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posted by mattie_p on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the and-now-for-sports dept.

CoolHand writes:

"Sci-Tech Today talks about the role of technology in the Olympics from a unique perspective:

Every advance in the ever-accelerating juggernaut of sports technology threatens to widen the divide between Olympic haves and have-nots. Well-sponsored teams and rich governments pay top-end scientists and engineers to shape their skis, perfect their skates, tighten their suits, measure their gravitational pull.

I'm no luddite, but this seems to make these sports more about who can afford the best tech, and less about the true spirit of the games: bringing the best athletes from all countries together to compete. How can it be about the athletes, when some of the best athletes may never win due to lack of funding/tech?"

 
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  • (Score: 2) by cykros on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:11AM

    by cykros (989) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:11AM (#2063)
    Even in sports with no equipment, athletes from stronger programs will have had much better opportunities to train and have been able to devote more time to it. There's really no way to keep a level playing field at the highest levels. Well, given that, it gives us a little bit of a frame for what the Olympic contests ACTUALLY are: a competition between various social structures/economies/societies testing their aptitude where it comes to producing athletes that can compete at a world scale. It would seem to follow from winning that said society is capable perhaps of doing other things better than others...or of course that they prioritize these contests over the wellbeing of their population. What it isn't, though, is quite the more ego-centered sporting event that it gets marketed as, which should be obvious given the way athletes are sponsored, either by private companies as in the US, or through government aid, either of which ALWAYS comes with strings attached.

    For those perhaps not aware of how the training and other preparation is financed, and how that tends to play out, it would probably be worth perusing Why the Olympics Are a Lot Like 'The Hunger Games' [thenation.com] by former Olympian Samantha Retrosi.
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