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Should teams compete in Olympics?

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I have read all of your responses, and have concluded that the Olympics should be about determining who specifically is the very best at something that can be measured objectively. Therefore, tennis is in, gymnastics is out, and team sports like basketball are out. If they want to make a three-point contest an Olympic sport, then that's fine. It'd be dumb, but OK because it'll determine who is the best three-point shooter in the world. IMO team sports don't really tell you anything, and should be no more than exhibitions.

My decision is final. This thread is over.

I disagree. Each sport's individual world championship is what that's for. I don't think the main goal of the Olympic games has ever been to find the best individual in certain events, though that is part of it. I think the spirit of the Olympics is that the world comes together to compete in athletic activities that are participated in around the globe. Team sports are played all over the world, why shouldn't they be included? Athletes that play team sports train just as hard as those who compete in individual sports. Why shouldn't they be included?

Also, who cares if Andre Iguadala isn't one of the 12 best American basketball players? There's American swimmers and runners who didn't qualify for the US team, but they would probably be the best swimmer or runner if they were from a smaller country. That's just how it works.

edit: Gymnastics has individual medals, why would you eliminate Gymnastics?

Because it's not a sport. It's an entirely subjectively judged athletics exhibition. It has more in common with America's Got Talent or Pop Idol than it does with actual sports with objective scoring.

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I have read all of your responses, and have concluded that the Olympics should be about determining who specifically is the very best at something that can be measured objectively. Therefore, tennis is in, gymnastics is out, and team sports like basketball are out. If they want to make a three-point contest an Olympic sport, then that's fine. It'd be dumb, but OK because it'll determine who is the best three-point shooter in the world. IMO team sports don't really tell you anything, and should be no more than exhibitions.

My decision is final. This thread is over.

I disagree. Each sport's individual world championship is what that's for. I don't think the main goal of the Olympic games has ever been to find the best individual in certain events, though that is part of it. I think the spirit of the Olympics is that the world comes together to compete in athletic activities that are participated in around the globe. Team sports are played all over the world, why shouldn't they be included? Athletes that play team sports train just as hard as those who compete in individual sports. Why shouldn't they be included?

Also, who cares if Andre Iguadala isn't one of the 12 best American basketball players? There's American swimmers and runners who didn't qualify for the US team, but they would probably be the best swimmer or runner if they were from a smaller country. That's just how it works.

edit: Gymnastics has individual medals, why would you eliminate Gymnastics?

Because it's not a sport. It's an entirely subjectively judged athletics exhibition. It has more in common with America's Got Talent or Pop Idol than it does with actual sports with objective scoring.

Yeah, actual sports with objective scoring are easier. Gymnasts are the best athletes in the world.

The "judging" that happens in gymnastics is just as tight as the "judging" that goes on in a major league baseball game.

Again, I don't think the Olympics is about finding the best in the world, objectively or subjectively. I think it's about competing in sports that are participated in globally.

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I have read all of your responses, and have concluded that the Olympics should be about determining who specifically is the very best at something that can be measured objectively. Therefore, tennis is in, gymnastics is out, and team sports like basketball are out. If they want to make a three-point contest an Olympic sport, then that's fine. It'd be dumb, but OK because it'll determine who is the best three-point shooter in the world. IMO team sports don't really tell you anything, and should be no more than exhibitions.

My decision is final. This thread is over.

I disagree. Each sport's individual world championship is what that's for. I don't think the main goal of the Olympic games has ever been to find the best individual in certain events, though that is part of it. I think the spirit of the Olympics is that the world comes together to compete in athletic activities that are participated in around the globe. Team sports are played all over the world, why shouldn't they be included? Athletes that play team sports train just as hard as those who compete in individual sports. Why shouldn't they be included?

Also, who cares if Andre Iguadala isn't one of the 12 best American basketball players? There's American swimmers and runners who didn't qualify for the US team, but they would probably be the best swimmer or runner if they were from a smaller country. That's just how it works.

edit: Gymnastics has individual medals, why would you eliminate Gymnastics?

Because it's not a sport. It's an entirely subjectively judged athletics exhibition. It has more in common with America's Got Talent or Pop Idol than it does with actual sports with objective scoring.

