Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quick thoughts, obvious truth

Our Olympic lag continues around here. I know I should go to bed but...I just don't do it. I stay up to cheer on Michael Phelps. I keep Prince Charming updated as he works in the other room about the other competitions. (He doesn't watch some of them because those lovely athletes are showing more than a bit too much skin. But he enjoys my commentary. At least, I think he does.)

Last night was the ladies' artistic gymnastics finals. I watched, when I could stand it, through my fingers. I don't think I'm cut out to be a sports fan.

In case you haven't heard (where have you been?), there is some controversy about the gymnastics finals. Here's my opinion: our girls didn't deserve gold. They deserved silver, which they won.

But as to the controversy? Let's just say that this lovely girl:

would be right at home at our Junior Camp. (Ages 8-11) For that matter, most of the team would be.

You may be shocked to hear this ("Shocked, shocked to find out gambling is going on in here...")* but China is a TOTALITARIAN state. They don't follow the same rules as the rest of us. They are the successors to the USSR in more ways than one. I remember watching the East Germans and Soviets rack up the medals when I was a kid. (Okay, I'm dating myself here!) Turns out, who'd a thunk it, they were...wait for it...cheating.

You don't say.

Even if Chinese officials are telling the truth about their athletes ages (which, to my eyes, they are not) they still run a gymnastics program very different from ours. They take children, babies really, away from their families at the age of three to begin training to be world class gymnasts. These children see their parents maybe once a year. And this is not the only sport that things like this happen.

I don't know about you but I'm proud that our athletes are out there excelling and setting records without such draconian efforts. It says something good about us.

And really, the Chinese girls (I just can't bring myself to call them "women") were the best out there. They've been cheated too, in the long run. Before the rule about being 16 for the Olympics, they could have won accolades for being so young and poised. Now it will cloud them and be brought up when anyone talks about the '08 games along with the "new" scoring methods and the supposedly "cheat free" judging. (Don't even get me started.)

* Name that movie - it's one of my favorites of all time...


Kelly said...


And I have plenty to say about all the gymnastics stuff, but I'll keep to myself for now :)

MacKenzie said...

Yeah, it's ridiculous. I wrote about the same thing here.

Craig said...

Actually, I wrote that. Oops.

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