Thursday, 2 August 2012

Unsportsmanlike behaviour at the Olympics

There I was watching a game of badminton the other night and was quite bemused at the boos and cat calls going on for a game on a court in the same hall, but not being shown. It was a bit confusing when the commentator was saying how disgusting it was. What was? No-one was enlightening us so Mountain Man and I had to turn to the online coverage to find out.

I have to say I would have been furious if I'd paid to go and see the game and had to watch world class players playing like some of us used to do in our village halls. The only difference being we were trying our hearts out and I think we would have struggled to flick a shuttle into the net or over a line on purpose as we had enough difficulty keeping the damn thing in.

However, as a former badminton coach I know that the game has a 'chess-like' quality, so no matter how wrong I feel this kind of play is, I can see how players might be tempted to try and manipulate the game they're playing in order to get a better chance of winning. The fact that this is played out in view of the world outside of badminton has, in my view, a great deal to do with those involved being banned. And I'm so pleased they have been.

Far better that this was out in the open and dealt with, which I have to say is more than can be said for the boxing. Last night I was watching the super-heavyweights in action and noticed that the Belarussian stood on the Ecuadorian's foot as he battered the poor guy, who couldn't move. This apparently wasn't seen by the ref, but the commentators saw it. Then he did the same again and again, which the commentators seemed to ignore and the ref was still blind to. I was incensed!

I really dislike seeing great sportspeople behaving in such a way. Definitely the ugly side of sport and so unnecessary and it does bring into question the whole ethic of the Olympic Games where it becomes clear that for some it's not the taking part, but the winning that matters.


  1. Incensed! Yes she was, to be fair I don't think the Belarussian even knew he was standing on anyone's foot. Though it appears I might be in the minority on that one! :)

  2. I can't possibly believe that someone doesn't know when they're treading on someone else's foot. You won't ever convince me of that one!