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Olympic Softball

 
Nick George
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An olympic gold medal carries with it tremendous prestige and honor, and symbolizes grace, perfection, power. I submit that winning softball does not entitle you to one. It'd be like if my little league team way back when got a gold medal when we won the league championship. I feel like gold medals are being given away to0 cheaply.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Joseph George:
I submit that winning softball does not entitle you to one.


And winning in badminton, handball, or soccer does?
 
Eric Pascarello
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Joseph George

I would like to see you hit a ball out of the infield when one of the Americans is throwing the ball at you.

To these girls, the Oylmpics is the highest level they can reach!

The American women had how many runs against them the whole time? One that is pretty close to perfection if I must say so.

Eric
 
Helen Thomas
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I submit that winning softball does not entitle you to one.

Just as much entitlement as a game of catch and a turn on the swings has to a gold star.

It's the taking part and obeying the rules that count, whatever the game.
If there is a champion event it has to be the decathlon. The Brits soon may have another Daley Thompson.

The Olympic committee frowned on baseball.

Jim Thorpe
Born: May 28, 1888
2-time All-America in football

won both pentathlon and decathlon at 1912 Olympics; stripped of medals a month later for playing semi-pro baseball prior to Games; medals restored in 1982; played major league baseball (1913-19) and pro football (1920-26,28); chosen ´┐ŻAthlete of the Half Century´┐Ż by AP in 1950.

[ August 24, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
[b]
The Olympic committee frowned on baseball.

[ August 24, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]


I feel they should add baseball to olympics. The amount of following baseball has deserves a place in the list of events. I feel the same about Cricket too.

When team volleyball, softball are there why not baseball and cricket. The following for these(in mens category) is phenominal.
 
Thomas Paul
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Thomas Paul
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So softball shouldn't get a medal? What about the Javelin throw or shot putting? Why give a medal for fencing or sailing? I don't see why softball is less deserving than any of the other sports that are given medals?
 
Alan Wanwierd
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:


And winning in badminton, handball, or soccer does?


So whats the objection with Badminton? I can see that there might be an objection to awarding medals for team sports since its possible to have members of the team who dont necessarily meet the ideas of 'perfection' the olympians strive for, and perhaps get 'carried' by other team mates (not an argument I'd agree with - but at least I can understand it).

But Badminton (particularly singles) is a very fast and demanding sport with no room for the complacent. Whats your problem with it?
 
Jessica Sant
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I for one am THRILLED that softball is an olympic sport. I played all through high school and at the time it was bit frustrating to see the guys baseball team and know that they have SO far they can continue in their sport. They can play professional baseball (both minor league and major league) as well as olympic ball (softball wasn't made an oympic sport til 1996). Having Softball as an Olympic sport gives all the softball chicks something further to strive for beyond college ball. And I think that's GREAT.

Hopefully you don't have some sad misconception that a softball is really soft. I had broken hand and a broken tooth (two seperate incidents) to prove other wise. They pitch FAST, they throw HARD, and they deserve to be an olympic sport just as much as any other team sport (soccer, hockey, basketball, volleyball etc).

[The Olympic committee frowned on baseball.]
realize -- they didn't frown on baseball. They frowned on being PAID to play sports -- it made you no longer an amateur, and by the rules of the time, no longer elligeable to play in the olympics.
 
Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by Jessica Sant:
being PAID to play sports


Current Olympians get paid to train for the Olympics. The difference is,I guess, they weren't allowed to enter into other sports in the meantime, that may earn them some money. It's OK if entering competitions of the same type as it can count as training towards the final event.

No, the Olympic committee didn't frown on baseball as it's up there among the rest.
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Eric Pascarello
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Adrian Wallace,

Jason was making a point, he was not saying they should not count. You took what he said in the wrong context.

Eric
 
Michael Ernest
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Synchronized swimming, if you want an easier target than softball.

Or for that matter any number of sports that prize artistry over athletic achievement.

"Deckwork?" WTF is that?
 
