Is the Olympic hype healthy for our country?

Does anyone else share a sense of uneasiness around the hype and almost hysteria for the Olympics and Paralympics?

I know this will be controversial but I feel that the fervour that is being whipped over both Olympics this summer is actually a bit worrying and could set an unhealthy trend?

Don’t get me wrong I love watching and participating in sport – but the change this time with London 2012 and “Team GB” and the focus on medals seems to me to step over the line into nationalism and to an extent loses what is great in sport?

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Comments

  • the "it's the taking part that counts" and being good losers.

  • I'd agree it's been near the wrong end of the nationalism scale. However, I've lost count of the number of people I've spoken to who, having been sceptical about the whole thing, have been enthused by the sport itself, without worrying too much about who was actually winning. I do worry that we exult elite sport whilst doing little to promote it further down - sale of school playing fields has continued apace, for example. There has to be a better balance between elite and grass roots.

  • I don't think there is a hysteria.   The Olympics captured a lot of people's imaginations and they enjoyed watching it but I can't see the problem beyond that - if anything there's been less hype than some sporting events like Euro 96.   Don't believe what the TV commentators tell you - of course they'll hype it up and maybe for them it's been a huge event as they've been working on it for weeks - for most of us it's been a pleasant distraction over the Summer and nothing more.   

    As for the focus on medals - I do think we emphasise winning medals too much - when we are doing it by pumping huge amounts of cash into elite sport at a time when facilities for grass roots participation are suffering then I think we've got the priorities wrong.

  • Whats wrong with celebrating success?

     

    So many non British athletes at the Olympics stated that they loved the crowd because they cheered for everyone and not just the home nation

     

     

  • I don’t know whether you saw the drama Bertie and Dickie on the BBC recently – it was a true story about two oarsman winning a gold medal in the double skulls in the 1948 Olympics starring Matt Smith and Sam Hoare and portraying Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell.

    I found it interesting as it portrayed the last bastion of amateur sport and the tussle between Bertie and his father Charles (who also won an Olympic gold medal) and his view on “fair play” amateur sport which to an extent they were challenging….

    Anyway I have just felt that I have witnessed (am witnessing) a nation in raptures over Team GB rather than really appreciating sport for its own sake…

    I guess to an extent the answer will be in the legacy?

  • The Silent Assassin wrote (see)

    Whats wrong with celebrating success?

     

    So many non British athletes at the Olympics stated that they loved the crowd because they cheered for everyone and not just the home nation

     

     

    I just feel a line has been crossed that's all!

    A colleague who attended on Monday said that every time a British athlete came out into the statium the place erupted and went wild irrespective of their ability i.e. ranking and likelihood of doing well in their event! Is that healthy and respectful?

  • uknick wrote (see)

    I just feel a line has been crossed that's all!

    A colleague who attended on Monday said that every time a British athlete came out into the statium the place erupted and went wild irrespective of their ability i.e. ranking and likelihood of doing well in their event! Is that healthy and respectful?


    I take it you have never been to a football match between two local teams?

    The hatred shown to a rival team from the same district is amazing, there was no hatred shown at the Olympics.

  • A line has been crossed! please expalin.

    What exactly is wrong in supporting your home athletes, yes it is healthy and yes it is respectful, it's also very good to see. It seems you're concerned that we cheer our own people regardless of ability? Would you seriously expect any less in any partisan stadium across the whole world?

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    uknick wrote (see)
    The Silent Assassin wrote (see)

    Whats wrong with celebrating success?

     

    So many non British athletes at the Olympics stated that they loved the crowd because they cheered for everyone and not just the home nation

     

     

    I just feel a line has been crossed that's all!

    A colleague who attended on Monday said that every time a British athlete came out into the statium the place erupted and went wild irrespective of their ability i.e. ranking and likelihood of doing well in their event! Is that healthy and respectful?

    I dont' think a line has been crossed at all. I think it showed how 'equal' everyone was. Yes, GB got a big cheer but so did the other nations (e.g. Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps). I think that shows athletes who work hard for several years that their country supports them and celebrates them. An example to show why it was not nationalistic?

