Submitted By: Sparks from the Radio Room

Over the weekend, at the Women's Ice Hockey games at the Olympics, Canada defeated Slovakia 18-0 and the US won over China 12-1.

Is that good sportsmanship?  Is it in the "Olympic spirit?"

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What do you mean, Sparks? Why would defeating another team be considered bad sportsmanship? Or are you getting at something else?
16/Feb/10 10:48 AM
It's hard to say. Did the losing team walk into a situation they were'nt prepared for?
16/Feb/10 10:52 AM

No, not just a sound victory, but running up a humiliating score.

There was a time in collegiate athletics, at least in the US, when they were conducted with a view to character development.

Coaches that ran up humiliating scores on their hapless opponents, even in long-time, More...
16/Feb/10 10:56 AM

If you're ahead 9-0, what's the point of scoring another 9 goals, or even 3? There is no doubt about dominance. The only point seems to be embarrassing your opponent, not just demonstrating your own superiority.

The US coach pulled his goalie and put in the backup with three minutes to More...
16/Feb/10 11:16 AM
Not being an inveterate sports type I will postulate that the situation revolves around the game clock. If a team is so far ahead of an opponent what are their options? Either walk off the field or continue playing. If it is to continue playing do they just spend the rest of the clock passing More...
16/Feb/10 11:19 AM

Apologies first, it was Joe Louis against Max Schmeling in 1938, not part of the Olympics. But that contest had huge political ramifications.

Jeb, to answer your question, coaches will often use a commanding lead to give experience to second-string players. It doesn't fool anybody, but the score the losers have to live with isn't quite so bad.

16/Feb/10 11:27 AM
And political ramifications notwithstanding, don't forget the olympic victory of Jesse Owens in 1936 Berlin.
16/Feb/10 12:02 PM

Absolutely. But does there come a point when the propaganda value of the Olympics is surpassed by their bridge-building values?

16/Feb/10 12:07 PM
Who is to say that bridge building does not employ a degree of propaganda in the furtherance of it's own agenda?
16/Feb/10 12:20 PM

Sure...and when Richard Nixon set up the ping-pong games with the Chinese, what was more important...that somebody won, or that we were meeting socially?

16/Feb/10 12:21 PM
...and in this context, is propaganda necessarily a pejorative term?
16/Feb/10 12:23 PM
...and how far from the topic have we drifted?
16/Feb/10 12:25 PM

Not all that far. I was just a bit disappointed that the US and Canadian teams seemed more intent on high-fiving themselves than in true sport.

16/Feb/10 12:45 PM
At this point, I believe I have exhausted my resources. My interest in team sports falls somewhere near a comment made by an old friend when asked if he was going to so and so's wedding.
"No, I went to one of those once."
16/Feb/10 12:54 PM
Not really sure how to address that one. I feel the Olympic spirit is somewhat jaded given the sponsorship and hand-shaking political deals that go on to produce the spectacular shows we see today. On the one hand it is good to see so many nations competing at an international level, especially the More...
17/Feb/10 4:05 AM
The question also reminds me of the present state of sports in schools in the UK. My children were told that there are no winners and that everyone should enjoy sports day regardless of what position they came in whilst racing. The children still knew what winning was all about and still strove to More...
17/Feb/10 4:11 AM
I'm off on a tangent as usual but it is pancake day here and I have to toss several before tea for my own enjoyment. Better squeeze the lemons...
17/Feb/10 4:15 AM
Having said that and just before I go off to toss pan de cakes, I remember a school swimming gala in which most of the competitors taking part were members of advanced swimming teams. There was one boy who was not, it has to be said, very fast. The race in which he was involved in finished at least More...
17/Feb/10 4:23 AM
...and lets not forget Eddie the Eagle...our own UK superstar of yesteryear. Bless him x
17/Feb/10 4:25 AM
Good redirect, André. Have we forgotten all about Jamican Bobsled? The first thing that entered the world's mind when they were announced might have been 'what the...?' and the world loved them for their audacity.
17/Feb/10 5:18 AM
And I hope for all your tossing, everything lands squarely in the pan as it should. Shades of the Olney/Liberal pancake races? Now, there is a subject for sportsmanship discussions.
17/Feb/10 5:24 AM
As Julia Child said (or is reputed to have said after a roast turkey slid off the platter and landed on the kitchen floor), "Oh well, what the guests don't know won't hurt them." And so it goes with pancakes...

But back to the alleged thread....

I don't think it ought to More...
17/Feb/10 12:16 PM
Also remember the Jamaican Bobsled team the following Olympics.... They finished with a better time than the USA team. They had a serious drive to do well. They really wanted it. They didn't medal, but they were no joke.
17/Feb/10 3:07 PM
Yes I can see that stark...
18/Feb/10 2:45 AM
oops...I meant Sparks, typing errors with long fingernails can do that.
18/Feb/10 2:46 AM
On the subject of sportsmanship. Do people think that sports personalities should be allowed to continue in their given sport if they have been reprimanded for violence off the field or if their private life is subjected to public viewing when they have been unfaithful to their partners? If so then should they be paid such ludicrous wages if they 'mis-behave'?
25/Feb/10 1:55 AM
I ask this question because I am fed up of seeing exposure after exposure of infidelites by these so called sportsmen/women. The youth of today look up to them and shouldn't see this as normal behaviour, in my humble opinion.
25/Feb/10 2:07 AM
Wouldn't it be lovely to see it built into their contracts that public indiscretions incur say a 50% loss of their income. These so-called sportsmen/women may think twice before they carry on like yobbos!
25/Feb/10 4:52 PM
I agree that professionals go a long way to putting the chosen sport of their choice back from being a game of camaraderie (is that how you spell it, oh lord!) to a money spinning enterprise, they seem more interested in the size of the cheque. It is a great shame.

26/Feb/10 10:32 AM
I think the youth of today know very well that their heros are only heros on the pitch, on the field, on the golf course, on the track. Off it, they are but oh-so normal human beings with their infidelities and silliness, their drunken binges and their excesses. Perhaps we should stop expecting More...
23/Mar/10 7:54 AM
Sparks, I have seen the same humiliating scores created in local baseball games. In some competitions here there are stringent limits on the amount of pitches one player can make. When so far in the lead that there is no doubt you are going to win, not running up the count unnecessarily can make More...
23/Mar/10 8:49 AM
Andre (sorry about the e), I like the lesson that many learnt during the swimming carnival - said without knowing how such a wide range of abilities was in the same race - the kids who try their very best even though they know they are going to lose will one day find the thing they are great at and by applying the same determination will do amazing things.
23/Mar/10 8:56 AM
But then again there have been some miraculous comebacks by teams that were down and out at half time. Happens all the time in Aussie rules football. Usually its my team that was dominant and loses.
27/Feb/13 11:56 PM
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