Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why I Won't Watch Much....

I'm not a synchronized diving judge.  Far from it.  However, as I watched the London 2012 ladies synchronized diving competition  this morning I wondered if all they do is choose random people from the street to judge these competitions.

China executed all of their dives flawlessly (apparently not a surprise as China dominates in this category).  The U.S. and Canada were set to receive Silver and Bronze respectively.  Although not as flawless as China, they did a great job at synchronizing their entries into the water.  To be honest though, I didn't see them doing any better than some of the other teams who were barely making it onto the scoreboard at all.

To the untrained eye every dive looks the same and to me, unless the pair is completely off synchronization I wonder how a judge would deem them unworthy of higher scores (again I am NOT a judge, obviously).

With one last dive left, Canada took to the diving boards and executed a sloppy, un-synchronized, chaotic dive.  Not even entering the water at the same time.

The scores showed they were still good to receive Bronze.  

I then watched as Great Britain took to the diving boards and executed a nearly flawless dive, in perfect synchronization throughout the entire dive.

I listened as the commentators (Canadian obviously) picked apart the Britains attempt, when just seconds before they announced how wonderfully executed the Canadians dive was.


I'm wondering if they watched the same dive as I did.  Then I wondered if maybe their positioning in the aquatic center was a bit off and they didn't see what I saw.  Like maybe they are hanging upside down from the rafters....

Canada did not execute a flawless dive.  It was completely flawed.  Great Britain's dive was exquisite, fully synchronized (isn't that the point?) and clean.

This of course isn't the first time I've seen this kind of thing at the Olympics.  The entire 'show' has encountered huge skepticism and been the center of debate for eons.  It's why I won't watch much of it.  

Apparently, one of the Canadian divers was in line to receive her third straight diving medal and it would be historical to do so.  So, is favoritism at play here?  Is there a need to 'make history' at the Olympics so that more people will watch? 

I have no idea.  And I know I sound all 'conspiratorial' and everything which is not something I indulge in very often, however it is really hard to fathom why a team who could not execute a perfect dive would even make it to the podium.  Canadian or otherwise.

It makes me wonder what it is like for the other teams and athletes.  To know your sport inside and out, train hard for it all of your life; just to watch as someone else completely misses every mark but takes a medal that most certainly could have belonged to you.  If the judges had their eyes open.

The Canadian announcer even admitted that the Canadian team barely made it to the Olympics this year because they were having so much trouble with their dives.  Then added that their practices were nothing to write home about either.

So all of this isn't so much upsetting as it is intriguing.  Why do we have the Olympics?  To celebrate unity and equality?  To bring the world together in healthy, friendly competition?  To spend copious amounts of money on something that will not make the world a better place to live and will only serve to keep people entertained for a few hours a day.

I will say there are some amazingly talented and deserving athletes whom I commend for their hard work (seeing as I can't even get my ass of the couch to walk my dog some days).  The commitment it takes to be a part of something as grand as the Olympics is mind numbing and still they do it for the love of their sport.

It's definitely the mother in me that would like to see the Olympians and judges playing nice and being fair.  Is it too much to ask?  I mean it IS the Olympics.

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