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wreferee

Olympic Slopestyle skiing/Halfpipe snowboarding v Wrestling

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At no time have I been made more aware of international disparities of opportunity for athletic participation than while residing and working in Namibia, a few years back. Among many incidents there, one that stands out occurred while observing two pickup teams of intense young Africans (male and female) engaged in a very spirited soccer battle on a desolate “playground” clouded in reddish brown dirt greatly disturbed by their competition. They had no ball. For it they substituted an empty plastic Coke bottle, which was enthusiastically and rather deftly kicked with bare feet….for HOURS! Their considerable skills were obvious and VERY impressive. This scene came back to me last night as I watched a US sweep of Olympic Slopestyle skiing, and it hasn’t faded…. For at the same time, it occurs to me that while Namibia qualified one freestyle wrestler (Sem Shilimela) in 2012, it is practically impossible even to imagine a Namibian Olympic snowboarder or slopestyle skier. Ruminating further about the efforts to remove the ancient sport of wrestling from the Modern Games while such new sports as halfpipe snowboarding and slopestyle sking are embraced, I cannot help conclude reasons for their popularity/inclusion go beyond elitist politics. Quite apart from the many socio-economic differences (eg costs of equipment, venues, training etc and comparatively limited availability/accessibility of backyard “training parks,” for chrissakes!!!) wrestling supporters differ markedly from their more “modern” sport counterparts ….and in many (some might consider alarming) ways. Basically, not meaning to discount the commitment, skills, athleticism, focus and training evidenced by these Winter Olympic athletes, an aspect of their competition which most disturbs me is the apparent almost TOTAL absence of any requirement for any really significant STRATEGY. Yes, there are decisions to be made about which flips, spins, twists, somersaults and other tricks are to be executed when etc, but for the most part it seems relatively willy-nilly to this observer. While I can enjoy the speed, agility, imminent dangers and potentials for disaster/harm to the individual athletes for the relatively brief times displayed, I simply appreciate more the more profound intricacies inherent to what many refer to as physical chess. Worth underscoring: I have NO knowledge of ANY true wrestling aficionado whose enjoyment of the world’s oldest sport includes deriving ANY pleasure or excitement from the possibility that a competitor might “crash.”

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Add in that in many of these judgment sports their are THREE performers per country allowed and you get even more lopsided.

 

Why aren't Wrestlers and Boxers in the Olympics and worlds allowed at least TWO competitors per weight, per team?

 

Track & field, swimming and such allow more than one competitor per event.

 

These sick "sports" where winning is up to interpretation as to how pretty they look doing turns and such are a waste of time and money. They are activities and performances, not sport.

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Add in that in many of these judgment sports their are THREE performers per country allowed and you get even more lopsided.

 

Why aren't Wrestlers and Boxers in the Olympics and worlds allowed at least TWO competitors per weight, per team?

 

Track & field, swimming and such allow more than one competitor per event.

 

These sick "sports" where winning is up to interpretation as to how pretty they look doing turns and such are a waste of time and money. They are activities and performances, not sport.

 

This doesn't actually answer your question but internationally wrestling has tried to allow for other countries to succeed.

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