olympics

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11/02/2008 at 17:14

am I the only runner who could not give a fig (or rather an olive!)about the olympics.I am a mediocre runner who would never watch sport on tv or anywhere unless injured. my reasons:

(1) the professionalism of the athletes or lack of professionalism varying across the sports.(2) its never a level playing field - both in the size of the country population and the money that is devoted to the athletes(3) drug cheats,bribery scandals and the hypocrisy of selectors and appeals procedures(4) the media circus with people forever wittering on about 'the legacy' and the 'success' of the games(5) why are certain events deemed blue ribands.All medals winners should be regarded as equal.(6) it encourages nationalism (7)no lasting benefit .if Britain won 100medals or one what difference does it make?The armchair audience of Great Britain will forget the achievements as soon as its finished.(7)any sport where the performance is open to interpretation such as skating or gymnastics should not be represented.(8) Sports such as chess where you cannot cheat are not represented(and before somebody says its not a sport its comes within the Olympic umbrella).(9) I heard reports (radio5) surprise surprise that the British Olympic bid had submitted an application which was vastly underbudget so that surely is false representation.  any additional reasons why the olympics stink would be appreciated!

   

mudman    pirate
11/02/2008 at 19:06
Having seen what the Chinese authorities have done to any of its citizens who have got in the way of the games, by such inconveniences as maybe living on the sites, I don't want to watch this year's games.
cougie    pirate
11/02/2008 at 19:16
Why cant you cheat at chess ? You could take illegal stimulants or receive outside help ?

I do like the Olympics and I shall be watching them - if it encourages some couch potatoes to take up a sport - isn't that a benefit ?

I also like paragraphs.
11/02/2008 at 19:26

Is trolling an oly sport now?

Chees geeks having a laugh.  Go and watch some sport.

11/02/2008 at 20:16

Sport just like art and science is a fundamental element of human civilisation.  Any aspect of civilisation is open to abuse but the underlying purity of sports overrides that and ensures its continuance. 

I don't know if you have any children but  in my experience there are few things more satisfying for both parent and child than giving the latter access to organised, competitive sport.   Involving a child in a competitive sport that they genuinely enjoy is a great building block for later life.  And one of the easiest ways to engage a child in a sport, to build their enthusiasm is for them to watch that sport either live or on television.

You suggest that Olympic champions are forgotten immediately.   Maybe I rate the Olympics a little too  watching the Coe v Ovett rivalry culminate in gold medals for both at 1980s Olympics is unforgettable.  Similarly Kelly Holmes double in Athens in 2004.

Neither the fig nor the olive would be appropriate at the Olympics. 

11/02/2008 at 20:44

Paul - Whilst not entirely agreeing with your points, I have little interest in the Olympics.  The noble ideals of Baron de Coubertin have long since been sold down the river. 

Cougie - Many have.  The Karpov v Kasparov world title match in 1980-something was stopped when Kasparov protested that drinks were being brought out to Karpov.  There was a suggestion that the drinks were pre-arranged messages - e.g. flavour, container, colour etc...

11/02/2008 at 20:49

And the yogurt scandal as well (maybe the same thing?)

11/02/2008 at 21:01

That one was Karpov again, but against Viktor Korchnoi.  Similar thing, the flavour of the yogurt allegedly contained a message.

DSB - I found the summer of 1980 (or was it 1981???) when Coe and Ovett were chasing World Records all over Europe at 800m to the Mile was far more exciting than the Olympic Games.

11/02/2008 at 21:11

Mr Bump,

 Fair enough though in both cases it was competitive televised sport.

11/02/2008 at 23:00

not such a negative response as I expected. True the chess references happened , however the allegations were never proven I believe just a result of irrationality on the part of the players. I doubt however the balco labatories have ever approached a chess player.   

12/02/2008 at 12:30

Paul - No, I am becoming quite cynical these days.  This is my personal view.  Since many Olympic sports have been Lottery funded in this country, funding is dependent on performance.  Therefore we seem to have become blinkered in the rush for medals ( which equal Lottery money).  Why otherwise would athletes who have "missed" drugs tests (but happen to be of Olympic medal winning quality) be allowed back into the Olympics.  I felt no pride in seeing Christine Ohorougu win Gold at the World Championship.  Furthermore, look at this farce about Dwain Chambers.  However, if he is capable of winning a medal in Beijing, I wonder if he could still be fast tracked into the GB Olympic team? 

Mudman - I read that some people's houses and/or businesses were demolished in order to creat the marathon course in Beijing.  I wonder if all known political dissidents will be detained for the duration of the games.  And then GB plays along with this by writing that clause into the athletes' contracts which has received so much media attention.  How different is this as to when the England football team were told to give the Nazi salute to Hitler prior to the 1938 Germany v England match in Berlin, 1938.

