What if we fought for fair play?
What lingers with us after the just-concluded 2012 Olympic Games? A spectacular opening
ceremony? The coronation of Usain Bolt as the fastest man alive? The record number of medals for the United Kingdom? A number of lovely French victories? Yes, surely, but also some large doubts about doping in several disciplines by athletes willing to do everything to win, going as far as faking injury, falling intentionally, or refusing to play; even worse are the attitudes of the sore losers, including several French ones. In short, the legendary Anglo-Saxon concept of sportsmanship and the spirit of Pierre de Coubertin were not always around. Have the London 2012 games marked the consecration of playing dirty? It’s as if it were the one that jumped out of the parachute with Daniel Craig instead of the Queen of England, setting the tone on the first day of the games.
In a Sports Illustrated interview (click here), after Usain Bolt’s triple medal at the Beijing games four years ago, Carl Lewis was quoted to have said of the Jamaican: “For someone to run 10.03 one year and 9.69 the next, if you don’t question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you’re a fool.” A legitimate question—one might say that Lewis is an expert in this sort of thing, after having tested positive thrice but was cleared after his claim of inadvertent use of over-the-counter medication was accepted by the United States Olympic Committee—Lewis reminds us that among the 10 sprinters who have run the 100 meter dash in less than 9.80 seconds, half have tested positive for doping.
But thankfully, the torch of fair play still smolders and could reignite into a great flame at any moment, as we saw from the women’s handball team of Montenegro, who applauded the Norwegian team in the the last seconds of the match, giving them the honor of making one final goal in the last seconds. We wish that France, win or lose, lives up to the
spirit of the games!