Monday, August 29, 2016


            I have always been a fan of Olympic sports and I have great admiration for the dedication, perseverance and the sacrifice that Olympic caliber athletes have to make in order to get to that level of competition. I have watched a fair amount of television coverage of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games over the last two weeks and there were some amazing athletic performances from so many athletes. Particularly our Canadian athletes as Canada tied its best ever medal haul. Thank you Canadian Olympians.
            Unfortunately, the athletes’ performances seem like secondary news to the media covering the games what with all of the standard Olympic sized scandals happening on a daily basis. Right off the bat there was a big scandal as a top ranking Irish IOC member was arrested in a ticket scalping scheme and if the Olympics are on there HAS to be a doping scandal or twelve and Rio was no exception.
Again, it isn’t an Olympic games if a judge or two hasn’t thrown his integrity away for a few bucks or blatantly cheated for his/her own country. I am not being cynical here as the evidence of cheating is overwhelming when it comes to international sports competition. It always happens.
            There will forever be a debate over the excesses of The Games. Zillion dollar facilities being put up while nearby residents are living in squalor. Athletes raking in millions upon millions of dollars in incentives and endorsements because they can run fast or jump high while the construction workers building the stadiums and fields are working for peanuts. I am sure these injustices have been debated at every Olympic Games for decades.  
Then there were the American swimmers who were partying hardy and made up a story of being held up by gunpoint only to have the whole story blow up in their faces once the truth came out. And the truth always comes out which reminds me of one of my favourite Mark Twain quotes, “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” Hmmm….remember that.
It also reminds me of something my Dad drilled into me while I was growing up and that is that lying about the deed is usually worse than the deed itself. Own up to your stupidity, take it like a man and admit you were wrong. Lying will only exacerbate the situation and prolong the misery.
            I don’t have enough room for all of the details but the story goes something like this: there were four American swimmers who were out partying and went to a convenience store to use the bathroom and upon finding the bathroom door locked they proceeded to kick it down. The convenient store attendant called Security and the swimmers were confronted about their actions. One of the swimmers claimed that they were held up at gunpoint with a gun being held to his forehead. He has since apologized for his “exaggerated” version of the story and he is paying a dear price for his “immature behaviour”, or lying as it were, as he has lost all of his major endorsements and is looking at further discipline from the United States Olympic Committee. Truth or consequences, man. 
            I still have great admiration for the hundreds of athletes who cleanly participated in The Games to the best of their abilities while sacrificing so much. My feeling is that the few that bring the integrity level down should not be given the biggest spotlight but that’s not how our world works, is it?   

“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”-Mark Twain.

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