12/02/2008 at 12:48

How different is this as to when the England football team were told to give the Nazi salute to Hitler prior to the 1938 Germany v England match in Berlin, 1938.

Read "Hitler and the olymics" much more informative.

12/02/2008 at 13:04
There are some very good books on the 1936 games which could help inform debate over the human rights abuses in China.  I have just started reading Guy Walters, Berlin Games.  Richard D. Mandel's The Nazi Olympics brilliantly portrays the manipulation of the ideals of the Olympic Movement for the benefit of the Nazi régime.  Let's hope Olympic ideals are not the victim of acquiescence this time around as they were in 1936.
12/02/2008 at 13:07

Richard D. Mandel's The Nazi Olympics

I think it may be the same book, diffrent title. Not read Berln games. Don't have the INBS do you?

12/02/2008 at 13:07
I love the Olympics and i'm off to China too to watch....................
12/02/2008 at 13:13

The ISBN for Berlin Games is 978-0-7195-6774-2 and it is published by John Murray.  I have only just started it but it seems promising.

 You may well be right about Mandel's book.  The one I have I picked up in a second-hand bookshop a couple of years ago.  It was printed not long after it's original publication which was around 1971 if I remember correctly.  It may well have changed title over the years.

12/02/2008 at 13:14

1) the professionalism of the athletes or lack of professionalism varying across the sports.  Different sports are well, different.  The time, effort and dedication spent training for say, a marathon versus that for shooting or sailing may be different, but the people at the Olympics tend to be the best in their field, which I enjoy watching.

 (2) its never a level playing field - both in the size of the country population and the money that is devoted to the athletes.  True, but that then means that countries which wouldn't "qualify" for other tournaments get to compete in the same events as the top class - a bit like being able to say I raced Paula Radcliffe in a marathon (even though she finished 3 hours ahead of me).

(3) drug cheats,bribery scandals and the hypocrisy of selectors and appeals procedures. Totally with you on that one.

(4) the media circus with people forever wittering on about 'the legacy' and the 'success' of the games.  Sydney's infrastructure and the pride of the citizens in their city benefitted greatly from the 2000 games, so it does happen.  Not sure how long it lasts though.

(5) why are certain events deemed blue ribands.All medals winners should be regarded as equal. See point 1.  Being the "fastest swimmer in the world" will always have more kudos than "I hit more targets than anyone else that day", but a gold medal is a gold medal in my book. (And I lived next door to a gold medallist for a while.......)

(6) it encourages nationalism And that's wrong because.................................?

(7)no lasting benefit .if Britain won 100medals or one what difference does it make?The armchair audience of Great Britain will forget the achievements as soon as its finished. I've been inspired by athletes in the past - British and otherwise - to go out and have a go, even though I'll never be Olympic standard.

(7)any sport where the performance is open to interpretation such as skating or gymnastics should not be represented.  Agree with that one............sorry to any skaters or gymnasts.

 (8) Sports such as chess where you cannot cheat are not represented(and before somebody says its not a sport its comes within the Olympic umbrella). Sorry, I just cannot see chess as a sport (or darts or snooker for that matter - skilled games yes, sports no)

(9) I heard reports (radio5) surprise surprise that the British Olympic bid had submitted an application which was vastly underbudget so that surely is false representation.   It happens every time, for Olympics and Commonwealth Games.  People can't add up - in fact, some people think there are 2 number 7s in a list of 1-9........................;)

 any additional reasons why the olympics stink would be appreciated!  Sorry - I love them.  And I'll be on maternity leave for this years' games, so will probably watch lots of it during mid-night feeds................

12/02/2008 at 13:44

I think the amount of money we are spending on it is probably far too much.   I'd rather see money go into grass roots sport - yes there will be a legacy but I doubt it'll be much in comparison to the money that has been spent.    Not saying I don't enjoy the Olympics - but I enjoy lots of sporting events that don't demand multi million pounds of govt subsidy to stage.   I think the whole bit about funding elite sport for prestige is wrong - participation should be the aim not giving out money depending on how many medals a sport can win.     If the Olympics could be staged much more cheaply then great - but in it's present form I'd let some other country stage it and just watch on TV.  

On the England team and Nazi salute - just out of interest there is a picture here of Derby County doing the same on a trip to Germany - note the keeper has refused to give the salute.

12/02/2008 at 13:50

Popsider,

Top man that Derby keeper.  The picture links to a report on the incident which makes it clear that the pressure to make the salute came from the British Ambassador. 

12/02/2008 at 18:04

Tri Taffi - Very good point.  

Popsider - I didn't know that about the Derby County goalkeeper.  Top man, indeed.

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