Aug 14, 2012, 2:59 PM
Post #1 of 7
SAILING IS TOO EXCLUSIVE FOR THE OLYMPICS
Is sailing too exclusive for the Olympics?
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By Bomani Jones, NY Times
After seeing the majestic diversity of the Olympics' Parade of Nations, a
visual representation of the best of the Olympic ideal, the last thing I
want to watch is a sport where the biggest determinant of success is being
rich. I could ask for many sports to be removed on this basis, but I'll go
with sailing because ... well, who wants to watch boats that don't make
lots of noise?
O.K., I can do better -- what does sailing embody that anyone loves,
specifically, about the Olympics? Where is the simplicity of the event that
gives the impression that anyone could participate?
You need to be of a certain class with special access to sail. In an event
that celebrates inclusion, it is the most exclusive. Even with sports like
swimming and rowing, which cost too much for many, anyone could,
theoretically, participate. There's nothing stopping someone from doing
backflips and the other staples of gymnastics.
Sailing? The name of the game is access. The touching human interest
stories that buoy NBC's ratings for the Olympics are somewhere between rare
and nonexistent. It's clearly an activity for a particular class stratus
and, given how overwhelmingly white the Olympic participants are, it's
clearly not the world's game.
If the Olympics is going to wrap itself in touchy-feely stories, it's hard
to get behind sports that are so obviously exclusive. If the Games are
supposed to bring the world together, we can do without sports that do the
opposite. -- http://tinyurl.com/NYT-081212
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you care to disagree with Bomani Jones, you can find him
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Bomani's Twitter account is @bomani_jones