Max Habibi
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Depending on what your sporting preference is, it's difficult to relate alien sports. EFH probably has a much respect for softball as I do for the, um, sport of golf. But by and by, I think it's all fair game for the Olympics: I'm just waiting for Olympic Ultimate Fighting

M
 
Thomas Paul
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Do away with girl's gymnastics. Half starved 14 year olds trying to avoid their first period is not my idea of a sport.
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Do away with girl's gymnastics. Half starved 14 year olds trying to avoid their first period is not my idea of a sport.


Tom,

For the first time I have seen something that can infuriate other people from you.

This post may need to be removed or edited.

Just a thought.
 
Eric Pascarello
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Kishore Dandu

That statement is a sad fact. The girls put their bodys through hell and as a result they do not "grow-up".

Eric
 
Jeff Langr
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Do away with girl's gymnastics. Half starved 14 year olds trying to avoid their first period is not my idea of a sport.


Amen to that. It's repulsive. These are children that are robbed of their childhood, when they're too young to know any better. In fact, many of them are robbed of a decent adult life as they become crippled or in serious pain for the rest of their life. I've seen too many interviews with 15 year olds talking about dealing with their "daily pain."

I'm not sure how this could be done, but the rules and nature of the sport should change to favor more fully mature bodies, i.e. 16 to 18 and up.

It's interesting that we don't allow 14 year olds to make a few extra bucks working at Walgreens for the summer, but we do allow parents to abuse them with athletic programs.

-Jeff-
 
Jeff Langr
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
For the first time I have seen something that can infuriate other people from you.


Not the first time. ;-) And I don't think there's anything offensive about the statement, but it is provocative.

-Jeff-
 
Max Habibi
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Tom's statement is just fine: While I don't agree* with his analysis, he's being nothing more than thoughtful and kind in his sentiments.

M

* I'm not aware of significant majority of children being hurt in these sorts of activities, and I'm inclined to think that certain body types lend themselves to certain sports (say, tallness for basketball). By and large, I'm inclined to think that children who learn the value of dedication at a young age get a head start on those that don't. Physical dedication(or mental dedication) can be draining, yes. It can even be hurtful. However, it's been my observation that the vast majority of the time, it's beneficial.
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Jeff Langr:


Not the first time. ;-) And I don't think there's anything offensive about the statement, but it is provocative.

-Jeff-


Why not. I felt it is offensive and that too coming from a respected guy like tom.

How does he know that the girls are mal-nutritioned and not getting periods and all that crap.

It is possible that the girls are enjoying it.
 
Thomas Paul
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Max, you should do some research in the field of girl's gymnastics. What is done to these kids in the name of competition is pretty disgusting. It is very common to keep them extremely thin (remember we are talking about children who need calories to grow) in order to prevent them from reaching puberty. When a girl reaches puberty she will develop her womanly figure (which is bad for gymnastics) and grow in height (which is also bad for gymnastics). So by delaying the onset of puberty as long as possible, the gymnast will remain shorter than she normally would have and not develop breasts or have her hips widen. The book, "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes" discusses this topic:


The female gymnast's career is a race against time and naturem and the same appears to be true of world-class female figure skaters. In both sports, the contemporary ideal is a girl with a boy's body: sans breasts and hips. To achieve this "ideal," the athletes overtrain at a time when their skeletal development is supposed to be the greatest, suffering injuries to vertebrae, arms and legs at the same time that they are constantly being ordered to lose weight. The result: anorexia and bulimia.
 
Eric Pascarello
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Articles on the subject of female gymnastics about their health:
http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1997/03mar/nb_gym.htm

The facts are known and when you see these girls compete you wonder what the effects are going to be 10+ years from now.

I played soccer for 18 years, my knees and ankles are not like others that did not play sports. I just could not imagine their bodies with the abuse they take.

Eric
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Eric Pascarello:
Articles on the subject of female gymnastics about their health:
http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1997/03mar/nb_gym.htm

The facts are known and when you see these girls compete you wonder what the effects are going to be 10+ years from now.

