Bad(minton) sportsmanship at the Olympics
If I told you a month ago that the biggest story of the 2012 Summer Olympics would involve the Indonesian badminton team, you would have said I have serious mental issues. You would have been correct, by the way, but that’s not the point.
The point is that Indonesia, along with three other countries, was kicked out of the Olympics badminton competition for trying to lose. When you think about how hard these athletes worked to get here, and how they achieved their lifelong dream of playing Olympic badminton in front of a large crowd, and how ridiculously odd it seems to lose on purpose, one question immediately comes to mind: Why were people watching a badminton game?
Three other Asian badminton teams threw their games, too, and were removed from the tournament. This upset me dearly, as I had had Jung Kyung-eun from South Korea on my fantasy badminton team.
But badminton is not the only sport at these games. I’ve spent the last week trying to take them all in, and if you thought nothing could be more boring than the opening ceremony, then you have obviously not watched archery. I’ve tried to watch other sports, too, but it’s tough. I don’t want to be close-minded, but let’s just say that I’ve met my rowing-watching quota for the next say, 500 years.
I’ve also discovered I’m not fond of the weightlifting events. If I want to look at unattractive, 400-pound, sweaty, hairy Eastern Europeans, I’ll just go on Facebook and look up ex-girlfriends. I have however, discovered a previously unrealized interest in women’s beach volleyball.
Like many of you, I admit to only being interested in watching when an American is competing. I personally do not care if, say, Uganda destroys Tajikistan in water polo. Come to think of it, I don’t care if Uganda destroys Tajikistan in real life.
I just root for the USA in the Olympics. Even for the tiresome Michael Phelps, who now has 1,465th medals, most of which are gold. Is it me, or is the whole Michael Phelps thing getting a little old now? OK, you’re good at swimming. We get it. It’s getting to the point where any bronze or silver medals he wins he tosses to fans in the crowd.
What I do find interesting about Phelps is that, in addition to eating at Subway as part of his spokesman duties, he accomplished all this with a training regimen that included (according to the tabloids), marijuana use and parties with exotic dancers.
Contrast this to the Chinese women’s volleyball team, who (true story), blamed their early poor performances on weakness due to spending the previous three weeks eating nothing but vegetables.
This is why I’m not afraid of China overtaking us as a superpower. They can’t even win with draconian discipline, militaristic training and obsessively healthy diets, whereas our most decorated Olympian can take home eight gold medals after chowing down fast food, hanging out with strippers and smoking weed.
In other Olympic news:
■ In gymnastics, Gabby Douglas made history by becoming the first African-American ever, to be named “Gabby.”
■ The USA men’s basketball team crushed Nigeria 156 to 73. Nigeria players got the last laugh, however, after they befriended LeBron James at halftime, and scammed him out of $23 million dollars.
■ Greece won its first medal, but was forced to sell it to 1-800-BUY-GOLD in order to pay back their debt to the European Central Bank.
■ After finishing with his last swimming race, Michael Phelps said, “Why not?” and entered the equestrian competition, where he won three gold medals.
In a few days we’ll see the finals in some of the Olympics’ signature events, such as rhythmic gymnastics and boxing. I have no idea who is going to win. But my money is NOT on Indonesia.
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