Thursday, February 21, 2008

Youth Olympics - Why?

Hélène Toble 21 February 2008
Singapore will host the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010. The result was unveiled by IOC President Jacques Rogge at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.
Singapore beat moscow in the final by 53 votes to 44.

Two thoughts - what does this event mean for late maturation sports such as triathlon compared to early maturation sports such as gymastics? Its oddly positioned as the ages are 14-18, while the triathlon junior category goes until 19, so we wouldn't even be able to say its an event for the top juniors. Some sports like gymnastics might not look much different from the regular Olympics, while other sports will not be serious competitive or deep events.
Second, why dilute the Olympic brand? The Olympic Games are known as the premier competition for most sports, and qualifying for and competing in the games is a significant career goal for many athletes. Being an Olympian means something, that you were among the best in the world at your sport. This new event diminishes the meaning of being an Olympian. Athletes in many sports already mis-represent themselves, and now we'll have a whole number of athletes claiming to be Olympians and Olympic medallists who will not be the best in the world at their sport, thereby diminishing the accomplishments of the real Olympians and Medallists.

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