19 August 2008

Big trouble

People seem to be up in arms over (1) China's youthful gymnasts, (2) China's policy of initiating training at a young age, and (3) other countries' use of U.S. facilities for training. That's quite an array of whiny bitching, but I guess it's par for sports: even within the same culture, the other team will always have some unfair advantage in this or that. Cross-culture differences can only exasperate the situation. Swapping 8-year-olds or some such for teenagers is certainly suspect, but we seem to ignore the number of foreign-born athletes and coaches on the U.S. team. And to the training issue, I can only look at the best musicians of our time and when they begin training (usually at 3 or 4 years of age). Few would judge their sacrifices and subsequent accomplishments in terms that have been used to describe what some Chinese families put their children through.

Finally, I'm curious if any of those who sneer at the alleged wickedness of the Chinese olympic aspirations ever put half as much effort in railing against the arguably more pertinent issue of China's human rights record. Trading tragedy for pettiness seems kinda sad.

[ 20 Aug 2008 ]

Excellent rant about the duplicity of partisan ranting: These Olympics are a joke.

[ posted by sstrader on 19 August 2008 at 11:42:03 PM in Culture & Society ]