Friday, August 19, 2016

No 'Manning up" for Lochte

Lochte finally admitted, "kind of" that he and his teammates lied last week.
It's traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country -- with a language barrier -- and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that I am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event. I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided. I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.
 The bold above is mine, but it just points out  that Lochte really thinks he was justified in doing what he did. You note he doesn't mention the destruction these 4 drunken representatives of the US did to the gas station, no... a "stranger points a gun at you and demands money to let you leave."

By stating that the experience was "traumatic" makes me think he was trying to cop a "post-traumatic-stress-disorder" for lying.

Well - no dice.  You weren't a soldier facing months of uncertainty whether or not you would live or die at the hands of people you thought were allies, or innocuous boxes or other items that turn out to be booby-trapped bombs.

This "stranger" wouldn't have put a gun to your head if you hadn't broken in a bathroom door and urinated on the exterior of the premises, which one hopes you wouldn't have done if you hadn't been drunk.

These aren't 18-year-old kids, these are grown men, and their behavior is a true embarrassment to the United States.  (And even if they were 18-years-old, that's still no excuse for getting drunk. Enjoy your alcohol by all means, but never drink to excess, as bad things invariably happen.)

And in any event, why even say anything? Be decently ashamed of what you did, say nothing to anyone and just go home. I would have assumed all 4 drunken swimmers would have just preferred to forget the whole thing rather than draw attention to it by seeking out the media to tell them what had "happened."

"Team USA Dominates Medal Count"

That was the headline at the CBS Sports website today, Friday, 19 August 2016.

And if you look at their Medal Tracker, you'll see it's true - the US has won 46 more medals than anyone other country.

But we've also got the biggest contingent of athletes, and probably spend more money per athlete than any other country (with the possible exception of the Russians - who of course have their own doping issue disgrace)

With the amount of money available to successful Olympians is it any wonder that the "amateur" status of the sports involved went by the wayside more than 20 years ago?

Pro basketball players shouldn't be in the Olympics, or pro tennis players or pro golfers.

And as for other "sports"... synchronized swimming. Why is that an Olympic sport?  Sure, it takes a lot of skill to be able to kick your legs in time with your teammate while you're head is vertical under the water... but there's nothing for the spectators to see! At least with all other sports, regardless of how boring they might be (soccer), you can actually watch the entire body of the athlete at work.

Anyway, back to CBS Sports' Olympic Medal Tracker. Here are the top 11 countries, sorted by gold medals won.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Should Ryan Lochte and his cohorts be banned from all competition?

By now everyone has probably read all about the extremely embarrassing incident where four US swimmers - Gunnar Bentz , Jack Conger, James Feigen and Ryan Lochte - apparently lied to Brazilian police officials and their own US Olympic Committee about being mugged by thieves who had posed as policemen.

Turns out that the four of them had been out partying all night long, had been drunk, vandalized a gas station, and when armed security guards made them pay for the damage they'd done, they decided to concoct this story...for reasons which boggle the mind.

Now, it is beyond stupid that they would even think of doing this. How did these guys even think that they wouldn't be found out? That embarrassing the host country of the Olympics would be okay if it got them off the hook for their own stupid behaviors.

Perhaps in the United States these entitled athletes would have been able to walk away from a US gas station with no consequences for their actions. But did these four men not know anything about Rio de Janeiro?  Did they really think they could act like "ugly tourists" and get away with it?

Apparently they did. Kind of makes you wonder about their intelligence level, their common sense level, and their knowledge of the world, as well as the fact that actions have consequences.

So what should their punishment be? Should they be allowed to compete in swimming competitions ever again, even though they have been caught out in flat-out lies that could very well have caused an international incident?

If they were banned for life, as they should be IMHO, would they have the nerve to appeal - like so many entitled athletes in baseball, basketball and football, who so often are clearly in the wrong but nevertheless will insist that their Union defend their reprehensible actions do?

So much for these four men as role models. - it would certainly be interesting to see if they lose any endorsements they might have received after winning their medals. (Ryan Lochte is the only swimmer among them that I'd heard of, but apparently the other 3 were part of a gold medal relay team).

And is their behavior symptomatic of the behavior of all athletes, who have gone through their entire lives - once their athletic ability became known - being able to do whatever they wanted and get away with it because of their athletic ability (because they certainly don't seem to have any mental ability.)

And does anyone doubt that the four swimmers involved have been approached by a writer even now, wanting to write a book on them, their Olympics, and their spectacular fall from grace? I predict at least one and probably two books on this subject will be published and available at bookstores everywhere in about 3 months.


I haven't been able to watch as much of the 2016 Olympics from Rio as  would have liked to. My TV watching time has been very limited in the last two weeks.

But, as I watched during those times that I was able to watch, I found myself thinking the same kinds of things that I had thought while watching other Olympics.

So I decided to take the plunge and finally start a blog in which I would address those thoughts I had about the Olympics, the Olympics spirit, and how I wished the networks covering the the Olympics would alter their coverage.

Victory Laps

One thing I've always thought of was the nationalistic fever of the games. Not sure how long it's been going on, but the "victory lap" whenever the winner(s) of a track and field event would win a medal, they'd grab their country's flag and do a victory lap with the flag streaming in the wind...

Why not grab an Olympic flag, or a "peace on earth, good will toward all people" flag, and use that in your victory lap? Is that any more of a political statement than someone running around the track with the flag of their country (or adopted country, in the case of those individuals who moved to different countries and switched citizenships so they could compete)?

Yes, I think it's of interest to see how many medals each country wins, and I have no problem at all for the flags of the appropriate nations to be unfurled while the three medal winners are receiving their medals.

But for a victory lap, the "victory" should be the triumph of the Olympic spirit...and thus the flag should be something demonstrating the uniting of that spirit.