    - Long Jump. His competitors were clapped, celebrated and were never ever made to feel anything less than common competitors. This shows a fantastic spirit for ALL competitors and celebrating the sport.

    Also, another example of people 'going wild' was the female Saudi 800m athlete. She was last in her heat but was given a roaring reception and cheer in the last 100m. Her reception and applause was bigger than the winner in the heats.

  • Peter Collins wrote (see)

    I'd agree it's been near the wrong end of the nationalism scale. However, I've lost count of the number of people I've spoken to who, having been sceptical about the whole thing, have been enthused by the sport itself, without worrying too much about who was actually winning.

    I do worry that we exult elite sport whilst doing little to promote it further down - sale of school playing fields has continued apace, for example. There has to be a better balance between elite and grass roots.

    I agree with the second part.

    I was sceptical about the whole olympics thing, mostly because of the cost.  I haven't changed my view, I doubt there will me much benefit for anyone (other than the sponsors) in the long term.

  • So uknick you would rather we return our rightful status of 'plucky little losers' and leave the winning to others.

     

  • I don't think there's anything wrong in being a 'plucky loser'. 

    Winning does not actually mean anything, really, as far as I can see.  You can run faster than him?  So what? 

    It doesn't make a winner a better person - just a faster runner (or whatever).

     

  • Wilkie wrote (see)

    I don't think there's anything wrong in being a 'plucky loser'. 

    Winning does not actually mean anything, really, as far as I can see.  You can run faster than him?  So what? 

    It doesn't make a winner a better person - just a faster runner (or whatever).

     

    erm isn't that the whole idea about competitive sport?

    and I think the olympic motto is "faster, higher, stronger"


     

  • Show me a good or a plucky loser, and I'll show you a loser. image

  • Nationalism? The whole idea of it is to be competetive and for fans to get their  nation/team/pairs/individual. They aren't just jogging around the track to show off a few different coloured vests.

    I mean c'mon... I even supported a Welsh girl in the TKD and a Scot in the cycling! image

    Wilkie - Winning does mean something. i.e the 800m. They all set about the task of being able to complete 2 laps of the track faster than everyone else... the person who did it fastest proved he had prepared for and carried out his race better. That will mean a hell of a lot! Are you telling me if you won a gold at the olympics and took a WR making you the fastest person ever to officially complete that distance you wouldn't feel anything? honestly?

     

  • Honestly some people are never happy. Everyone goes wild for the olympics/paralympics and it is unhealthy. If no-one gave a shit then that would be unhealthy or sad or something else. You can't win



    P.s. i'm loving it all and will be gutted when it is over
  • Bear B.Hind wrote (see)

    So uknick you would rather we return our rightful status of 'plucky little losers' and leave the winning to others.

     

    Possibly - I can't really assess the consequences of what has happened yet and whether it is a positive or negative force!

    I do remember 1976 and the single bronze medal by Brendon Foster - that wasn't much fun.. and I really admire and celebrate what Dave Brailsford had done with the cycling team and likewise in the rowing - superb athletes...

  • uknick wrote (see)

    I don’t know whether you saw the drama Bertie and Dickie on the BBC recently – it was a true story about two oarsman winning a gold medal in the double skulls in the 1948 Olympics starring Matt Smith and Sam Hoare and portraying Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell.

    I found it interesting as it portrayed the last bastion of amateur sport and the tussle between Bertie and his father Charles (who also won an Olympic gold medal) and his view on “fair play” amateur sport which to an extent they were challenging….

    I only saw the end.  Did they include the bit where they lost their first round deliberately so that they could avoid the Danish crew in the semi-final?  Nowadays folks get banned for doing that at the Olympics.

    As for this unhealthy trend you speak of, sure lots of people go a bit OTT for Team GB, but you must have missed the fact that venues were pretty much full, even for those events where GB stood little or no chance.  People were enjoying sport for its own sake too.

  • I don't really get this thread.......  What is the point in competing at sport on an elite platform unless it is to win??   Why would you spend 4 years training and following diet plans etc etc if not to win?  Surely winning is about being the best athlete and not about being judged on your personality?

