On Olympics (Part-1)

24 August, 2004 at 12:25 Leave a comment

Just happened to read this – Table tennis doubles faces Olympics axe. Quote –
“The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) wants to drop the doubles from the next Olympics in Beijing and stop China from winning so many medals. ITTF president Adham Sharara said the federation plans to replace the pairs in Beijing with a team event”
Am I missing something here? Is it just me who is imagining things but isn’t it the case that certain other sports are also dominated by so called power-houses? Track-Events(USA) and Swimming(USA/Australia) and Gymnastics(Russia) and Boxing(Cuba) immediately come to mind. No one complains if these countries win soooo many medals in those events and so why target China? I think that in any event, there should be just one athlete from one country competing. I know this is cruel but no more crueler than sending an athlete home with no medal just because he came 4th because he jerked and came behind 0.2 seconds later. Atleast in my case, the IOC can make many more countries watch more Olympics on TV and increase revenues of the Olympics πŸ˜‰
I do not want to get very whiny here and see some stupid conspiracy because there are larger issues at stake here. Fundamentally, I do not understand where does the concept of countries come into the picture at all? Olympics or any other sporting event for that matter are about human spirit and humanity pushing the boundaries. Is it not? Sport should unite/inspire people not bring out superficial boundaries and harbouring hate. Somewhere –
“Humare paas gold medal hai, silver medal hai, bronze medal hai. Tumhare paas kya hai?”
“Mere paas gun hai, kambhakt” (boom)
Seriously, does it really matter which country a super-athlete belongs to? Or what color he is? If this human can run 100m in under 5-seconds, is it not a triumph for humanity? And if this feat is achieved by using drugs, then is it not a shame to humanity as a whole?

Yeah. I was also reading on some essays concerning black athletes domination in certain sports. There is a racial (not rascist, I am explained) theory (and a bunch of books) of why black athletes dominate many sports today especially those that involve plenty of brawn like sprinting and long-distance running. The conclusions of course being that there “should” be a brawn/brain trade-off. How stupid can all these Professors who write such books get? How did they become Professors at all? There is something seriously wrong with the University system where they come from? Can we impeach Professors if they start doing such things? Cannot they see that sports like shotput, pole-vault, swimming, cycling are as brawnier as running and which colour dominates them? It is certainly not black. What are these people? Stupid, idiotic, senseless, blind, dumb, deaf, soddy bigots? And what are the Universities funding their work thinking? And also what are the people who buy/read or are thinking of buying/reading such books thinking by backing such punctillious arguments? The role of a University is not to mislead the community I suppose. Where is quality control?
True, there may be an innate capacity for certain coloured people to achieve in sport. It may also be true that certain coloured people have a capacity for bigger brains. Let us take this at face-value. No arguments. What this implies is that all certain coloured people can run better than certain other coloured people. And certain coloured people achieve more than certain other coloured people. But that is not the case. I know of a lot of other coloured people (than my own) who run faster than me. And I am certainly smarter than a lot of people of other colours (than my own) – the prime examples being the people who advocate such theories. So the argument is proven not to hold true. A simple proof-by-counter-example. For all I am concerned, there ends the matter. I am not saying that race/genome does not play a role. It does but does it really matter in sport? The margin of defeat is so miniscule that it is negligible. Heck, many people can sprint 100metres in less time that I am taking to write this sentence! And this includes many people of all colours of the rainbow who can run under 11-seconds and many more out there who can run under 9-seconds if they had tried and if they had been spotted. But intelligence is totally another issue. This theory is taken forward and amplified to argue that the world is today the way it is because of superior/inferior intelligence of one race over another. To argue that just because some racial group as a whole can run a bit faster (presence of special muscles et al.) than another race as a whole, it could be the case that their brains (which is another muscle) has to be more “primitive” is totally absurd. The trade-off between speed and intelligence – What is that? Where did it come from? This is to be prejudiced in a way that does not make any sense at all. Especially so, since the only proof given is that of bigger brains (on average). Now who correlated bigger brains to superior intelligence? Volume/Cubic capacity does not really play a role because women have smaller brains but they are beating us men black and blue in everything. So, where does this argument stand if it hasn’t already crumbled?

You know what I think? These harbingers of race (no matter how educated they are) are just like the truck-drivers-in-a-diner people who harbour prejudices like the beauty/brain trade-off. Even many University students tend to think this is true. I think this is more of a social reaction. We just cannot take it that someone can be prettier than us and so we tend to think that they are less brainier than us on some imaginery IQ test of our liking. We think that certain hair colours (blonde for example) tends to make people shallow. Of course the reaction is because of humankind’s obsession with beauty. And… Wait, now where we are we? What did we start with? Things are spinning out of control yet again. Have to meditate…
And yes my prejudice against truck-drivers is very obvious up there in case someone wants to point that out. I am but a normal human being. Prejeudices are an important component of my identity and upbringing. If you know any truck-driver who can teach me Zen, lemme know πŸ™‚

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