Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poor sportsmanship at the Olympics

I feel like this is a topic that needs to be addressed and is directed at all the athletes. I seem to be reading rather frequently tales of whining about losing and displays of bad sportsmanship. To add more salt to the wound is reading or watching newscasters engage in this behavior themselves by either paying lip service or chiming in. I find this disgraceful and it has made me decide to give up on the Olympics as long as NBC is broadcasting it. Trust me I don't change my mind easily. Let me lay my case down.

1. U.S. Olympics team's coach accuses Chinese team of having under aged gymnasts. She called them babies. Watching this part of the competition it seemed like the Chinese and U.S. were neck in neck and that it would be the mistakes that would cost either team the gold. Well, U.S. made some huge mistakes on the vault and floor exercises. One thing my 6th grade teacher had taught me was that it didn't matter if we won it mattered if we were good sports. I've read the U.S. gymnasts comments and they displayed integrity and good sportsmanship; however, their coach did not. I don't think the coach deserved the attention from the media or to have her case being splashed on the front pages of the news or blogs. She just sounded spiteful and instead of making excuses should have said my team is going to come back and get all the gold medals for the rest of the competition.

2. Coach Karrolli being interviewed by Bob Costas after Sacramone failed to get a medal in the vault. What did he say? He said that he felt the Chinese gymnast was scored too high and that's why his gymnast was shut out. I remember from watching it myself that Sacramone had the lowest point values for her vault and so it meant that she needed to be perfect. She wasn't and that's why she didn't win. I was so upset that they felt they needed to do this. I like how Coach Karrolli can complain about a Chinese gymnast beating his U.S., but would he ever have said that about a European gymnast. Case in point, Shawn Johnson bested out of a gold medal by a Romanian. No complaints from the coach.

3. NBC and their coverage. I hate their U.S. centric coverage instead of it being about the world coming together. I feel like the emphasis has been placed on winning instead of coming in and doing your best. When I was younger I remember not having to stay up till midnight to watch gymnastics. I remember watching stories about the other athletes of various countries and what struggles they had to go through to make their Olympic dreams come true. I don't get that ever since NBC took over the Olympics.

Let's go back to what the Olympics should be about. The world coming together to celebrate and rewards its athletes.