    For me, the olympics and paralympics has given me a whole new world of motivation and makes me proud of our athletes.  I have nothing but respect for their dedication and it has certainly put my achy muscles after a poxy little run (by comparison) into perspective.

  • Beth Roberts wrote (see)

    I don't really get this thread.......  What is the point in competing at sport on an elite platform unless it is to win??   Why would you spend 4 years training and following diet plans etc etc if not to win?  Surely winning is about being the best athlete and not about being judged on your personality?

    For me, the olympics and paralympics has given me a whole new world of motivation and makes me proud of our athletes.  I have nothing but respect for their dedication and it has certainly put my achy muscles after a poxy little run (by comparison) into perspective.

    Sorry Beth but it’s not about the athletes and their quest to win… Of course they want to win and their efforts should be rewarded in terms of accolade and celebration. It’s about how “the nation” including the media respond to this.

    If you remember Atlanta and LA before that there was a huge amount of criticism of the US and their nationalistic approach to wining and coverage. They organised it around their TV stations and didn’t even show races where there was no US interest. There has been similar criticism of the BBC and their coverage and focus on Team GB athletes. I’m sure that there of loads of contrary examples of fair play and celebration of other athletes and nations but in my opinion we have become more like the US and that makes me uncomfortable.

  • WiB wrote (see)

    Nationalism? The whole idea of it is to be competetive and for fans to get their  nation/team/pairs/individual. They aren't just jogging around the track to show off a few different coloured vests.

    I mean c'mon... I even supported a Welsh girl in the TKD and a Scot in the cycling! image

    Wilkie - Winning does mean something. i.e the 800m. They all set about the task of being able to complete 2 laps of the track faster than everyone else... the person who did it fastest proved he had prepared for and carried out his race better. That will mean a hell of a lot! Are you telling me if you won a gold at the olympics and took a WR making you the fastest person ever to officially complete that distance you wouldn't feel anything? honestly?

     

    I, personally, would probably feel very chuffed, if I won something. I wouldn't expect it to mean much to anyone else though.

    If a friend won, I'd be very happy for them.

    I don't care about a bunch of strangers whom I will never know.  Whether the person who wins in English, German, or any other nationality is neither here nor there.  An English person winning doesn't mean all English people are suddenly somehow better.

    So they are the fastest, can jump highest/furthest, makes them good at their sport, but that has no impact at all on anything else (except, as KK points out, their earning potential). 

  • I object to paying for it.

    Waste of money.

    We could have let France have it, and had all this for free.

  • Wilkie wrote (see)
    WiB wrote (see)

    Nationalism? The whole idea of it is to be competetive and for fans to get their  nation/team/pairs/individual. They aren't just jogging around the track to show off a few different coloured vests.

    I mean c'mon... I even supported a Welsh girl in the TKD and a Scot in the cycling! image

    Wilkie - Winning does mean something. i.e the 800m. They all set about the task of being able to complete 2 laps of the track faster than everyone else... the person who did it fastest proved he had prepared for and carried out his race better. That will mean a hell of a lot! Are you telling me if you won a gold at the olympics and took a WR making you the fastest person ever to officially complete that distance you wouldn't feel anything? honestly?

     

    I, personally, would probably feel very chuffed, if I won something. I wouldn't expect it to mean much to anyone else though.

    If a friend won, I'd be very happy for them.

    I don't care about a bunch of strangers whom I will never know.  Whether the person who wins in English, German, or any other nationality is neither here nor there.  An English person winning doesn't mean all English people are suddenly somehow better.

    So they are the fastest, can jump highest/furthest, makes them good at their sport, but that has no impact at all on anything else (except, as KK points out, their earning potential). 

    so you have never supported a team? be it football, polo, sailing etc, the highs and lows of following something or someone makes the viewing so much more injoyable


     

  • No, I've never supported a team.  I've never been very interested in watching other people do sports.  I'd rather be doing it myself!

    I was very pleased for a friend who won her age group in a race.

    If someone I knew was in a team, then that would make a difference (the kind of difference depending on whether I liked them or not image )

  • So what's next for TeamGB. Invade Poland?
  • Ha Ha - you said it not me imageimage

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