Yeah, actual sports with objective scoring are easier. Gymnasts are the best athletes in the world.

The "judging" that happens in gymnastics is just as tight as the "judging" that goes on in a major league baseball game.

Again, I don't think the Olympics is about finding the best in the world, objectively or subjectively. I think it's about competing in sports that are participated in globally.

The "judging" that occurs in baseball is not the sole means by which the outcome of a game is determined. Even with the most corrupt umpire in the world a team could still win a baseball game in spite of him. Gymnastics (or like "sports") not so much as we witnessed during that debacle in 2002 in Utah.

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I have read all of your responses, and have concluded that the Olympics should be about determining who specifically is the very best at something that can be measured objectively. Therefore, tennis is in, gymnastics is out, and team sports like basketball are out. If they want to make a three-point contest an Olympic sport, then that's fine. It'd be dumb, but OK because it'll determine who is the best three-point shooter in the world. IMO team sports don't really tell you anything, and should be no more than exhibitions.

My decision is final. This thread is over.

I disagree. Each sport's individual world championship is what that's for. I don't think the main goal of the Olympic games has ever been to find the best individual in certain events, though that is part of it. I think the spirit of the Olympics is that the world comes together to compete in athletic activities that are participated in around the globe. Team sports are played all over the world, why shouldn't they be included? Athletes that play team sports train just as hard as those who compete in individual sports. Why shouldn't they be included?

Also, who cares if Andre Iguadala isn't one of the 12 best American basketball players? There's American swimmers and runners who didn't qualify for the US team, but they would probably be the best swimmer or runner if they were from a smaller country. That's just how it works.

edit: Gymnastics has individual medals, why would you eliminate Gymnastics?

Because it's not a sport. It's an entirely subjectively judged athletics exhibition. It has more in common with America's Got Talent or Pop Idol than it does with actual sports with objective scoring.

Yeah, actual sports with objective scoring are easier. Gymnasts are the best athletes in the world.

The "judging" that happens in gymnastics is just as tight as the "judging" that goes on in a major league baseball game.

Again, I don't think the Olympics is about finding the best in the world, objectively or subjectively. I think it's about competing in sports that are participated in globally.

The "judging" that occurs in baseball is not the sole means by which the outcome of a game is determined. Even with the most corrupt umpire in the world a team could still win a baseball game in spite of him. Gymnastics (or like "sports") not so much as we witnessed during that debacle in 2002 in Utah.

Gymnastics has more rigidly defined judging guidelines than figure skating.

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1. Each team sport's individual world championship is where their best should be decided. Is there a track world championship? Is there a swimming world championship? I really don't know. I just know that everyone remembers the athletes who win gold in the olympics (or at least a few of them)

2. I've explained numerous times why I don't think team sports should be included. It's not something I really feel strongly about, because I don't really care about the olympics, but after thinking about it, it's something that I believe. When you decide that you believe in something, what else is there to do besides get on the internet and debate it with strangers?

3. Of course team athletes train hard. That's irrelevant IMO.

4. The point of better US athletes getting left off even though they're better than some other country's athletes doesn't really matter, since there's only 3 medals and as far as I know (which isn't too far) we send more than 3 athletes for each sport, so the 4th best American (on paper) wouldn't medal anyway (nor would anyone from any other country that he was better than.) Sure he wouldn't get to go to the games, but eh.

5. Gymnastics and other subjectively-judged sports can be affected by judge's bias, and are really more performances than head-to-head competitions. They have their own tours and (I think) world championships anyway. Not to start this debate, because I don't want to take anything away from gymnasts who can do things that I never could (not that I'd want to), but "athletic competition" doesn't necessarly mean "sport". IMO a sport is objectively decided (which brings up a gray area in boxing... not sure how I feel there. Actually yeah, I do - but that's not for this thread.)

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I forget which form of gymnastics - the one with the balance beam, vault, horse, etc. or the one with ribbons and balls and such - deducts points from your score if a bra strap is showing. As others have said, it's very athletic and they do amazing things, but can it be considered a sport if you lose points for uniform violations?

It's bad enough the NFL fines players for ticky-tack uniform violations, but can you imagine if they took away a touchdown because the players socks weren't the right height when he made the catch?

