Friday, August 15, 2008

Boski on the Olympics (Pt. 2) Controversies

I touched on a few in my first post but now that the games have progressed I figured I could do a full post on all that has transpired over the past few days. Lets start with one that happened even before the torch was ignited. China hosting the Olympics. Man people (including several high profile Hollywood celebs who really know nothing about this topic) protested against China hosting the Olympics for many reasons, but the main one being China's control over Tibet. This is still being protested today during the games. Signs are everywhere showing the Olympic rings made of handcuffs talking about China's rule over Tibet. Now granted i'm talking from afar living in the US but China's has been in control over Tibet for like 50 years now. If Tibet couldn't fend them off then oh well, thats the way shit goes. I'm not saying they don't have a right to fight, but China is allied with so many countries, including the US. We are "encouraging" China to loosen its grip on Tibet, but truth be told I don't think Tibet really wants to be its own separate entity, and why would they be, they are part of the dominant country in the world. Anyway no reason why the games should not be held there. Hell if this is the case half of the world would protest the games if they were held here with our presence all over the place (see boon's post).

So now lets talk about the games, and first up is swimming. With Phelps going for a ungodly amount of golds and world records being shattered left and right one has to question the new suits. Laser cut, designed by NASA, mimicking a shark's skin, these things can take 15+ minutes to put on and are used to dice through the water. This suit, created by Speedo, is unstoppable. So much so that other country's who were sponsored by the likes of Mizuno said that they had to wear the Speedo suit to be competitive against the other swimmers. This upset their sponsors but they allowed it to be done. They are calling this "technological doping". My thoughts, everyone should just swim naked. It would make more of an even playing field.

Next Olympics Baseball and Softball will be eliminated form the games. Some say for scheduling problems. Others say that in the case of Softball it is because the US women are so dominant. My thoughts are, and while i'm not too big of a fan of baseball in the olympics, it is far better than equestrian. Why is this in the olympics? As Term and I were talking it is more horse than human. And this games there is BMX? This sport should be reserved for the X-games, not the olympics. Term said we might as well add Formula 1 into the olympics. Maybe a form of motor racing should be incorporated. All using identical cars. Also thought up, and hes made this pitch before, lethal lefty Phil Mickelson says golf should be included in the olympics, i'll let the debate begin.

Now on to some more serious issues. First up there has been serious complaints about the China boxers getting favorable scores. Many athletes have shown frustration in the ring. I'm not sure how much anyone has watched of this, I've actually seen a lot of this action and can say it does look fishy. But the whole scoring system for boxing in the olympics is shit. The points are awarded for the most random shit. This part of the sport needs some help and fast.

We've had 3 cases of athlets being D.Q. for drug testing. The latest one is in a sport I would never think would have such a thing. Shooting. Kim Jong Su tested positive for Propanolol which is prevents shaking, obviously giving a huge advantage where steadiness is everything. Pretty interesting.

In wrestling in one of the lighter weight categories we had the Bronze winner from Sweden throw his bronze medal on the ground and walk of the podium because he was upset at some of the calls and said he wanted to win the gold and nothing else but the gold. I understand you are upset but you are acting like a 10yo. Have enough respect and dignity to make it through the medal ceremony and then pitch your bitch.

And now the two that are getting the most attention. The Spanish basketball team has come under fire for a photo they did for one of their sponsors. It shows the entire team pulling the corners of their eyes to make "slant eyes" in an effort to look like the Chinese. This add, for a company similar to UPS here in the states, has run in several newspapers. Spain thinks they did nothing wrong, this is also the country who high power people throw around N-bombs and whos soccer fans make monkey noises whenever a black person touches the ball. Jason Kidd has stated if the US would have done that they would have been kicked out of the games, all of them would have been fined by the NBA and would have made to have done major PR work. I agree. Its a double standard the US has to be PC all the time while others are not. There is talk that the 3 NBA players on the Spain team may get some form of punishment but more than likely nothing will happen.

I touched on this in my first post but more info regarding the Chinese gymnastic team has come out. Several newspapers and other media outlets reported a year or two ago about several members on the team who were only 13 at the time. Making them ineligible. Several of the competitors birthdays were listed making them only 14 now. The gymnastic boards are really saying nothing, only that they go by the athletes passport and that those of the Chinese checked out. My thoughts are i'm pretty sure some of them are under the age of 16. But regardless we lost to them. Did they have an advantage by being younger? Maybe, but we still could have won the team event had we not made so many mistakes. I do not think anything will change this games, nobody will ever do an "official" investigation. But I think next olympics we will see much tighter and more in depth background checks and documentation to verify ages so that this does not happen again.


nyphon said...

nice post boski. i agree with most of your comments, but the thing i was to elaborate on is the chinese gymnasts. i personally am furious that china would even pull a stunt like that. they should have to revoke all of their women's gymnastic medals as far as i'm concerned. you say we could have won had there not been mistakes, but some of those girls (from china) are only on the team b/c they are dominant in 1 event. there's the uneven bars where the girl can almost score a 17 and she's the one under the most controversy. that score alone can change the entire outcome.

i was cheering so hard against the chinese girls last night, so i was so happy when we went 1, 2 in the all around comp. that just shows that the chinese girls are each good at some events, but not all events. they bring in the 13 year old ringers to give them an extra .5 on multiple events.

pex said...

