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August 6, 2012 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Nothin’ But Net

sorting the good sports from the bad

A lot has happened in the last fortnight.

The marriage equality bill finally got drawn for debate.

Amy Winehouse finally ticked over one year of sobriety.

And in a bid for “worst timing of the year”, the Olympics got started with the second semester.

This great event predates most major tournaments, so has a huge amount of glamour and prestige.

Some of the world’s premier athletes are on show as people take the time to get high off Michael Phelps’ success and watch the genetic experiment between man and cheetah that is Usain Bolt.

And when else do you care about how well people can jump into a pool? Or the horse ballet dressage?

We love the nationalism; finding reasons to be proud of your country. How exciting was it when we finally got a medal? No-one else in the world will respect us any more for it, but it’s still great to see Kiwis competing with the best.

Every four years, we also ask the same question of which sports should and shouldn’t be there.

One argument says any sport that relies on judges to find a winner should be turfed. The possibility of offical bias or corruption does challenge the Games’ clean spirit.

Others say only individual sports should be there. The Ancient Greeks loved the exhibition of individual prowess and team sports detract from that.

As the world’s finest sporting event, I think any discipline at the Olympics should be the pinnacle of that sport.

No-one cares about track and field events until they come up as Olympic events, and an athlete isn’t often considered the best in the world unless they take gold in the Olympics.

Football is my classic example. To be considered among the greats, a player usually has to win a World Cup or a Champions League trophy, with none of this Olympic gold bullshit.

If an event has Gabon or the UAE entered over Germany or Argentina, is it really the world’s finest? (Hint: no)

I’ll watch it and enjoy the OlyWhites getting thoroughly trounced, but it won’t change my mind.


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