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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: 1) by hubie on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:20PM

    by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:20PM (#2470) Journal

    In one aspect the opening of the Olympics to professional athletes has leveled the playing field. For decades the amateur status of some countries, particularly the Cold War "Eastern Bloc" countries, was a joke. A good deal of the athletes were technically amateurs, but in practice were professionals. That is all they did was be state-sponsored athletes. Cuba's greatest boxer, Teófilo Stevenson, won gold medals at the '72, '76, and '80 Olympics, and probably would have won them in '84 and '88 if Cuba didn't boycott those. He was so good for so long because that was his full-time job.

    It still happens today. I heard on the curling broadcast that the Chinese team spends all their time in Canada curling against the best Canadian teams, so that is their full-time job. I don't know how the Canadians or Brits or whatnot does it, but the players on the US team have full-time jobs and can only practice on weekends and evenings, and this is true of many of the athletes.