Everybody, listen up! Some sports players have done a bad thing! Do you even give a shit about badminton? No, me neither, but that shouldn’t stop you from feeling a deep sense of moral outrage.
In case you missed it, various pairs from China, South Korea, and Indonesia in the women’s badminton doubles were disqualified this week for hitting the shuttlecock either too far or not far enough. Thanks to the fairly ridiculous round-robin system, the teams had already qualified for the next round before playing their final matches, and knew that losing would give them an easier draw in the knock-out stages. Somebody decided that this was amiss, and charged the players with “not using one’s best efforts to win”.
This is contradictory, inconsistent, and biased. The players were using their best efforts to win, but over the entire competition rather than in that particular match. Nobody makes a fuss when the sprinters do the same; Usain Bolt ran 10.09 seconds in the first round of the 100m sprint qualifiers. This is far slower than his winning time of 9.63 seconds in the final, and it was obvious that he was not using his best efforts to win in order to save himself for later in the competition.
A sports player will, and should be able to, do whatever is legal in order to put their team in a better position. This was not done out of spite, out of match-fixing, out of self-promotion, or out of a little hissy fit when things were going badly; this was a decision made to further the interests of the team and their country. It is a sports player’s job to win; to entertain is an added bonus for the crowd, not an inviolable right which comes with the ticket.
Claims that their conduct violates the “Olympic Spirit”, whatever ineffable abstraction that is, are moot (as far as I’m concerned, the Olympic spirit is gin, with lime and no ice). The Olympic Spirit, whose website defines it as “building a peaceful and better world”, lost all credibility when London bent over to let the corporate sponsors unleash their steaming load of hypocrisy into the Olympics. You know, corporate sponsors including GE, manufacturer of unmanned drones which are unable to distinguish between Pakistani weddings and terrorist training camps, BP, responsible for one of the world’s worst environmental disasters, and Coca-Cola, whose extensive list of transgressions fills several books. So much for a peaceful, better world. The indignant outrage directed against some badminton players who were trying to win a competition rings somewhat hollow in comparison.
Apologies for the relatively short blog this week; two of my paragraphs weren’t as good as they could have been, and were therefore disqualified.
In other Olympic news, Usain Bolt set an Olympic record by running 100 metres in 9.63 seconds at an average speed of 23.2mph. This is good news for everybody; idiotic children can play on the race track safe in the knowledge that they’d have a 95% chance of survival if he crashed into them.
Meanwhile, Michael Phelps may have won 18 gold medals, but claims that he is the greatest ever Olympian are grossly exaggerated. That title clearly belongs to Zeus. However, if Phelps has control over the sky and can improve the British summer, then I’m listening.
Finally, sports-related injuries peaked this weekend due the physically-punishing heptathlon. As Britain’s skimpily dressed poster girl ran, threw, jumped, and hurdled her way towards the gold medal, hundreds of men across the country came down with cases of severe Ennis Elbow.
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- momecat said: Flawless entry on the Olympics. Both with the serious and not so serious. Phelps is taking over my dashboard though… worshipped like a deity, he’s certainly attained the following worthy of a Greek God. I mean Gosh Tumblr!
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