Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ethics in the Olympics

In a recent article, Dan Wetzel (he just keeps popping-up) promotes the idea that, inevitably, the Olympics will be ruled by the Chinese. His evidence is the population base from which to choose athletes, government control of the lives and training of those athletes from a young age, and the societal pressure upon those athletes to perform for national rather than personal pride.

The question is not will they dominate the Olympics, but should they? In the not-so-distant past, we faced Hitler's master race. The Arian ideal was supposed to dominate everything. Yet Jesse Owens won four gold medals in those games. During the Cold War, Americans faced the Soviets, with steroid-fueled athletes, and won more gold. We were not so concerned with dominating all sports as proving that with faith, conviction, and determination, natural man could overcome the manipulated super-humans.

And so we will face it again. While there is no evidence that China has manipulated its athletes genetically or through enhancement drugs, it does select athletes at a young age solely for their perceived future physical characteristics and hones them to the point of limiting their viability as whole human persons. Ethically, this is tremendously problematic. I do not mind that they have more gold. Look what their athletes are put through to get it. Their gold is tainted by the shame of government meddling. If they dominate the games, let our focus continue to be personal human determination . . . and freedom.

The picture comes courtesy of JesseOwens.com.


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