I played soccer for 18 years, my knees and ankles are not like others that did not play sports. I just could not imagine their bodies with the abuse they take.

Eric


That is why everybody should play cricket. There is not that much scope for delaying the puberty, real threatening ankle injuries etc(unless u are playing on international level without any breaks). If you play in a country like India or Pakistan, u are like a king. That is something none of the athletes in US and other countries can imagine(may be except Jordan and tiger).
 
Eric Pascarello
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You look at the protection that the American kids have to go through in certain baseball and softball leagues with caged helments, extra padding, etc. They protect them for the worse and they throw the ball no more then 20 mph.

Then you look at gymnastics with kids the same age and they are falling and hitting the ground, beam, etc. One sport they goto extremes and others they do not.

I am not putting gymnastics down. I had a few friends that did it for years. They grew up and they did not make it big for growing up.

Eric
 
Jeff Langr
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
How does he know that the girls are mal-nutritioned and not getting periods and all that crap.

It is possible that the girls are enjoying it.


Personally I find both of these statements extremely offensive, for several reasons, but I'm not about to ask that they be censored.

It's irrelevant if they enjoy it, if it damages them for life. I happen to believe in this concept that children aren't mature or educated enough to make such life-altering decisions.

-Jeff-
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
If you play in a country like India or Pakistan, u are like a king. That is something none of the athletes in US and other countries can imagine(may be except Jordan and tiger).


...and Kobe, Shaq, Brett Favre, Joe Namath, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Cal Ripken Jr, Shannan Sharp, Tony Gonzalas, Joe Montana...

...just to name a few. All are extremely popular and were extremely popular in the US and are treated as such everywhere they go.
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Gregg Bolinger ]
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:


...and Kobe, Shaq, Brett Favre, Joe Namath, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Cal Ripken Jr, Shannan Sharp, Tony Gonzalas, Joe Montana...

...just to name a few. All are extremely popular and were extremely popular in the US and are treated as such everywhere they go.

[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Gregg Bolinger ]

Sorry guy, all the names u mentioned are not treated like the top 5 cricketers in India are treated(when they go to cities in India). It is absolute mayhem.

Do u see any riots and people running after Brett Favre if he shows up in a upscale mall in US. I don't think so. People look at them with admiration and may ask for photo and ask couple of questions. Thats all happens here.

But in India the top cricketers are given treatment that is not even accorded to Indian PM or president. That is a reality.
 
Eric Pascarello
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People act crazy when they see famous atheletes here, especially when they sign autographs, better hold your children up in the air before they get stepped on.

Eric
 
Helen Thomas
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I suppose men gymnasts are used to all that monkeying around. I can't believe gymnastics don't affect men equally. Or nearly equally.

Boxing is archaic and uncivilised but it's catching fast with women the world over.
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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Boxing is archaic and uncivilised

You are trying to get this thread closed, aren't you?
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Alan Wanwierd
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I agree gymnnastics seems to me to be a form of child abuse - but then its true that to achieve greatness in any sport you have to be prepared to sacrifice your health and these days if you are to become a successful athlete in any sporting disciplin you need to start training early and training hard. Personally I think this is offensive and makes th Olympics a big show of abused children - herded and cajoled by their parents to work work work at becoming the BEST... Swimmers are forced to swim laps from 5am every morning for years, Gymnasts preventing bodies from growing too heavy, Sprinters with carefully controlled diets and extreme exercise regimes to build perculiar and unusual muscle groups etc etc etc... (and before you bring it up even Cricketers practice bowling and throwing over and over again until they suffer rotator-cup injuries through excessive unnatural movements of the shoulder). Lets face it ELITE sports ruin lives... I'm sure the majority of participants in sports gain benefit from teh excercise, but in order to complete you must be obsessive and compulsive about training and this is not healthy. Given that most elite athletes are encouraged into a training regime before they are really old enough to fully understand the ramifications, this has to be defined as child abuse!