I'd also like to respond to the gymnasts, since its one of the events that I pay closest attention to. Obviously those Chinese girls are not 16, and I agree with Boon that they should be stripped of their medals. The question really isnt whether they have an advantage, which they do, its about them breaking the rules. They should not be exempt. I'm sure there are some US girls under 16 who would have been better than some of the current girls.

About the swim suits. Whatever. Why should you not wear the most advanced suit possible? Its not like they have jets strapped to their legs propelling them through the water.

All the subjective scoring sports seem really fishy to me. Last night it seemed like the US girls were getting screwed by the judges. I'm probably a little bias because thats what the commentators were saying, but still. I haven't seen any chinese boxing matches, but I do agree that the scoring system is nub. You could get off clean punches that are weak and still score. It needs to be more like professional boxing, but I guess it was before and the judging was a little corrupt, not really sure how to fix that.

Finally about some of these random sports in the olympics. BMXing should not be an olympic sport, but I can say that about others events too, trampoline anyone?

Staboski said...

I hear you guys on the gymnastics. I mean not only size/body flexibility advantage but also, and they touched on this, the no fear factor. When you are 13-14 you feel like nothing can hurt you, when you hit 16+ you tend to think some of the stuff you are doing is a bit crazy and can really mess you up if you do not pull it off. I too was extremely happy with the 1-2 finish last night. It was good to hear the american anthem and I think it does still show we have the best gymnast.

pex said...

Plus as an olympic gymnast they train all day everyday for years. The longer you train the more damaged your body is gonna get, and the higher chance that youre gonna get injured or whatever. The Chinese girls start training at age 3, they pretty much have everything learned by 12, the only thing that is gonna happen as they get older is losing the great center of gravity, gain weight, or get injured.

term said...

just said this to adam.... if US cared about olympics that much, we would ban all foreigners from training in america and going to school here. so many of the top swimmers/track athletes train in america its unreal

Prime said...

im coming in late on this post but ill add an issue that I think term basically mentioned, which is basically how so many people arent even playing for their own countries. Main case where I saw this is the USA top mile runner ran last Olympics for Kenya. I mean cmon, back to back Olympics with different countries? There are a ton of these cases which dont even need mentioning, basically the Olympics in a few decades will turn into countries just recruiting athletes from other countries at this pace.

Judging has been horrible in favor of the Chinese, but this isnt a surprise. We researched a study in one of my sports management classes and in every case the home country performed better in judged events, as well as total medal count (not sure how this was calculated, but makes sense). Boxing scoring is just a joke though, I haven't seen the Chinese, but I did see a USA dude basically knock a dude nearly unconscious a couple of times and only won by one point.

And just my final opinion on some of the sports:

Baseball - I like baseballl being there if all countries played non-professionals...but I have a feeling Cuba and other countries send their pros, so its kind of a joke

Softball - Def should be a sport, since there is really no pro league. Other countries just need to catch up

Equestrian - Pathetic, peace it out

Extreme sports - Should just be in the X-Games

Golf - Could be cool, although it will basically be just like Ryder Cup. They could make an interesting format like 3 man teams or something to make it interesting/give multiple countries a chance

Prime said...

oh and on the US protesting China, I am extremely sick of this as well. THe Tibet issue goes back to a previous Boon post, can we please stop getting involved with every little overseas debacle. And second, I see athletes (who def dont know anything) protesting the child labor laws and all that crap. Yet, most of these athletes are probably wearing nike, who basically sends all their work to places like that.

pex said...

i think they should just make baseball like basketball, make all of the sports like that actually. there shouldnt be any restrictions based on being pro or not, imo. i dont know the reasoning behind letting basketball use pros, but it seems to me like the best should be able to represent their country in all sports

Staboski said...

Look at soccer, only U-23 players, excluding the 3 olders one can bring. In regards to sports that should be included, Term suggested Rugby. I thought that was a good idea.

Prime said...

Baseball would def be something I'd be all about if the pros played, unfortunately that will never happen with the MLB season always going on at the same time. Soccer is something I almost say could be eliminated from the Olympics because the World Cup obviously is what people care about, and its the same format (play for your country).

I never thought about Rugby and actually can't believe that isn't in the Olympics, definetly should be there.