Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Olympic Games are the Ultimate Achievement.


Yeah Right.

Many deluded souls think an Olympic Medal, particularly a Gold represents that a competitor has reached the pinnacle of their chosen sport.
Wrong.

There are all kinds of additional hurdles that prevent that happening and I am disregarding the Quadrenniel Chemists competition that runs concurrently with the IOC effort.

At the Bejing games New Zealand had arguably the top two single scullers in the world, Drysdale and Waddell but we could only start one of them in the Olympic event.

Football or as some still call it,  Soccer, is competed for by Under 23 National sides with a clause that allows a couple of older players to assist in a move to maintain an acceptable level of competition.

At this years London festival it was revealed to me for the first time, that the cross country standard of difficulty was reduced to around the 3 star standard of difficulty.
 Burghley and Badminton in England, Kentucky (US), Luhmuhlen (Germany), Stars of Pau (Fr) and the Australian International 3 day events are all  rated 4 stars.
That was ostensibly "TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR MORE COUNTRIES TO COMPETE".
That is the salient fact that the armchair critics completely missed when Andrew Nicholson's Dressage effort was sabotaged by "an official getting wet". Too bad that Nicholson already had to deal with the rain that was falling but he knew and understood that the dressage score was going to be pivotal. Not the 10% factor it is supposed to be.

The Olympics as the apex of sporting endeavour, I don't think so.

Then there are the chemists!!

1 comment:

Bazza said...

A couple of Winter Olympics ago an Australian male speed skater won the Gold Medal because he was so far behind on the last lap that he was able to avoid the fall and subsequent pile-up that took out all the other contestants.

Nick Willis' chances in the London 1500 metres were enhanced by Kenya being limited to three competitors.

Thirty odd years ago a list was published of the one hundred best ever 100 metres times by male athletes under the age of twenty. The names included Armin Hary (Germany), 1960 100m champion; Livio Berutti (Italy) 1968(?) 200m champion; Harry Jerome (Canada) 100 3rd 1960 or 1964; four or five other Europeans, and the rest, ninety-two or so, were from the USA.

Would Valerie Adams possibly throw further if she used more than two fingers (index and middle) to propel the shot? Ostapchuk used five (4 + Thumb), which I imagine is encouraged by all coaches at all levels.