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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:04 am 
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The olympics is not an exhibition event. It is not a "let everyone in and give them a participation badge" event. It is supposed to be the best of the best competing in a rarer than every year event that doesn't just take regular training, but 4 years of effort and training to excel above the rest of the world at that event.

That small countries or countries where the women are oppressed and abused can overcome the difficulties of their own life to excel and participate at that level is awesome, and worth admiration.

But as soon as you start handing it out to anyone that wants it, the whole thing loses all meaning.

Nel is saying that excluding people because they come from the same country as other top athletes is wrong. She's right.

The rest of you don't want to see athletes excluded to make room for more top athletes from "the big countries." You're right too.

In this case, everyone can be right, except the IOC, which gets it wrong, and NBC which shows it wrong.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:06 am 
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halplm wrote:
The olympics is not an exhibition event. It is not a "let everyone in and give them a participation badge" event. It is supposed to be the best of the best competing in a rarer than every year event that doesn't just take regular training, but 4 years of effort and training to excel above the rest of the world at that event.


It is amazing to me that this point is remotely controversial.

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:08 am 
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I agree with Frelga. (And had thought during the night - early morning here - on how to say it but you said it for me.)

And the inclusion of more top athletes would automatically mean the exclusion of the others - because already now, the Olympics are too big and have become very difficult to handle and to pay.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:11 am 
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This is Rome

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Nin wrote:
I agree with Frelga. (And had thought during the night - early morning here - on how to say it but you said it for me.)

And the inclusion of more top athletes would automatically mean the exclusion of the others - because already now, the Olympics are too big and have become very difficult to handle and to pay.


What is the basis for your claim that including more top athletes would automatically require excluding others? The Olympics is adding more sports, and athletes from new countries are being included without any objection based on size or cost (from Saudi Arabia to South Sudan).

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:18 am 
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Frelga wrote:
IMO, the place for limiting the competition to the "elite" athletes is the World Championship/Cup/Whatever in that specialty. Not the Olympics.


IAWF...

And the Olympics is still an elite athletic competition: we are simply getting the very best athletes from each country competing against each other... there has to be some kind of differentiation otherwise the Olympics becomes just another World Championships.


yovargas wrote:
Hmm, yeah, watching a competition that is dominated by one or two countries wouldn't really feel like watching the Olympics, IMO. Part of the idea of the Olympic spirit is that people from all over the world are doing this together. I'd say it's a big part of what sets it apart from Just Another Sports Competition.


Exactly. And it is still possible for a nation to get a "clean sweep" of Olympic medals in a particular event, proof of their strength of field in that discipline.

As to those who miss out on qualification, life is a lottery...injury/illness strikes at the most inopportunement moments. Having a competition only every 4 years compounds this: Many world champions fail to peak in time for the Olympics. They were still the best in the world at the time, but never Olympic champion. Does this devalue the Olympics?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:41 am 
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This is Rome

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Elentári wrote:
And the Olympics is still an elite athletic competition: we are simply getting the very best athletes from each country competing against each other... there has to be some kind of differentiation otherwise the Olympics becomes just another World Championships.


To the best of my knowledge, the World Championships are also limited to the very best athletes from each country. I.e., they also impose country-based quotas rather than allowing for a pure meritocracy, as I am advocating for. Again, my knowledge is sadly limited to the same two sports, so let me know if other sports do not impose quotas for Worlds.

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Exactly. And it is still possible for a nation to get a "clean sweep" of Olympic medals in a particular event, proof of their strength of field in that discipline.


No, it is not, depending on the sport. Again, in the aforementioned two sports, the "two per country" rule applies: in swimming to each individual event, in gymnastics to the individual all-around and event finals. In swimming, it used to be true that you could bring three competitors per event ... and it was changed specifically to avoid any one country (three guesses which one(s)) getting all the medals in a particular event. I know that running allows three per country. I don't know the quotas for any other sports, but would be interested if other people can chip in their knowledge.

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As to those who miss out on qualification, life is a lottery...injury/illness strikes at the most inopportunement moments. Having a competition only every 4 years compounds this: Many world champions fail to peak in time for the Olympics. They were still the best in the world at the time, but never Olympic champion. Does this devalue the Olympics?


I am conflicted about this. The Olympics provides a once in every four year snapshot into particular sports, and because it surveys only one point-in-time does miss out on some of the very, very best performances out there. I like that the objective/timed events have world records, at least, to capture the most spectacular performances that occur in off years. I'm actually more concerned for the subjective events - the public at large might simply miss out on seeing an amazing artistic or rhythmic gymnast, diver, figure skater, etc.

