Olympic doping is a symptom not a cause
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
19 May 2016
The win at all costs mentality brings doping on
Olympic doping? Remember when Captain Renault (Claude Raines from the 1942 movie Casablanca) famously said “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
I’m afraid that is exactly my sarcastic response to implications that the Russian Olympic team doped during the Sochi Olympics and that that coverup was systemic to the Russian state.
Are you shocked? I doubt it.
However, I don’t think this stops with the Russian team. Let’s face facts: Doping and cheating in athletics is a global epidemic that, just like the Spanish Flu of 1918, it respects no boarders and infects the entire globe.
“The cult of athletics is not one of humanity’s finer traits. It clouds judgment, suspends introspection and deludes accomplishment.”
Does Olympic doping bother me?
Yes. But I’m not appalled at Olympic doping. Unlike almost all of my friends, I have given up professional sports (and the Olympics are PROFESSIONAL sports) and I am fast losing interest in intercollegiate sports as well. Did my malaise start with Lance Armstrong? Not really. It started when it occurred to me that athletic competition was becoming a religion where winning was embraced as a modern form of spiritual redemption.
The problem is the wealth that comes along with winning and, to borrow a term from Donald Trump, “trust me,” fame is a form of wealth.
The cult of athletics is not one of humanity’s finer traits. It clouds judgment, suspends introspection and deludes accomplishment. Fans identify with their teams so completely that they ignore the facts that even in intercollegiate athletics, athletes are not the representative of the schools for which they compete. The student athlete for the University of Kentucky’s basketball team has as much in common with the students and grads of that university as I do with an NFL athlete. By the way, don’t think I am ragging on the Wildcats (although they are top-of-mind with me). You could insert almost any university brand in the sentence including North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma… etc. Only Temple University is exempt (check my bio).
Winning is all that matters, so Olympic doping happens
In a global culture where winning is a form of self-identification, it is not surprising that we have had scandals in major league baseball, football and cycling. The personal identification with the Manchester United’s of the world is overwhelming but that blind ignorance pales compared to the xenophobic nationalism of the Olympics. Do you think only the Russians cheated?
My God, this past week I heard allegations that the Kenyan long distance runners have been doping. You know these super humans? They are 6’4” (legs are 5’ of that height) and they weigh 58 kilos. Rumor has it that they have the hollow bones found only in birds so as to be lighter on their feet. These are the guys and gals that finish the marathon before any of those running the half-marathon come even close to the finish line.
As I think about it, I don’t watch much in the way of sports anymore because I don’t want to think of myself as a fool. Someone duped into thinking everything is on the up and up and athletic accomplishment comes solely from hard work and dedication. I’m not duped because everyone seems to be doped.
Earlier blogs about athletics and the Olympics
Airbus and Wide-Bodies Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 20 July 2018 Airlines and Wide-Bodies Wide-Bodies. Airbus Wide-Body Hooray for wide-bodies! I'm not a wide body but I am a frequent flyer. As it is, I'm not writing about the Airline industry as such. And, I...
Prime Day Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 17 July 2018 Prime Day remains the tops, despite glitches There are very few shopping events that get me excited. Let me rephrase that. There is only one shopping event that gets me excited — Amazon’s Prime Day. Even...
Netflix downloads Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 16 July 2018 Netflix downloads grow more robust It’s a stunner to me that only a few streaming services do it, but why don’t more of them offer downloads of their content like Netflix? OK, Amazon Prime...