Rio 2016: Olympics under pressure

DinosaurNaturalEnvironmentDuring my morning exercise session outdoors I found a dinosaur. Sometimes it would be beneficial for the whole sport to go back to prehistory.

People were made to move and they should seek movement naturally, without considering all the benefits it brings. At the beginnings of humanity, physical fitness was essential for survival. Later it was used for the armies during conquests. Physical training is still part of the occupation readiness of military and fire-fighters. TRX training system was invented by American soldiers, who attached the ropes from a parachute to the trees and trained in improvised conditions. Fire-fighters still compete in stair running even is most of the buildings have emergency lifts.  Physically fit people are always in an advantage.  In modern age, this advantage is losing importance, and is being replaced by the ability to think analytically and process a load of information.

Mental activity is indeed closely connected with movement. During exercise, our body increases its ability to supply oxygen and brain itself consumes lot of oxygen while at work. Similarly, brain consumes about 20 percent of overall energy intake, therefore it normal that we get hungry when studying hard or working on a problem.

Movement as a means to health and fitness leaps into the mastery of movement according to set rules with an aim to outperform an opponent. It is a brief definition of sport. Professional sport is no more about enjoying the movement but about looking for the most effective way to reach the goal. Sometimes the movement loses importance and it is also disappearing from the life of population.

People have mobile applications and the newest shoes even before they enter the track. They cancel the session due to bad weather, next time they are tired from work or the shoes do not fit properly. There were no shoes in the Stone Age. If we kept moving actively since prehistory, we would not have these problems. Human body adapts to the environment and conditions. During the centuries we created artificial conditions and our body has forgotten what is natural. Professional sportsmen and fitness enthusiast confirm that our body is capable of much more than we think.


On Saturday 13 August 2016, Michael Phelps retired from the Olympics with his 23rd gold from 4 x 100 m team relay. He has good physical predispositions: long feet, short legs, wide arm span; and also his body is better adjusted to coping with maximal effort exercise.

Like all extra-ordinary sportsmen (I read biographies of Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic or Zlatan) Phelps was an active child with symptoms of ADHD and he always wanted to win. These elements are crucial for succeeding in sports, apart from hard work, which is evident from Phelp’s up to 10 km in the pool a day and 12,000 calories eaten.

There are accusations that he takes doping, but knowing how sports works today, who does not? Who would consciously deprive himself of the opportunity to match the others? Definitely not people with drive and desire to will, like Phelps. It is sad that athletes are often puppets in the hands of politics, like Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.

usain_bolt2c_anniversary_games2c_london_2013The need to succeed triggers pressure and utilization of other means than movement. Lust for power is natural part of any society that is serious about its existence and is ready to use all means. Rio Olympics should have promoted Brazil and Latin America. So far it just revealed faults (not only) in this part of the world in different spheres: political instability, economic crisis, corruption, human rights, geo-political struggle, use of banned substances, migration and even viruses.

With the contribution of modern technologies, some athletes show so far unseen mastery. For example American gymnast Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt or Mo Farah, who won gold in 10,000 m run. Slovakia, by this time, won two medals and was in the game for more top placements. It means that we (Slovaks) managed to fill the gap, after the generation of successful medal athletes retired – although it is just a temporary fix.

I think that the Rio Olympics are under pressure from all sides and they will be ranked among the less successful ones. It was caused by the absence of many Russian athletes (which evokes the memories of the Cold War), recent terrorist attacks that caused problems with security and the political climate in Brazil, where the president is in the middle of resignation due to corruption scandal. The Guardian calls it “pseudo Cold War“.

Instead of medal news I read that one member of the US team, by chance and African-American, did not hold her hand to the chest during the anthem and that first woman competing in the Muslim clothing – hijab was an US fencer (where is Donald Trump). I think that people instead of movement and Olympic ideals the people are looking for scandals and Pokemons.

Sport would benefit from coming back to the stone age, without media, Technologies and banned substance. It would not do away with cheating but at least the people will be forced to dominate via movement.

pictures: ERIK REDLI,

Categories: Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s