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Personally I think that most of the team sports in the Olympics have every right to be there, except soccer & maybe basketball. Part of the remit of the Olympics is to help raise awareness of, & spread interest in, sport in general & especially those sports competed at the Olympics. Sports like water polo & handball get what little publicity they do through the Olympics, remove them & it basically makes growing those sports outside of their strongholds nigh on impossible.

On the topic of 'subjectively-judged' sports, most Olympic sports either operate off a system where there are pretty rigid guidelines for how many points are scored & lost, or use multiple judges & cut the outlying scores, or both. It's nigh on impossible nowadays for one rogue judge to 'ruin' someone's Olympics.

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1. Each team sport's individual world championship is where their best should be decided. Is there a track world championship? Is there a swimming world championship? I really don't know. I just know that everyone remembers the athletes who win gold in the olympics (or at least a few of them)

Yes. Every 2 years the IAAF and FINA have their own world championships, and these each of these events are bigger than the IIHF and FIBA world championships combined.

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1. Each team sport's individual world championship is where their best should be decided. Is there a track world championship? Is there a swimming world championship? I really don't know. I just know that everyone remembers the athletes who win gold in the olympics (or at least a few of them)

2. I've explained numerous times why I don't think team sports should be included. It's not something I really feel strongly about, because I don't really care about the olympics, but after thinking about it, it's something that I believe. When you decide that you believe in something, what else is there to do besides get on the internet and debate it with strangers?

3. Of course team athletes train hard. That's irrelevant IMO.

4. The point of better US athletes getting left off even though they're better than some other country's athletes doesn't really matter, since there's only 3 medals and as far as I know (which isn't too far) we send more than 3 athletes for each sport, so the 4th best American (on paper) wouldn't medal anyway (nor would anyone from any other country that he was better than.) Sure he wouldn't get to go to the games, but eh.

5. Gymnastics and other subjectively-judged sports can be affected by judge's bias, and are really more performances than head-to-head competitions. They have their own tours and (I think) world championships anyway. Not to start this debate, because I don't want to take anything away from gymnasts who can do things that I never could (not that I'd want to), but "athletic competition" doesn't necessarly mean "sport". IMO a sport is objectively decided (which brings up a gray area in boxing... not sure how I feel there. Actually yeah, I do - but that's not for this thread.)

1 virtually every sport has a world championship of some form on top of the Olympics.

2 should there be relays in track & field? Seriously, go watch the Olympics, virtually every sport has some form of team element.

5. Most judging sports are much less subjective than you would think. There is only a small artistic element, mostly it's did the competitor successfully carry out a particular, very definite and defined task. It's much more skilled than was the routine pretty.

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and all of that hinges on the idea that the point of the Olympics is to find the single best person at an objectively decided skill. Where did you get that from?

While that is part of it, that has never been the ultimate goal of the Olympics.

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and all of that hinges on the idea that the point of the Olympics is to find the single best person at an objectively decided skill. Where did you get that from?

While that is part of it, that has never been the ultimate goal of the Olympics.

Well the original olympics were wrestling, boxing, running, javelin throwing, etc. Granted, there wasn't baseball or basketball back in those days. You are correct - that's my opinion of what the games should be about. Though I haven't found any official "mission statement" of what the goal is, so I don't know if I'm right or wrong.

Either way, if you want to get attention to some fringe team sports or grow the world-wide appeal of something like baseball, then stage exhibitions at the games. IMO team sports shouldn't be for medals.

While we're at it, the whole "representing your country" thing is kind of antiquated as well. I get that it's fun to be able to say that your country has the best athletes, but does that really mean anything for the fat slob sitting in his parents' basement rooting on "his" country? If the US wins 100 medals or 0 medals, does that really change a single thing for any of us? Do athletes really feel like they're on a mission to represent our nation - like they're soldiers or something?

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and all of that hinges on the idea that the point of the Olympics is to find the single best person at an objectively decided skill. Where did you get that from?

While that is part of it, that has never been the ultimate goal of the Olympics.

Well the original olympics were wrestling, boxing, running, javelin throwing, etc. Granted, there wasn't baseball or basketball back in those days. You are correct - that's my opinion of what the games should be about. Though I haven't found any official "mission statement" of what the goal is, so I don't know if I'm right or wrong.

