Aug 17

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My mother always told me that cheaters never prosper.  That’s not true, is it?  People lie and cheat all the time; often no one finds out but there is gain from it sometimes, right?  I can’t provide you any examples, because they’ve gotten away with it and we don’t even know.  I can think of times in my personal and work life when I’ve known people who have gotten away with something.  (I once stole a pink bouncy ball from a friend.  I don’t think she knows, but 35 years later, I still know and feel a little bad.)

For me, there are certain places I EXPECT honesty.  I don’t have to go into all of them here, but, the Olympics are one of those places.  I’m sure I’m just naive but a little part of me died inside when I found out there was admitted cheating going on.  ADMITTED.

It was in swimming, and it was THE GOLD MEDAL WINNER!  100 meters in the pool is an all-out spring for 2 laps.  The breast stroke is a forward facing arms forward stroke and the swimmers sort of bob up and down.  Each stroke  has rules and regulations governing them.  For instance, in the breaststroke, the head must break the surface once with each stroke cycle, the kick is called a frog kick and  the legs should never break the surface of the water, and most importantly in this case, a swimmer is allowed to break this frog kick with one dolphin kick (perhaps the strongest and fasted kick in the sport) on the start and turn of the race.  So in the 100 meter you’re allowed 2 dolphin kicks; one at the start of the race and one on the turn.  Guys, this is a written, verifiable rule!

The South African racer Cameron van der Burgh won the GOLD MEDAL in the 100 meter breaststroke.  Then he ADMITTED that he cheated by added additional dolphin kicks during the race, these cheater kicks were caught on tape so there’s evidence.  Know what he said? “If you’re not doing it, you’re falling behind.”  and, “…if you’re not doing it, you’re not trying hard enough.”  He’s basically saying everyone is doing it, however HE was the one caught on tape, and HE is the one that won by quite a large margin.  He then went on to say, “It’s not obviously – shall we say – the moral thing to do, but I’m not willing to sacrifice my personal performance and four hears of hard work for someone that is willing to do it and get away with it.”  I’m sorry, isn’t that YOU, buddy?  YOU are willing to do it and get away with it.

This seems like a minor issue, does an extra kick really give you that much advantage?  I don’t know, it was certainly enough of an advantage for him to win.  And ultimately, isn’t cheating cheating no matter what the advantage?  Van der Burgh will get away with it, even though everyone knows.  In the Olympics there is no underwater review, so even though we have pictures we can’t do anything with it.  I’m not saying strip him of his gold, but I am saying at the very least there should be a redo of the race.


What do you think?


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  1. Aselin

    Oh, I KNOW and i’ve been waiting for that bouncy ball karma to bounce right back!

    Seriously, as a swimmer mom it’s amazing how hard these races are to judge and how often athletes get DQ’d for something in your opinion didn’t happen. With all the Olympic cameras, it should be policed as tightly as possible. People should know, it’s high competition, we do it right, period. Sadly, the Olympics and it’s leadership is rife with dishonesty. It is a sad day for us when we just accept it.

  2. Elisa Black

    Strip him of his medal. That is a guy I could never respect. And apparently, he isn’t such a good swimmer after all.

  3. Brooks

    Cheating? If you want to talk about cheating, let’s talk about professional cycling. It’s so bad that it even spills over into the Olympics (e.g. Tyler Hamilton being stripped of his medal for doping a few years ago). Athletes do it because they know there’s a good chance they’ll never get caught. It’s epidemic.

    And don’t even get me started on how it has metastasized in schools!

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