To be honest, I think that it does ... I'm not sure if the right word is "devalue" ... but decrease the worth and validity of the Olympics as the superlative measure of achivement, because it cannot capture all of the superlative achievements that occur in the intervening years, and some of those achievements may be more impressive than those showcased at the Olympics. On the other hand, turning the Olympics into an annual World Championships in order to capture all those achievements would definitely devalue the Olympics differently, make them less special and exclusive. There isn't a good solution, but I do think that the state of affairs you describe is a problem. That people may be injured, ill, or peak untimely - that unfairness has be chalked up to "life's not fair." We should not, however, exacerbate that unfairness by wholly unnecessarily excluding top athletes based on their country of origin. (This is especially true where so many athletes happily skirt around the nationality restrictions by claiming dual or triple citizenship and representing a less competitive country to which they don't have especially close ties, exacerbating the unfairness to those athletes who have only a single passport on which to rely.)

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:25 am 
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I am a dual citizen, as are my children and being it, I would find it quite distressing not to be allowed to compete for one of my two nationalities, were I an athlete. And I'd perfectly choose the more convenient one. The contrary exists also. Wilson Kipketer wanted to compete for Denmark when he married a danish woman, but for years could not take part in international competition before his naturalization was through. Swiss gymnast of Chinese origin Donghua Lee had to wait for years until he could compete again - once he had left the country (to get married in Switzerland), China would not let him any more, and he was not yet Swiss... When finally all was sorted out, he just had the time to be olympic champion...

Athletes of smaller countries have other griefs and troubles which handicap them in sport and make it impossible for them to compete. A Swiss basketball-player could be the best in the world - he would never be able to compete in the Olympics, because his home country will never have a team for that event. A great Swiss swimmer can never win medals in a relay - he will always be alone...

Some, whose talent can unfold in a huge country with the money, desire and infrastructure, will be competing, others who are as gifted and train as hard - but have to work beside, because their country is small and/or poor to pay for the infrastructure or to supply for its athletes - well, they won't. American athletes have more internal competetion before the games, other countries have other handicaps. It does not shock me.

Nerdanel, the olympica commitee has several times stated that they want to limit the number of athletes and in London there were less athletes than in Bejing 2008 - which is wanted by the Olympic committee.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:05 am 
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Sorry to continue this, but I didn't want to move on without reference to Nin's post...

Nin wrote:
Nerdanel, the olympica commitee has several times stated that they want to limit the number of athletes and in London there were less athletes than in Bejing 2008 - which is wanted by the Olympic committee.


The Olympics have their own ideals and I for one am happy with their ethos and organization. But I support Nel's complaint regarding a true competition between all the best athletes in the world. If even the World Championship Games limits participation by so many per country then I would certainly argue qualification should be by individual merit...

Anyway, in other news, I thought the keen climbers amongst us would be interested in this: London 2012: Dawn climbers to create Paralympic flames

Quote:
Four separate teams are scaling the highest peaks of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to create the Paralympic flames.

Once at the summits of Scafell Pike, Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Slieve Donard, they will strike flint against steel to spark fire.

The flames will then be carried down in lanterns ahead of celebrations in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast...

...The flames will then unite in the home of the Paralympic movement, Stoke Mandeville, ahead of a 24-hour torch relay which starts at 20:00 BST on 28 August and travels overnight to London.

It will see the Paralympic flame carried 92 miles by 580 torchbearers, working in teams of five, from Stoke Mandeville Stadium through Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and all six of London's host boroughs to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

There it will be used to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Games on the evening of 29 August.

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~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Professor Stephen Hawking and actor Sir Ian McKellen will narrate show at Paralympics Opening Ceremony...

Paralympics: Games opening promises 'journey of discovery'

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Some 3,000 volunteers will take part in the event, which organisers have entitled Enlightenment...

...The show's two artistic directors have said the main themes of the ceremony will be empowerment and the challenging of perceptions of human possibility.

Prof Hawking - a world-renowned physicist who has motor neurone disease - will join Sir Ian McKellen to narrate a scientific "journey of discovery", inspired in part by Prof Hawking's own book A Brief History of Time.

The organisers have revealed that Prof Hawking will act as a guide to Miranda, a character from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest, through the show.

Sir Ian will play Prospero, another character from the play.

Co-artistic director Jenny Sealey said the audience will be taken on an "exquisite journey of discovery inspired by the wonder of science".

She added: "Both Hawking and McKellen in their narrative talk about what we all need to remember: don't just look down at your feet, look at the stars, be curious."

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There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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