Overall, this has been the most memorable Olympics I have witnessed. From the Redeem Team in basketball to Michael Phelps in swimming and all the other incredible stories; even seeing so much of China has been inspiring.
But forget about all that positivity for a moment. One thing these Beijing Olympics have shown me is how biased we as Americans (people in the USA) are. I suppose everyone is this way, but I can only speak for my opinion of my country.
Yesterday, an American female gymnast got the exact same score as a Chinese competitor–right down to the thousandth of a point–a veritable tie for first. In those situations, the Olympic Committee has a system of taking the highest score to determine who will come out on top, and it happened to go to the Chinese gymnast. I can understand the American athlete feeling jipped, but hey, that’s sports. What I can’t understand is why all the commentators felt the need to malign the judging process and complain that the Chinese gymnasts look too young to be competing. If that extremely close decision had gone in the USA’s favor, would those NBC analysts have been complaining about the judges lack of experience? No.
Similar situation in track. When the Jamaican guy, Bolt, won the 100m dash, the American pundits couldn’t wait to hate. “He’s showboating.” “He’s compromising the integrity of the sport by slowing down at the end.” Showboating? In 2000, I distinctly remember Michael Johnson wearing gold running shoes and driving around Sydney in a Lamborghini even though I’m sure they had a shuttle bus to get him to and from events. Also, at some point after a victory (either 1996 or 2000), he was hotstepping across the finish line like Ini Kamoze.
Also, I heard a radio personality say with pride that while China has more gold medals, the USA has the most medals overall. But if China had more overall and we had more gold, I’m sure that would be our point of pride.
All I’m really saying is that we are opinionated. No matter what happens (almost), we will find a way to spin it in our favor. It’s ironic and unfair. And it explains a lot about how we treat other countries in affairs outside of the sports world, too.