Either way, if you want to get attention to some fringe team sports or grow the world-wide appeal of something like baseball, then stage exhibitions at the games. IMO team sports shouldn't be for medals.

While we're at it, the whole "representing your country" thing is kind of antiquated as well. I get that it's fun to be able to say that your country has the best athletes, but does that really mean anything for the fat slob sitting in his parents' basement rooting on "his" country? If the US wins 100 medals or 0 medals, does that really change a single thing for any of us? Do athletes really feel like they're on a mission to represent our nation - like they're soldiers or something?

It's like the Simpsons said "The road to the Super Bowl is long and pointless...I mean, when you think about it." What are sports for? What is any of this for?

Now you're opening another can of worms. Does our favorite hockey team winning the Stanley Cup really change a single thing for any of us? Not really. Does it mean anything for the fat slob sitting in his parents' basement rooting on "his" NFL team? Not really. And maybe I'm not cynical enough, but I think the athletes do feel like they're on a mission to represent our nation. Otherwise, so many of them wouldn't spend 5 to 6 hours on their feet, risking potential fatigue for their events, wearing a silly outfit, to march in the parade of nations. Nobody forces them to do that.

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While we're at it, the whole "representing your country" thing is kind of antiquated as well. I get that it's fun to be able to say that your country has the best athletes, but does that really mean anything for the fat slob sitting in his parents' basement rooting on "his" country? If the US wins 100 medals or 0 medals, does that really change a single thing for any of us? Do athletes really feel like they're on a mission to represent our nation - like they're soldiers or something?

This is where you're completely wrong. Athletes are pretty much all proud to represent their countries. Just sit back and watch an hour of the Olympics and you'll get an idea. I think maybe some Americans are more used to very vague associations with what are essentially businesses, but in most other places, and in most other sports, the idea of representing your country is something to be proud of.

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While we're at it, the whole "representing your country" thing is kind of antiquated as well. I get that it's fun to be able to say that your country has the best athletes, but does that really mean anything for the fat slob sitting in his parents' basement rooting on "his" country? If the US wins 100 medals or 0 medals, does that really change a single thing for any of us? Do athletes really feel like they're on a mission to represent our nation - like they're soldiers or something?

So no one should take pride in their country, their athletes, their accomplishments...

Let's end the olympics then. There really isn't a point. Same with all sports. Why have local pride? The idea of "nations" is kind of old-fashioned too... let's just end all the wars, open everyone's borders and accept everyone and their cultures for who they are, all just one big happy world. No competition, no one better than anyone else. We're All Winners! No reason to progress or try to get better. Might hurt someone's feelings. Someone who isn't as smart or as athletic, but, hey, that's ok...

(sorry for the rant... just stupid s**t like that pisses me off...)

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While we're at it, the whole "representing your country" thing is kind of antiquated as well. I get that it's fun to be able to say that your country has the best athletes, but does that really mean anything for the fat slob sitting in his parents' basement rooting on "his" country? If the US wins 100 medals or 0 medals, does that really change a single thing for any of us? Do athletes really feel like they're on a mission to represent our nation - like they're soldiers or something?

This is where you're completely wrong. Athletes are pretty much all proud to represent their countries. Just sit back and watch an hour of the Olympics and you'll get an idea. I think maybe some Americans are more used to very vague associations with what are essentially businesses, but in most other places, and in most other sports, the idea of representing your country is something to be proud of.

I think this is especially true in sports where there is no professional league. There's nothing aside from your country to do it for ? no club, no city. Listen to some of the interviews after the performances and you'll get a sense of just how important representing their country is to some of these athletes. I've interviewed a few international level athletes, and when I ask how it felt to first put on that national team jersey, the answer is never, "Meh."

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let's just end all the wars, open everyone's borders and accept everyone and their cultures for who they are, all just one big happy world. No competition, no one better than anyone else. We're All Winners!

It works in Star Trek. I'm not sure why this would be a bad thing. "National pride" is what causes a lot of the discrimination and bad feelings that many people from all cultures have toward people from other cultures. Realizing how silly basing your "national pride" on the fact that there's people from your country who can swim faster than people from some other country would be a good start.

There's still a point to the olympics - see who's the best. I don't think that reducing the nationalism involved takes away anything from it.

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