I do worry that we exult elite sport whilst doing little to promote it further down - sale of school playing fields has continued apace, for example. There has to be a better balance between elite and grass roots.

I agree with the second part.

I was sceptical about the whole olympics thing, mostly because of the cost.  I haven't changed my view, I doubt there will me much benefit for anyone (other than the sponsors) in the long term.

06/09/2012 at 12:10

So uknick you would rather we return our rightful status of 'plucky little losers' and leave the winning to others.

 

06/09/2012 at 12:14

I don't think there's anything wrong in being a 'plucky loser'. 

Winning does not actually mean anything, really, as far as I can see.  You can run faster than him?  So what? 

It doesn't make a winner a better person - just a faster runner (or whatever).

 

kittenkat    pirate
06/09/2012 at 12:16
Ratzer wrote (see)

Cider sinker.

Can think of some c-worded titles but I'm too nice for them. 

 

Wilkie wrote (see)

I don't think there's anything wrong in being a 'plucky loser'. 

Winning does not actually mean anything, really, as far as I can see.  You can run faster than him?  So what? 

It doesn't make a winner a better person - just a faster runner (or whatever).

 

So you get a large shiny medal and a LOT of money from sponsorship deals flooding in

The Silent Assassin    pirate
06/09/2012 at 12:27
Wilkie wrote (see)

I don't think there's anything wrong in being a 'plucky loser'. 

Winning does not actually mean anything, really, as far as I can see.  You can run faster than him?  So what? 

It doesn't make a winner a better person - just a faster runner (or whatever).

 

erm isn't that the whole idea about competitive sport?

and I think the olympic motto is "faster, higher, stronger"


 

Edited: 06/09/2012 at 12:28
06/09/2012 at 12:31

Show me a good or a plucky loser, and I'll show you a loser. 

kittenkat    pirate
06/09/2012 at 12:34

oops at the double quote storage in my post, can't edit it now.

WiB
06/09/2012 at 12:43

Nationalism? The whole idea of it is to be competetive and for fans to get their  nation/team/pairs/individual. They aren't just jogging around the track to show off a few different coloured vests.

I mean c'mon... I even supported a Welsh girl in the TKD and a Scot in the cycling!

Wilkie - Winning does mean something. i.e the 800m. They all set about the task of being able to complete 2 laps of the track faster than everyone else... the person who did it fastest proved he had prepared for and carried out his race better. That will mean a hell of a lot! Are you telling me if you won a gold at the olympics and took a WR making you the fastest person ever to officially complete that distance you wouldn't feel anything? honestly?

 

WiB
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