The Olympic Games: An Honest Competition?

Matches are ideally fair and unbiased, but what about those who bend the rules to get what they want?

By Oxana Tsirelman, Online Editor

Image obtained via Si B on Flickr Creative Commons

Image obtained via Si B on Flickr Creative Commons

The Olympic Games are among the most globally watched and anticipated sports competitions. Every country is rooting for their own athletes, waiting, wanting, hoping for the Olympic gold medal.

These international competitions are ideally fair, equal and unbiased. But are they really? Unfortunately, we don’t always play fair. Brace yourselves ladies and gentlemen, I’m about to expose the shady side of the Olympics.

“The Olympic Charter says participants are committed to social responsibility and peaceful society. Yet, three athletes have been sent home from the London Olympics for racist tweets or extremist right-wing associations” reports Edmonton Journal staff writer Christiane Wilke.

Now, I love sports, and I sit on the edge of my seat when I watch an Olympic game as much as the next person does, but we can’t turn a blind eye to what’s really happening.

[pullquote]The Olympics facilitate and fuel nationalism[/pullquote]It is also argued that the Olympic Games breed nationalism rather than promote international co cooperation. After all, the athletes represent their respective countries; first and foremost, they want to make their country proud.

“The Olympics facilitate and fuel nationalism. Taking pride in one’s country during sports events might seem harmless, but such pride in the nation coincides with the devaluation of outsiders, as studies have shown,” adds Christiane Wilke.

Some time ago, scandal surrounded several IOC members in Salt Lake City who took bribes from the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in order to host the Olympic Games. The IOC made the committee responsible for being the “guardian of the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement.”

“The IOC additionally continued to work with various sports’ governing bodies to root out unethical activity, including cheating, corruption, doping and other immoral behavior” reports Gil Imber of the Bleacher Report.

[pullquote]A perfect example of dishonorable behavior.. occurred during the badminton match between China and South Korea[/pullquote]“While the IOC and the various sports have taken great steps to deter, prevent and discipline ethics violations and rule infractions, that zeal for gold sometimes inspires driven athletes to perpetrate outrageously outlandish schemes” emphasizes Imber.

A perfect example of dishonorable behaviour in the recent London Games is what occurred during the badminton match between China and South Korea. It was discovered by the Badminton World Federation that the Chinese team deliberately lost the match to avoid facing another Chinese team in the next match.

Also, the football field was the site of a less than honorable performance. As Imber recounts: “Early in the Olympic tournament, Swiss footballer Oliver Buff took a dive, faking a foul and resulting in a booking from Columbian referee Wilmar Roldan. The yellow card was Buff’s second, translating to a red card and ejection from the contest”.

These instances beg the question: “Where’s the fairness and honesty?” In competitions, participants must demonstrate veracity and courage. They must know exactly what they want, and how far they will go to get it. Unfortunately, the example set by some of these athletes is that lying, sneaking around and cheating is the appropriate way to reach one’s goals. But, people who honestly fight for what they want are brilliant; they will succeed at whatever they do because but they will do it THE RIGHT WAY, despite certain people who try to convince them otherwise.


Si B
– EdmontonJournal

ARB Team
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