18 1 min 9 yrs

It’s hard to get away from the London Olympics these days and in particular the success of Chinese competitors. But what is the PRICE being paid for their haul of Gold? Have a look at these harrowing images of young children in China being prepared for the path of success. I know photographs can be deceptive BUT you really do have to wonder if this is not benign torture. How do you feel about this? Does anyone suspect that there is something amiss in the performance of certain Chinese athletes? I appreciate this sounds like sour grapes, but it isn’t. I am old enough to recall when Eastern European athletes also won a treasure of medals. Now it is almost universally recognised that they were cheats, using various drugs to get them onto the podium. But is China doing something much worse and why is there such little outcry?

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18 thoughts on “FOOL’S GOLD…

  1. Excellent title.
    This really is gold for fools. It’s all based on a naive understanding of the propaganda value of winning medals.
    If, say, Kazakhstan wins gold in weight-lifting, Kazakhstan thinks the world will stand in awe at such a great country, the determination of its athletes and the virility of its manhood.
    The world, meanwhile, couldn’t care less. If Kazakhstan is even noticed at all, it will be forgotten tomorrow and the only reaction that gold will generate will be the opposite of admiration. People tend to look on a competitor’s victory with resentment and anger, Kazakhstan will then be a barbaric Asian backwater, one that forces its athletes to perform, where the people are oppressed and dumb and where all young men are brainwashed in the army anyway, etc. etc.

    And it has to be said that you’ll find this naive jingoism in many countries that should know better: Ireland, Australia and above all the United States are in many ways as bad as Asian countries in this kind of silly flag-waving.

  2. Perhaps with the Kazakhstanis skill in lifting weights we should be recruiting them as instructors for our legion of ‘bin-men’, who seemed stressed by lifting anything more than 20 kilos.

    It cannot be denied that the once worthy Olympian ideal has been devalued by gamesmanship, and outright cheating, and all virtualy rubber stamped when the Olympics accepted ‘professionals’ as competitors.

    All so very similar to real life where the end justifies the means, and especially relevant at this time with revelations of similar behaviour in the financial and political arenas, where cheating is considered the norm.

    Perhaps we should actually feel sorry for the ‘gold winning good guys’, that their Herculean efforts have been so devalued by belief in the perverted political dogma of ‘national socialism’ of both East and Western varieties, where the medal count is so important.

    What many of these ‘sportsmen’ fail to realise is that when they cheat, in reality they only cheat themselves. What price a ‘gold’ if you have no pride or self-respect in the knowledge that you had to cheat to do it.

    Seems all rather self-defeating doesn’t it?

  3. “and why is there such little outcry?”

    That’s easy. If we want to continue having cheap this and cheap that, then we have to keep our mouths shut. On another thread re Pat Condell, even those who champion the underdog and the “rights” of minorities ~ or five year old Chinese chikdren for that matter~ become silent when they realise that their indignation is outweighed by Chinese economic power.
    Twas ever thus.
    Just another reason why I have lost interest in the Olympics.
    Incidentally why is it that totalitarian regimes will do anything to appear better at sports than anyone else?

  4. Agit8ed,

    It’s the philosphy, that the State is the be-all and end-all of life as we should be allowed to know it.

    Things such as pride in personal endeavour come via the State, a sop to delude the peasants into believing that, while they are no better than each of their countrymen, the State, – their State, is the very best. After all, they have little else, if anything at all, to believe in.

    I am surprised that the Olympic events are limited to a paltry twenty eight, when there are so many trivial pusuits that might have been included. I am sure we could at least get a bronze for farting which would enable a politician or three to participate. I believe the French once made an art form of it with music hall artist billed as ‘Le Petomane’.

    At least it might temper the prevalent stink of corruption of the current games.

    Our ant heap is so much better than their ant heap

  5. Hey Ernest!
    How’s your health these days?
    So pleased to see you back and holding your own against all comers! Are you going over to Belfast for the ATWfest?
    I hope that at some point we can meet up over here on the Mainland. I would like to shake quite a few hands and enjoy meeting people who are only names at the moment…

  6. Ernest 934

    Unfortunately, professionals at the Olympics long preceded the NBA players, etc.

    The USSR Hockey players, etc were well paid professionals, who used to win nearly always when they played the kids from the other countries.

    That genie was out of the bottle many decades ago.

  7. This is sort of off topic but there’s a debate going on in the US and in Congress (decision expected before the close of the summer session) because olympians are taxed based on the value of the gold, silver, and bronze medals. In addition, many are not aware that there are cash prizes that go along with every medal…those awards are also taxed by Uncle Sam…what say you all?

  8. Phantom,

    Yes, its been many years in the making, but who is, or was there to resist the corruptive cancer? no-one. It certainly destroys some of the finer ideas and things in life, and as in the instance of the Olympics, it usually happens when the politicians get involved.

  9. Once you throw out trying for the ideal, all you are left with is winning the trophy….

  10. Agit8ed,

    Just fine – thank you for asking. I haven’t really thought about the ‘AGM’, – August is a busy month for us, – perhaps later in the year a run up to the Broads could be on the cards.

    It would certainly be interesting to put some ‘flesh on the bones of some of those names’…

  11. mairin2,

    That ‘sports’ have now become as much a means of earning a living as any other job, just why would they expect to earn their living tax free?

    I don’t wish to be negative about this, but if competiors were provably strictly amateur, then I could see some justification for expecting any gains to be free of tax, but other professional pay tax, why should they expect to be treated differently?

  12. Ernest,
    If you do have a run up to the Broads, we could meet up with you and your wife either at our place on neutral territory at say, Wroxham or Potter Heigham.
    We could have a meal together and swap stories, experiences, opinions and you could tell us about life in the East End..
    Contact DV for my email address, and I will be in touch.

  13. I’ve not watched the Olympics for the past 12 years and more.

    I very much dislike the nationalism and the perpetual drugs arms race, which have been part of it since forever. And I think that those things are even worse than the fact that there are professionals in it.

    There is such huge money in it, and so many functionary jobs dependent on the TV money that this pig will never be fixed. I wish London well, but I want no part of this.

  14. Agit8ed,

    My goodness, – life in the East End, now that would be a blast from the past! I’m sure we could find a topic more suitable than that.

    Of all the places that I haved lived, – I have managed to have many memories, mostly happy, sometimes sad, all with accompanying ghosts of people who have influenced me or otherwise contributed to what I consider ‘happy times’, – but then, I’m a lucky fella!

    I have found that to revisit those places many years later is to invite disappointment, but it does lay those ghosts to rest, which somehow seems to bring a certain comfort and a peace of mind.

    However, thanks for the invite, – it’s something to look forward to….

  15. I agree that the obsessive nationalistic fervour regarding the medals table is a desperate mark of flimsy jingoism.

    Having sad that…. Hurrah we’re up to No 5 in the table now and as long as we beat the bloody frogs in the final tally I’ll be happy 😉

  16. “Doesn’t everyone have an unhappy experience with the French ? :)”

    One’s enough for most of us Colm. More than one is positively greedy….

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