My Take on the Olympics

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

I half-way watched some of the Olympics.  My wife was surprised that I watched any of it.  She said that I had told her that I was boycotting the Games, but if I said anything, I may have said that I was unsure of fair competition, and if it became too unbalanced that I might not watch.

When the USSR was the big rival for the USA, there were constant jabs being thrown about who led the medal count versus who led the gold medal count.  Now the big power is the Communist Chinese.  It is a battle between freedom and communism, as before, just different countries.  I wish we could get beyond such ideologies, but I dare say it is impossible in the world today.

As for the USA “team”, they either need runners that can run and pass the baton or a coach that can get it through the runner’s heads that a relay is a team race. Some of those baton interchanges were embarrassing.

And congratulations to all the winners and even the losers. Hey, you did what most in the world have never done, represented your country in the Olympics.

I find it very fishy that the Chinese divers never made a splash, a few bubbles upon entry, but it was like they tossed a pebble into the water rather than a diver. Even a pebble can cause a single drop to fly.  I know, do the dive right and there is very little splash, but the best anyone else could do was a small splash.  But the Chinese seemed to enter the water with no splash at all.  If their trick is legal, why haven’t other countries duplicated it?  Due to their culture and their focused training of promising athletes (with no distractions), they may still be the best in the world, but no splash?  Really?!

My greatest reservation in the fairness of the Games was in the area of transgender announcements.  During the Cold War, there was constant drug testing and constant discussion about the Russian female team, regardless of the sport, that needed a longer than allowed break at halftime, so that they could shave their beards before the second half of the game – allegedly.  Russia competed in these Games under the Olympic flag as the Russian Olympic Committee due to being caught with multiple drugging violations.  I guess since the USSR days, their cheating (allegedly) has become more transparent.  The only transgender athletes that made the news were a transgender female from New Zealand that did not medal in weightlifting and a member of the Canadian women’s soccer team who won the gold medal.  With the weightlifter, if this person’s performance had led to a new world’s record, would it stand?  It reminds me of the steroids issue in Major League Baseball.  Do the records and statistics mean anything when all you must do is claim to be female?  I am not saying that has happened in this case, but the question should either be asked, or we should throw away the women’s record books. Rev. Robertson sees the gender issue minimizing women and this seems to be no exception to that concern. Others, like Rev. David Robertson, have questioned whether team sports are even safe, especially contact sports, with “transgender females” playing against girls.

Yet, other than a few seconds of time on the telecast, the transgender issue did not dominate the discussion.

Thinking of Rev. David Robertson, the Wee Flea, on his Quantum podcast he gave a reciting of Sidney McLaughlin’s interview after breaking the world record in the 400M hurdles.  Ms. McLaughlin, according to Rev. Robertson, gave all the credit to God and deferred any praise.  To her, it was God’s strength that led to her success.  Here I am in the USA, and I cannot find that interview.  Is it being censored?  I have heard the two-second blip here and there about “I owe it to God” or “Thank God” but not a speech devoted to God, really a full Christian testimony.  Is that no longer allowed on a major network?

And finally, the major network coverage in general was confusing.  Of course, the golf was on the Golf Channel, a channel that I do not get.  For a decade or more, I have wondered why NBC showed gymnastics on prime time.  It is one of the least favorite games in my opinion, due to the subjective judging, like figure skating in the Winter Olympics.  This year, I figured it out.  The early round USA basketball games were only available on a streaming service.  They play the gymnastics on primetime on the free channel while you must pay extra to see what you wish to see.  A big money grab.

And a different issue arose on the internet.  People were enraged not knowing what was being broadcast live and what was time delayed.  The only thing that I can think of that matters for this situation is that people wanted to place bets on the games.  An old episode of the television show M*A*S*H comes to mind where Major Frank Burns bootlegged a radio feed of a baseball game live.  In this episode, the Armed Forces Network was to transmit the game 24 hours later for those in Korea, so Frank set up a lot of bets, since he already knew who would win and when they would score.  Of course, Hawkeye and company figured it out and made Frank give all the money back.  But could that be the reason for the anger over not knowing whether the broadcast was live?  Come on!  Japan is thirteen hours ahead of us in the Eastern time zone.  If you read this at noon Monday, it is already Tuesday in Japan.  The only way anything could be “Live” is an early morning event shown just before our bedtime or a late-night event that is completed when we are just getting up in the morning (although morning coverage was sketchy).

If you listen to the television commercials these days, sports are not interesting unless you have a bet on the game.  My parents taught me to never bet any money that I would not wish to lose, thus I have rarely ever bet on anything.  And when big money is riding on a game, it brings the fairness of the game into question.

I have written about how I feel there will be no competition in Heaven.  We will be with Jesus.  We will be among the victors.  We will have nothing left to prove.

But while still on this earth, I simply want fair competition.  I do not mind seeing a country that never wins a medal finally winning one, as long as it was a fair deal.  I do not mind dominance of one country or another in one sport, when that is the dominant sport of that country.

And I especially love seeing athletes, like Sidney McLaughlin give the praise to Jesus.  If anyone has a link, please send it in the comments.

And may we all realize that regardless of our earthly endeavors, athletic or otherwise, we owe the glory to God.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

3 Comments

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  1. I half heartedly watched as well— my favorites— Allison Felix and Sydney McLaughlin as they are both Christian women who, as you state, give credit to Whom credit is due!

    Yes we use to take pride in our physical prowess to do our darnedest to beat the Soviet Union— working against in an arms race, a space race and a physical competitive race— and it seemed that the physical competitive race was the sweetest to win— ode to those days of national pride and our physical best!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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