Sinigang Sinigang For The Soul

8 Things I learned From the 8-08 Beijing Olympics
comment 1 Comment August 31, 2008 – 7:25 am

8. I learned that Decathlete Bryan Clay of the United States is the world’s greatest athlete but nobody gives a S***t about him. If your name is Michael Phelps however, the whole world knows who you are and you’re set for life! You get to have multi-million dollar contracts, appear on cereal boxes for the next 3 years, endorse products left and right, and kids would call you their hero. Still, others would even claim you are the world’s greatest athlete when you can only do one sport- swimming!!

7. I learned no question that Michael Phelps is the world’s greatest swimmer today! He has the most number of medals than any other swimmers in history or any other athlete period! He managed to surpass, Mark Spitz’ 7 Olympic Gold medals and now has 14 Olympic Gold medals total! He holds 7 world records up for challenge in 2012!

6. I learned that in Women’s Gymnastics, you can land on your knees in the Vault and still get a Bronze medal!! You can even be in a tie and lose the Gold, despite the fact that your opponent had more visible errors than you!! How can one explain judging errors in the Olympics?!

5. I learned that the Olympic coverage you get and care about depends on where you are in the world! In the US, all television channels cover about the US athletes and how they fared. In China, well of course it’s all about the Chinese Team. My sister who lives in the UK couldn’t care less about the United States contingents, she was all: “Go Great Britain!!” While all that mattered to me was: TEAM USA!!!

You’d have to look on the internet to get news about your home country standing. As I stated in my previous post on the Olympics, the Philippines is only on 8 games out of the 34 sporting events! I didn’t bother to look nor find out anything about how (embarrassingly) the Philippines fared. Don’t even get me started on the politics of sports in the Philippines!! It’s as corrupt as the government it serves! Let’s face it, the Olympics isn’t our strongest area. There are plenty of other things the Filipinos can excel and are making everyone proud already especially in the lines of Boxing and Entertainment! I’ve written about those in my other posts! However, we’re talking about the Olympics!

It is unfortunate that we don’t have the DISCIPLINE, the money and the machinery to train athletes reach their full potentials high enough for Olympic standards!

What did some of the Philippine team members do? They have the audacity to admit that they only started training MONTHS before the Olympics. Are you kidding me?! That is like a slap in the face to the best athletes all around the world!! They train their WHOLE LIVES for the Olympic games. It’s in their very hearts and souls. And you have some athletes coming out saying, “oh I’ve only trained for months to compete in the Olympics!!” Que horror, que barbaridad!!

Michaels Phelps trains for five hours, seven days a week, his entire life!! He doesn’t stop. While I’m writing this piece, he’s already had days of non-stop training for the LONDON Olympics in 2012. Yes, that’s four years away! US gymnasts train for 35 to 40 hours a week since they were 6 years old!! It’s a full time job for most of these athletes who want the Gold. We just don’t have that because nobody can offer to sponsor an athlete to JUST train and do nothing else! What we have is last minute cramming preparations at most, the year before the Olympics! That will never work out when the best athletes in the world TRAIN THEIR WHOLE LIVES!!

I learned that China spend millions on their athletes to get the best training possible. The kids who show winning qualities are taken away from their homes and placed in training camps as young as 6 years old! The training is strict and rigid. Some parents get to see their kids only after four years!! The kids has no communication to the outside world. They breathe and live to train alone everyday for hours until they perfect their field and they’re ready.They’re brainwashed trained to think that WINNING IS EVERYTHING. If you don’t win, you’re nothing. You can just see the frustration and sometimes fear in the eyes of the Chinese athletes who failed in their sport in this Beijing Olympics! It’s the end of the road for them and whatever “rewards” the Chinese government has given them, it will be taken away.

That’s the basic and simple reasons the Philippines can not compete in the Olympics! We don’t have the discipline, money and machinery to train our athletes! We can’t rely on the government because personally, I’d rather they prioritize health care or education over giving budget to the Philippine Sports Commission. My suggestion is: Those really great Philippine athletes MUST FIND a rich benefactor to help them. That’s the only way. Without money, there’s no proper and right training.

3. I learned that the most watched Olympic sport for both men and women has got to be the BEACH VOLLEYBALL! (see exhibit photo!) I would never understand why in every start or half time game, about a dozen bikini-clad women would just stand there by the sideline- pretending to be either dancing or cheering. They serve no purpose other than have the male audience in the crowd ogle at them- BUT they’re already feasting TOO much just from watching the women’s volleyball athletes in the field! Why put more distractions?!

4. I learned that the first rule in Taekwondo is: you can NOT kick the referree in the head!!

3. I learned that China spent OVER 42 billion US dollars in the Olympics. Can you even imagine how hugely extravagant that is?!! All to impress the world, all for China to say that they are now the superpower of the world! To put it in perspective: The Philippine foreign debt currently stands at $54.9 billion. There are over 10 million Filipinos around the world. They sent $14.7 billion to the Philippines via remittances in 2007. The Philippine budget for 2008 is approved at $29.7 billion. We exported $49.32 billion and imported $57.56 billion in 2007 (est).

2. I learned that if you are the host country, you can lie, cheat, manipulate results and get away with it! You can even fake some things and the whole world just shrugs.

1. I learned that I would forget about the Olympics as soon as I finish this article BUT would be looking forward to the next Olympics four years from now as my family made a pact to have a grand reunion of sort in London in 2012!!

What about you? What did you learn from the recently concluded Beijing Summer Olympics?

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