Should the Olympics accept anyone?

Discussion in 'Debate Corner' started by Sara, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Sara Tea Drinker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me.
    340
    Alright, first a personal story from me before I ask the question:

    In 2000, I was watching the Sydney Olympics and during a 100 meter freestyle race, a young African athlete with shorts that barely fit him competed, his other two opponents got disqualified before the race and he swam alone. His style was awkward and slow, swimming well beyond the two minute mark before finishing the race. The crowd went nuts as he finished.

    Afterward, it was found he came from a country where he taught himself to swim, he had no coach, and he never saw an Olympic pool before. Nike actually paid for his country to get an Olympic pool after the competition.

    Recently I looked it up on Youtube because I always loved the story. I found it, but the comments were less than kind. I pointed out the origins of the story and someone told me at an Olympic level, someone shouldn't compete like that as a "lesser athlete".

    So, I have a question to ask: Should the Olympics accept anyone? From any country? Or should it have strict standards like the U.S. some other countries do on their athlete requirements.
     
  2. Patman Bof

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    France
    665
    Reminds me of that movie I haven' t watched yet, Cool Runnings, which if memory serves is loosely based on a true story.

    As far as I know the Olympics don' t accept anyone and everyone : there' s a limit to how many athletes a country can submit. That' s about it though, I think they leave it up to each country to sort out who they' ll submit, based on whatever criteria they see fit.

    Funnily enough, Pierre de Coubertin (the guy who revived the Olympics) envisioned them as purely reserved to amateurs. The inclusion of professional athletes came later on due to the growing pressure to market and sponsor them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  3. Ars Nova BLACK HEATRTED VIL

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Gender:
    i don't fkin know
    Location:
    Hell 71
    2,985
    That's... interesting. What made him feel that way about it?
     
  4. parabola Destiny Islands Resident

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    20
    52
    That is a great story (and, I would guess, the inspiration for the "backstory" to QWOP); while it's not an issue of economics, I think that it is essentially a case of supply and demand. For instance, the U.S. has a great deal of well-trained athletes who would like to compete (i.e. supply); however, because of this, the demand for athletes in terms of pure numbers goes down as far as the Olympics is concerned. In the case of underdeveloped nations, because the supply is low, the demand is actually quite high, because the Olympics is ultimately an international peacekeeping enterprise (I could go on spouting Constructivist theory, but I'll spare everyone). In other words, getting the greatest number of competing nations is in the best interest of the Olympics, even if it means accepting "lesser athletes".
     
  5. Patman Bof

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    France
    665
    If you are to believe his Wikipedia page :
    Also, the fact that sport is healthy wasn' t common knowledge at the time so he wanted to promote it (especially in education).
     
  6. Sara Tea Drinker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wherever the wind takes me.
    340
    A good way to see a problem of the advocacy is watching the movie "Miracle" where the U.S.S.R. at the time found loopholes to keep their players amateur despite them having decades of experience and domination in several sports, including ice hockey where Miracle's story takes place. Their hockey team was actually part of the army, but never got paid, so technically they were "amateurs".

    Being fair to the Olympics and countries like the U.S., in all the sports they compete in, they have a certain amount of athletes max. Five for Gymnastics, two for each event in swimming, four for all horse events, and usually two per team for back up in case if there's an injury, i.e.: A broken leg. This not only makes sure that the medals aren't swept off the podium, though sometimes it still happens, by one country, but keeps the events from running for more than two weeks. So the U.S. has to follow those rules and of course, select the athletes they think will win.

    The reason events like Cool Runnings and the swimmer happens is mainly because they have no one to compete against. The Jamaicans went into it knowing that they wouldn't have to do a tryout to make it, as did the swimmer, simply due to regulations that there was no other competitors entering those events. Which is a good thing, I love stories like this to happen. And I keep on hoping it does.
     
  7. Ars Nova BLACK HEATRTED VIL

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Gender:
    i don't fkin know
    Location:
    Hell 71
    2,985
    Huh. Interesting. So I guess he thought professionals would be too concerned with beating each other? I can definitely see that with modern sports, even the e-sports I actually like. Nobody cheats at a local tournament (Well, unless they're pathetic), but the collusion scandals grow exponentially the higher you climb into the ranks.
     
  8. Patman Bof

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    France
    665
    I guess so. Judging from his quotes he was a "sport as a school of life" kind of guy.