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The Olympic Spirit: Fair Competition

Joined: 2/24/2014
Posts: 1
Jung Ho
The concept of the Olympic Spirit is a little vague, but it means trying one's hardest and accepting the result with the drive to improve. Pierre de Coubertin's once said that "The important thing is not to win, but to take part". While partially true, the statement says that just competing is fine. Merely competing with no drive means little in the competitive background of the Olympics, as everyone participating wants to be Number One. Even though all the athletes want to be a medalist, what they really care about is winning those medals in a legitament contest. Every Olympian practiced for over four years to get a shot at gold, therefore, they need to be judged fairly so they can accept the results of their work.
While most Olympic events such as Bobsledding or Ski jumping judge the participants based on their speed and measurable values, athletes in events such as Figure Skating, are subjectively judged. This creates doubt in the rankings as judges for such artistic events are biased. The most recent incident involving this situation was the Women's Figure Skating event of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The Silver Medalist was the crowd's favorite for the gold medal, but her score was lower than what they expected. The Gold Medal went to a Russian competitor despite making a mistake during the contest. The decision generated doubt in the public because the gold medalist was a native of the host country, and they believed that she received special treatment.
To avoid more incidents like this, judges for these events ought to give their score openly and state their reason for the said score. Another way to avoid similar situations, judges ought to be screened before being officially selected. While sports like these will always have a whirlwind of controversy around them after every decision, minimizing these issues will allow athletes to give everything they got when competing and be content with the outcomes. This competitive and fair background helps nurture the Olympic spirit which is competing to the best of one's ability and gracefully accept the legitimate result.
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