Olympic Inequality

The top 100 meter dash times are held by men.

How many of these men are of recent African descent?

How many are of American or Caribbean citizenship?

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Is the male representation proof of societal misogyny in the form of a glass sneaker that keeps women from achieving comparable speeds?

Did the natural realities of evolving in sub-saharan Africa provide an environment that unduly privileged body types that were able to run after and away from animals? Is any such benefit then redoubled or undone by they systemic nature of certain countries investing more resources into the development and maintenance of their athletes?

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The 2016 Olympic 100 meter dash final is going to be held later one today. There is a starting line that all athletes will be required to start behind. Most of what they did before hand, is out of the control of those organizing or watching the race. It most certainly was not equal in any stretch of the word. What happens during the race, between the starting and finish lines is decided by the participants own efforts.

In reality life is not equal, due to this knowledge attempts are made to make competition more ‘equitable.’Here are a few :

  • Gender : Acknowledges physical genetic differences in the average default equipment you can expect to see in a sexually dimorphic species.
  • Special Olympics : Accepts that certain situations in which your default equipment is changed. interestingly enough some of the blade technology may result in faster sprint times than a non aided human physically can be expected to move.
  • Drug Testing : Accounts for certain modifications of ones default equipment that may give the participant unfair advantage.

Shall expand on some topics touched upon in this post. I’ll finish off with this observation. The only way to guarantee equal results in a competition is by limiting everyone to or below what the  result of the lowest participant. You would have to slow the fast, weigh down the high, weaken the strong, obstruct the accurate, lower all bars, shorten all goals and more.

Restricting competition promotes mediocrity and makes us all lose.

Seeing Usain Bolt free to bound over the track brings me joy. Watching him excel at something I almost certainly would be unable to do is amazing. Knowing that even if I spent my time in the way he did to spend less than 10 seconds doing something…it is his win that excites me, none of those seconds are my loss.

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One response to “Olympic Inequality

  1. Pingback: Olympic Excellence | Rant A. Tonne·

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