I think the whole concept of competetive sports is unhealthy - an obsession with winning (look at the debate in Australia over the womens 8's rowing where one poor girl stopped rowing due to exhuastion 200m from the line!). I even overheard a colleugue of mine describing the coach of a kids football team instructing his team "we need to foul more to stand any chance of beating these guys" - What kind of attitude is that teaching?!

...Things like this anger me greatly.. I was the thin, unco-ordinated one at school and I HATED sports, I did everything to avoid them and had lots of negative experiences - I can see how this kind of experience could lead to an outright rejection of excercise and increase in obesity in many people (resulting in a very unhealthy and unhappy population). Only in adulthood did I discover that its possible to play sports for fun and enjoy having exercise without worrying about being humiliated because I dont have as much talent as others, <HIPPY RANT> imagine a world where people are taught from an early age that sports are fun and that it doesnt matter if you're not the best? How many more people would get involved and get out there and be active? Would the USA and Australia etc etc be plagued so much by lethargy and obesity if everyone were encouraged to particpate? </HIPPY RANT>
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:

Sorry guy, all the names u mentioned are not treated like the top 5 cricketers in India are treated(when they go to cities in India). It is absolute mayhem.

Do u see any riots and people running after Brett Favre if he shows up in a upscale mall in US. I don't think so. People look at them with admiration and may ask for photo and ask couple of questions. Thats all happens here.

But in India the top cricketers are given treatment that is not even accorded to Indian PM or president. That is a reality.


When was the last time you saw Brett Favre in a mall? When is the last time you saw anyone famous (as famous as those I mentioned) anywhere in public?

Eric is right, it gets out of control. That is why most of them walk around with bodyguards of some sort.
 
Nick George
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
I suppose men gymnasts are used to all that monkeying around. I can't believe gymnastics don't affect men equally. Or nearly equally.
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]


We can play the politically correct game all we want, or we can accept that men's and women's bodies are different, and have different tolerances to stresses.
 
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Max, you should do some research in the field of girl's gymnastics.


Thomas , anyone who speaks on the subject should do some basic research in the field of girl's gymnastics. The book you cited self-description seems fairly one-sided. "From starvation diets and debilitating injuries to the brutal tactics of tyrannical gymnastics guru Bela Karolyi". This is not the way I would open a balanced discussion: the author clearly has an agenda here.

At this point, I'm not inclined to consider it an objective review of the topic. The following is a more balanced analysis, offering both pro and cons.

Participation in gymnastics has grown by leaps and bounds, ballooning by 500 percent between 1970 and 1989. And just as involvement in the sport has grown, so have the expectations that coaches place on young gymnasts. Dr. Pauline Anderson, a doctor of chiropractic who was a gymnast for 11 years and a member of the University of Washington team, knows first-hand the pressure to succeed that coaches can place on the athletes. "When I was 11 years old, I had broken both my wrists between the growth plates, and my coach was still pushing me to perform and to tumble on my wrists," Dr. Anderson recalls.

According to JACA, however, many gymnasts place just as much pressure on themselves as the coaches do. Dr. John McDaniel, a doctor of chiropractic from Mountain View, CA, explains, "Many of these children are self-motivated. They may be subtly picking up on what the coaches or parents want, but they love the sport. When I talk to them alone and tell them that gymnastics is really hurting them, that maybe they should consider another sport, many kids will say no, they want to stay."


Other excellent sources of information for child athletes and their parents include:

101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent
Anybody's Sports Medicine Book
A Parent's Guide to Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes
College Bound Student-Athlete Guides

The fact of the matter is, some people are simply more competitive then others, even as children. Some are well suited to certain sports, through a combination of body type, will-to-win, and personal character. And some, of course, get seriously hurt. But these latter are a minority, and probably more commonly seen in basketball and hunting than gymnastics.

