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Count me out on compulsory sport

As the Olympic Games draw to a close I am thankful to have managed to have been able to resits watching any of it on the TV. Of course watching any news report has been problematic but I have been able to let most of it go right past me which has preserved my sanity and saved me from the angst that  the sports obsessed must be feeling at the so called lacklustre results produced by the current crop of Olympic athletes.

The recriminations have already started and I find the attitude  John Coates truly disturbing:

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During my own time at school I loathed sport and I would skive of school every sports afternoon even though it meant a very long walk home. Now more than forty years later I am at best ambivalent about any sort of sport either as participant or as a spectator and I can’t believe that anyone would suggest that our young people should be forced to provide employment for the fascist slave masters who seek to vicariously find the “success” that they can no longer achieve on their own. Its just plain evil in my book and insulting to the spirit of our democracy.

Cheers Comrades

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15 Comments

  1. deknarf says:

    A) Coates is just one more free-loader and, B) Are the Olympics on?

  2. Iain Hall says:

    deknarf
    You have just gone up in my estimation 🙂

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    Taking a keen interest in the Olympics, an event that goes for just two weeks every 4 years (i.e. 2 weeks out of 208), is hardly obsessive … and it’s not just about sport. The Olympics is more like a celebration of the human spirit, Iain, and if you miss it, you’re missing out.

    As for Coates’ suggestion, my question is, when did sport @ school stop being compulsory? Look, there’ll always be the mummy boys, weaklings and lazy types who will get out of doing it (“I have a note from my mother saying Johnny is too sickly to play”) but don’t you think a form of compulsory exercise is actually good for our increasingly obese kids? It doesn’t hurt them, Iain.

    However, it’s not the answer to our Olympic woes. This current slump goes against the trend of our previous Olympic performances where we had become a real force starting with Sydney in 2000 and continuing through @ both Athens and Beijing in 2004 & 2008 and is hard to fathom because, essentially, nothing has changed in terms of the training, sports science and the competitive selection process and, if anything, we’ve made more advances in preparation, not less. So you need to look at the individuals to see what’s going on in their heads. Maybe there are too many distractions and too much ego pampering, especially on social media. I blame Twitter!

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Ray its not just two weeks prior to the actual games its months prior to their start where we are given blow by blow accounts of various selection trials, then the argy bargy about who missed out and why, grandstanding by various idiots with axes to grind, then the Games themselves followed by a protracted post mortem we actaully get closer to a year of Olympic hype and mumbo jumbo.

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh well, Iain, some people get worked up over motor sports. Beats the hell out me … maybe it’s the fumes mate?

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Ah you haven’t lived until you have seen a Manx Norton on full song and smelt that lovely odour of Castrol R as it thunders past you.

  7. Ray Dixon says:

    So if motor cycle racing were an Olympic event, Iain, you’d be a follower? What’s the difference?

  8. Iain Hall says:

    I might be Ray but the modern bikes don’t sound as good as the old ones

  9. deknarf says:

    Aaah! I’m always underestimated Iain! :-O

  10. deknarf says:

    Time to admit the awful truth! Sometimes our athletes are NOT THE BEST IN THE WORLD! And given that we only have 21 million people in the country that’s not at all surprising.
    And, it’s also time to admit that WE ARE POOR LOSERS! and far to willing to blame.
    Do I think sport is good for people — yes. Will I go out of my way to watch the Olympics — no. Do I think that it’s been hijacked by the Olympics Committees and the advertising agencies — oh yes!

  11. Iain Hall says:

    deknarf
    well I will be underestimating you a bit less form now on 🙂

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Population has nothing to do with it. Egs:

    Great Britain, population 55 million (only about 2.5 times Aust’s 22 million) = 16 gold. I.E. 16 times Australia’s tally to date.
    New Zealand, population just over 4 million, = 3 gold.
    Kazhakstan, population 16 million, = 6 gold
    Jamaica, population less than 3 million, = 2 gold, and more to come from Usain Bolt.

    It can’t be denied that Australia has fallen away dramatically at these ganes and is the big loser … and laughing stock.

    As for “it’s been hijacked by the Olympics Committees and the advertising agencies” … bullshit. Sure, there’s a huge commercial side and corrupt administration connected to the event (tell me something that’s new about pro sport), but the bottom line is that the results are all about the individual competitors. And we’ve lost it.

  13. deknarf says:

    And Eg. China 1.4 billion with 31 medals, the US with 314 million with 39 medals. Having a large population always gives you more exceptional athletes to draw upon. As you well know there are the super exceptions like Bolt, and some countries are specialists.

    Why are we a laughing stock? We have 22 medals, 12 of them silver. Our athletes have done their very best against the very best in the world.

    You say that my suggested hijacking of the olympics is bullshit and then confirm it by confirming the commercialisation of it and administrative corruption. Have a watch of Gruen Sweat for a little bit of education on brand power and advertising in the Olympics.

    Actually thanks, you’ve just confirmed my view that we are poor losers and quick to blame all and sundry. I note that the MSM and our Australian olympic officials are now blaming the government. As yet they haven’t blamed God — but stay tuned!

  14. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh, there’s no doubt that extremely large population makes a difference at the top of the medal tally as you point out re China & USA (although how many has India won … ever? Answer = zero). But outside those super powers, population doesn’t seem to make any difference and a country with under 10 million people has as much chance as one with 50 million. The results bear that out – consistently.

    And I’m not disputing the commercialisation of the games – I’m saying it doesn’t outweigh or diminish the actual events, which remain the pinnacle of athleticism (unless you’re an Aussie).

  15. damage says:

    Australia’s “problem” if you can call it that, is that we spend too much money on providing variety at the Olympic level. Many of the sports are only ever seen when the games are on and most Australians don’t participate in or follow them. Some are elitist wankers’ money wasting toy sports and others are almost niche past times.
    Government money should only be spent on sports the average bloke’s kids can do. Soccer, aths, swimming, shooting, ,gymnastics, baseball, boxing, martial arts, diving, triathelon, basketball and maybe cycling. The rest? Let the rich yaught clubs, wealthy rowing private schools and loaded range rover driving pony club mummys foot the bills for their kids to get good. We’ll shout em a tracksuit, a place in the village and a flag to hold on the dais.
    In the end it’s only kids that can’t bat, bowl or get a kick that go to olympics anyway.

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