In the last couple of days, there has been a discussion about the hype of winning. The pressures that are put on coaches and players for the ultimate ~ to win. For bragging rights? For additional revenue? Glorification of the masses?
In reading this morning about different events yesterday at the Olympics, seems one badminton team blatantly should signs of “cheating” to lose….during competition on Tuesday. Why? ~ Strategy! Purposely doing poorly to “secure a more favorable position in the next phase of the event.” From what country? China!
Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli were one of four doubles teams which appeared to play poorly on purpose. The Chinese star of badminton is apparently ‘stepping down’ from the sport after she was one of eight players disqualified from the doubles tournament at the London Olympics for trying to lose. It was verified by Tencent Microblogging Service late Wednesday, that Yu was quitting ~ ”This is my last game. Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton.” Other teams disqualified from competition were two from South Korea, and another from Indonesia. Unlike, failed drug testing where the athlete is dismissed from the Olympic grounds all together, they are allowed to remain at the games. Even though, this is the largest number to be disqualified in Olympic history. In my view, not a good record to hold ~ to be apart of by any athlete, no matter the country. The repercussions will be strong not only to themselves but to others, also, in their near future.
The team’s performance was so bad and obvious to what they were doing….those “who attended the matches Tuesday night at Wembley Arena – they chanted, ”Off! Off! Off!” – and to incredulous television broadcasters and viewers watching around the world.” Even the announcer, BBC’s David Mercer said in disbelief. ”They are both trying to lose, … unforgivable….”.
“The official Xinhua news agency quoted Yu apologizing ”to all the badminton fans and friends over yesterday’s game, because we did not comply with the Olympic spirit, and did not deliver a match with our true level to the audience, the fans and the friends.” The Chinese head coach, Li, made a statement taking full responsibility for their actions.
So does this prove some games are “fixed” to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a Gold?! This is the Olympics. This is the one arena where winning is the highest honor a proven athlete can achieve. No matter what country they represent ~ the disgrace of such a calculated performance is disheartening. To purposely lose, in this case, is nothing short of dishonorable. Years of hard work, dedication, respect of skills, honor of representing their country who has supported them in their efforts ~ ending in such a dim light. Sadly, those involved will not be remembered for their achievements to reach a grand pinnacle ~ but those who were disgraced in front of the world, putting ill light upon their country, being disqualified. Fair? It’s human nature.
Is winning important? In the Olympics ~ decidedly yes …. simply in the pride of one’s accomplishment in a competitive sport. To reach the highest pinnacle of one’s career. To hold such an honor being the best in their chosen sport ~ this goal they worked so hard to achieve….for themselves, for their Country. To be the “Best of the Best” in the most highly acclaimed athletic arena. This is the Olympics ~ the arena of qualified and exonerated athletes, representing respective countries around the world. To “throw” a match by poor play to reach their ultimate status ~ is totally unacceptable.
I can only say that the return home trip for Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, members from South Korea and Indonesia, along with their coaches, will not be to a welcome committee of countryman. And now, the remaining teams left in the Badminton event will be left to always wonder ~ are they truly the best in the world. No matter which team walks away with the Gold metal … they can hold their heads high knowing they did their very best….without playing the odds.
To all ~ have a great day and may we not see such a performance by any member/team of any event in the remaining days of the Olympic games.