Of course, While it's completely appropriate to not let your child compete in a sport you find inappropriate, I'm not sure that sheltering children from any all forms of dangerous activity is something I would do: my kids will probably ski, box, wrestle, tumble, snowboard, and maybe even sky-dive.

M
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
 
John Dunn
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While were at it, we should also ban school, because some parents really push their children at school and make them study things that hate to learn. I know guy that got into drugs when his parents made him attend a particular high school. Schools should be banned. (Just kidding...)
============================
I think we should leave it the way it is. Not all kids stick with gymnastics in an unhealthy way. The ones that choose to or are forced to are just playing a part in their imperfect lives. How they deal with the situation is going to shape their future. The pursuit of excellance is a wonderful thing. Beautiful, in my book. I say let it be, let it florish.
 
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[Max]: I'm not sure that sheltering children from any all forms of dangerous activity is something I would do: my kids will probably ski, box, wrestle, tumble, snowboard, and maybe even sky-dive.

Sure, you say that now. But let's see how you feel about it when your teenage daughter wants to start dating.
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Scholarly pursuits don't destroy the body like pressure sports do.
Parents and coaches push kids to the breaking point and beyond, when the kids complain they're in pain they're told that they're not tough enough and should exercise more.

It's more often than not (especially with the young, not talking about 18 year olds but the 5 year old kids which is where it starts if not earlier) the parents who have the ambition of having their kid become a super sports star and stop at nothing to achieve that.
At that age the kids have no say and when they do get old enough to voice an opinion the sports is all they know as they've never been exposed to anything else.
Brainwashing is still effective... Give the kid only books and mags about the sport you want them to become a star in, no exposure to any outside influence (busy exercise schedule so no time for playing with other kids for example), etc. etc. and who is the kid to complain if it knows nothing else?
 
Joe King
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One solution could be to limit contestants in the Olympics to adults only. This would have the slight logistical problem of choosing the age for the child-adult boundary, as this can vary a lot between different countries. As long as the IOC came up with a reasonable agreed age limit, then this may reduce the chance of there being children manipulated into damaging themselves. Personally I'd rather watch a dance competition made up of healthy adults then starved children.
 
Max Habibi
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Scholarly pursuits don't destroy the body like pressure sports do.


I don't know, I know a lot of fat geeks

Parents and coaches push kids to the breaking point and beyond,

some incredibly small minority of parents or coaches, yes. Let's not get carried away with the over generalizations.

when the kids complain they're in pain they're told that they're not tough enough and should exercise more.

Some kids(and too many adults), aren't tough enough, and should exercise more. We shouldn't lower the Olympic ideal, but be inspired by it.

It's more often than not (especially with the young, not talking about 18 year olds but the 5 year old kids which is where it starts if not earlier) the parents who have the ambition of having their kid become a super sports star and stop at nothing to achieve that.


The reality is that most parents love their children deeply, and want to help them.


At that age the kids have no say and when they do get old enough to voice an opinion the sports is all they know as they've never been exposed to anything else.
Brainwashing is still effective... Give the kid only books and mags about the sport you want them to become a star in, no exposure to any outside influence (busy exercise schedule so no time for playing with other kids for example), etc. etc. and who is the kid to complain if it knows nothing else?

I guess that's one possible scenario, though it sounds more like a soap opera . I think a more common scenario that certain children have innate talents, drive, and character.

These same children turn into adults who have innate talents, drive, and character. When those talents are sportive in nature, a minority of such children will get an opportunity to compete at the regional, state, national, international, or even Olympic level.

---------
Joe,

The age for competition in gymnastics was recently moved to 16. The problem( if one exists) is that kids are still starting their training at an early age.

M
[ August 26, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
 
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
[Max]: I'm not sure that sheltering children from any all forms of dangerous activity is something I would do: my kids will probably ski, box, wrestle, tumble, snowboard, and maybe even sky-dive.

Sure, you say that now. But let's see how you feel about it when your teenage daughter wants to start dating.


Hence the boxing
 
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