Friday, May 02, 2008
Once more with Feeling
We’re a funny lot, we humans.
Soon, some of us will be tuning in to the Olympics "machine" to watch stronger, faster, fitter people jump through hoops like performing seals. Personally I think the whole games thing is a freak show.
Imagine what sort of a personality it takes to get to the top of your game. Then imagine how hard it must be then, for that over-driven freakazoid not to take performance enhancing drugs. My heart goes out to those honest guys who stay legit and don’t feel the need take that extra little step to drug fuelled excellence; they wont win, trust me.
Now, years later with the benefit of better drug testing, we can go back and retest old test samples, only to find that some people had access to better drugs that masked detection at the time. They never seem to take the medals off them after they've been found out – perhaps because that's not in the spirit of “The Games”. [Note: Interestingly they do take them off you if it's political.]
I think it’s time to admit to the hypocrisy, give up the testing, and allow the athletes to just “go for it”.
Perhaps the more genetically unstable of us could grow another couple of legs to win the 100meters, but perhaps, more realistically, an orgy on Human Growth Hormones and EPO would do the trick quite nicely thank you. One ponders on what other drug marvels have already been developed, yet haven’t been implemented because of a fear of detection. I wonder, in years to come, if we could all live with the news reports that in this year’s Olympics only 2 people died of myocardial infarction in the 100m track finals; a small price to pay for progress perhaps.
With the ever decreasing opportunities for records to be broken as the years go on, I’m sure the games committee will see the benefits in the viewer numbers going up if life and death were thrown into the mix. "86" the fancy swimwear, embrace the greatness you know you can be; grow a set of gills. In a final stroke of brilliance, we could just get the drug manufacturers to sponsor the athletes - imagine the endorsements - they should be on the gravy train for (albeit a short) life.
So, short of reducing the size of a metre, or taking the timing up to another decimal point on the stopwatch, the Olympics are on the slippery road to mediocrity. It’s time to man up, and admit it. The drug cheats are ruining it for those who maintain the Olympic ideal, so we might as well embrace the drug technology. Until they do I won’t be tuning in – the hypocrisy of drugs aside, I could always site China’s horrific human rights record – but perhaps that isn't in the spirit of the games either….