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The Olympic Games; are they really fair?

(26 Posts)
GillT57 Sat 31-Jul-21 16:00:44

I get very irritated when I see tennis players like Djokovic, Murray, Williams sisters etc., taking part in the Olympics. I know that it is not just plucky amateurs any more, but these professional tennis players are full time, with psychologists, dieticians, physiotherapists et al, and they are playing at the same time as others who are having to put their careers on hold/work part time in order to train, attend qualifying competitions with little or no funding, Bethany Shriever had to crowd fund to get to Japan for heaven's sake! I know not all sports can get funding, but seeing Murray at the same games as Shriever is making a mockery of the Olympics I think.

Smileless2012 Sat 31-Jul-21 16:04:46

I can see what you're saying Gill but when it comes to Andy Murray, with all that he's been through I was pleased to see him there.

M0nica Sat 31-Jul-21 16:12:31

GillT57, Bethany Shriever was a remarkable exception in how she set about getting to the Opympics, most competitors are funded through Lottery money and all these athletes, amateur or not are surrounded by psychologists, dieticians, physiotherapists et al and have many of them in Tokyo with them. The difference is that Andy Murray, as a professional, pays these people himself, others have them provided for free by the British Olympic organisation and the individual sporting bodies.

GillT57 Sat 31-Jul-21 16:21:53

I understand about Murray, maybe he wasn't the best example. What I am trying to say is that the full time professionals with their team of experts are at the same games as people who do not spend their full time working life doing their sport.

BlueBelle Sat 31-Jul-21 16:22:28

I lost a lot of interest when it became professionals I like it when the olympics were for amateurs

M0nica Sat 31-Jul-21 16:28:48

But *Gill57, nowadays, athletes of world class do spend their full time working on their sport, that is what is necessary if you are to be world class. The only difference between them and 'professional' sports people, is how much they are paid and who pays it.

25Avalon Sat 31-Jul-21 16:49:17

GillT57 I agree with you. We also see the women’s Football team made up of professional paid players who train all week. Unpaid amateur women footballers don’t get a look in.

Callistemon Sat 31-Jul-21 17:15:30

Tennis players competing in the major tournaments were all amateurs until 1968 when they were opened up to professionals. Many amateur players then became professional.

It's the competitors from smaller, poorer countries I feel a but sorry for.

I want to say that “The most important thing is not winning but taking part” but I heard someone say the other day that it's only the winning that counts.
I can't remember whether it was a competitor, a coach or who it was.

mokryna Sat 31-Jul-21 17:17:59

UK several Olympiques ago, when English contestants trained in their spare time while holding down full time jobs, the result was few medals. English people said it wasn’t fair as other countries paid their contestants to train. In more recent times that has changed with lottery money therefore why not ‘professionals’.
Brilliant work Shriever, shame on the broadcasters for not celebrating, until the afternoon, her gold win in the same way as the men’s silver winner in the morning.

Craicon Sat 31-Jul-21 18:01:24

YANBU at all. The Olympics is no longer a fair competition.

Yes, the U.K. spends millions supporting and training its Olympic hopefuls but less well off countries can’t afford to do that so many athletes will be training p/t whilst holding down a full time job.

Then of course, you have the cheating men who identify as a woman in order to win a medal, because they’re not good enough to compete against other men at a high level.

Mollygo Sat 31-Jul-21 19:18:21

No it’s not fair. Athletes from poorer countries are now in the same position that UK athletes used to be.
I admire Bethany Schriever for raising money for her own training and I’m glad there will be some funding for her sport in the future, though she will then have to cope with the claims of “waste of taxpayers’ money” if she doesn’t win.

Alegrias1 Sat 31-Jul-21 19:36:30

mokryna

UK several Olympiques ago, when English contestants trained in their spare time while holding down full time jobs, the result was few medals. English people said it wasn’t fair as other countries paid their contestants to train. In more recent times that has changed with lottery money therefore why not ‘professionals’.
Brilliant work Shriever, shame on the broadcasters for not celebrating, until the afternoon, her gold win in the same way as the men’s silver winner in the morning.

What did the Scots people think of it? And the Welsh? smile

Maggiemaybe Sat 31-Jul-21 20:08:33

The plucky amateurs of the past in the UK were more often from comfortably off backgrounds that were compatible with them having time, or time off, to indulge their hobbies, and the wherewithal to fund themselves. Nowadays we get the best athletes coming through whatever their backgrounds, and this in turn inspires talented youngsters from less privileged homes to take up sport and push themselves to the limit. As far as the UK is concerned, I think the situation’s fairer now, where sporting talent and hard work is nurtured and recognised.

Like everything else, the Olympics can never be fair as far as the huge discrepancies between richer and poorer countries go. There are occasionally calls for a central fund that athletes from developing nations could call on - maybe there’ll be something of the sort in the future.

Gwyneth Sat 31-Jul-21 22:34:40

And we still sadly have those who think it’s ok to win by doping.

Callistemon Sat 31-Jul-21 22:53:17

What did the Scots people think of it? And the Welsh?

The Welsh just got on with it quietly and won.

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/wales/18495742

mokryna Sat 31-Jul-21 23:33:01

What did the Scots people think of it? And the Welsh?

Didn’t hear them moaning at the time, nor those from Northern Ireland.

vegansrock Sun 01-Aug-21 06:34:36

Its rather telling that Sport England withdrew the funding from girls in BMX racing, which is why Beth had to fund herself. Seems unfair.

vegansrock Sun 01-Aug-21 08:53:27

it’s not fair either that a biological male is competing in the women’s’ weightlifting. That’s a whole other can of worms.

Franbern Sun 01-Aug-21 09:04:14

Sport is never 'Fair'. It is not about fairness = it is about excellence. Some people are born with a natural in-boilt talent, which most of us do not have. Yes, they still have to train hard, prepare themselves mentally and physically - hope against hope that no injuries interfere, find the right coach and back-up support team. Be the correct type of build for their sport - be in the right place to be able to get a good training venue.

Thank goodness for most GB Olympians, thanks to the Lottery funding they compete against the giants of Russia and USA, China, etc on a more equal footing. I still remember back in the 80's a GB Olympic Gymnast, married with a couple of small children - having to resign from his teaching job for a year to try to train in his sport, relying on benefits to keep him and his family. And, anytime he needed to attended a competition out of the country, he lost that weeks benefit as he 'was not available for work'. The stress that caused is quite obvious.

So, when those who all for a return to amateur status -prhaps they should think about that.

timetogo2016 Sun 01-Aug-21 09:19:42

Agree with you GillT57,that`s why i don`t watch it anymore,unfair advantages etc.

Kim19 Sun 01-Aug-21 09:20:35

The only thing that sometimes troubles me a little is to see a wonderful bronze or silver success being 'disappointed' that it wasn't gold. Blimey!

Parsley3 Sun 01-Aug-21 09:38:48

Regardless of how much money is poured into a sport, the competitors still have to produce the goods to win medals. The expensively funded rowers performed poorly this year so, by rights, their funding should be cut in favour or our successful medal winners. Elite athletes need to train full time at any sport to compete on the World's stage. Lottery funding allows them to do that if they can get it.

Alegrias1 Sun 01-Aug-21 09:47:53

Wales seems to be punching above its weight Callistemon! 👍

Serious question - I thought NI sportspeople competed with the Irish team, not the GB one? Apologies if I have that wrong.

Mollygo Sun 01-Aug-21 09:55:12

Evidently NI competitors can choose to be in team GB or team Ireland, but can’t compete in both teams.

Alegrias1 Sun 01-Aug-21 09:56:20

Thanks Mollygo