Tag Archives: olympic controversies

What Makes and Breaks the Olympics

28 days until the Olympics. I can hardly believe that I have waited for four years for this, and it is hardly a month away.

Although I will arrange everything so that I don’t miss a single, solitary second of Women’s or Men’s Gymnastics, it is about more than that to me. Every free moment I have, I will be glued to the television set.

The Olympics for me, represent what is seemingly lost these days in life; absolute true beauty. There is nothing more exciting to me than watch the best moments of people’s lives. And I will cry, cry, cry, as I watch these events and moments unfold because it is simply too perfect. It’s so beautiful that my heart breaks wide open for these people all over the world.

So while watching the “Beijing Olympics” section ON DEMAND on Comcast Cable I stumbled upon “The Top 5 Heartbreaks.” And here is what I saw, half asleep at 2am that made me pour out buckets of tears. What gets me so excited for August 8th to 24th.

In the 1992 Barcelona Games, British runner Derek Redmond competes in the semi-finals for the 400m race. Plagued by injuries throughout his career, Redmond goes down with a leg injury. (He had posted the best time during the first round, and won the quarter-finals). He gets up, pushing people away and hobbling to finish the race. He is joined by his father who holds on to him, as Redmond sobs into his shoulder.

Runner Hicham El Geurrouj of Morocco was one of the best of the best at the 1500 meters. At the 1996 Atlanta Games, a fall took him out of the race. Four years later at the Sydney Games, he is beat last second by Kenyan Noah Ngeny. For the 2004 Athens Games, El Geurrouj was not expected to be contending for the gold. And at the last moment he narrowly wins the gold over Kenyan Bernard Lagat (who won the bronze in Sydney) who himself gets down onto his hands and knees and cries with El Geurrouj. There is nothing like seeing victory, but it makes it ten times better for me to see those from other countries who just miss out on their dream to be so happy for the one who did win. The world lacks that so much today. Human beings are so selfish and cruel to one another, and the Olympics demonstrate the very best sides of people.

So with that said, I realize I have a small fear that has been building for these Olympic Games. I am afraid of what kind of scandal or controversy can ruin it for me or more importantly, the athletes. I have blogged about this before, but I am getting increasingly worried about the age debate over gymnast He Kexin. Because at this point, I cannot believe what a wide consensus the world of gymnastics has over her being underage. I can’t believe the major publications and whatnot that state this.

The Olympics are the only time gymnastics is a headlining sport. And there has been a major controversy every year as far as I can remember. Let’s say hypothetically that China wins team gold, and He wins the uneven bars gold. Suddenly, there is a major news break that discovers that He is underage. Major headlines. They decide to strip China of team gold, and He of uneven bar gold. Major, major headlines. Better TV ratings.

My point is, if this happens I will lose faith in humanity. A part of me will truly die. The only reason I say this is a possibility is because it is so widely believed. And the fact that event finals have been split in 3 days in an odd order (which is there to increase ratings; an extra night of gymnastics) make me wonder what else they would do to increase ratings. IF there are underage gymnasts on the Chinese team, there is proof now. Do something now, don’t wait until the Games. Don’t ruin the moments, people’s lives, or my faith. Don’t “fix” it.  Don’t fix destiny.  Don’t make destroy anything else with Politics.

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