Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cheating At Badminton? Say It Ain't So.

Just about the time I'm really starting to enjoy the Olympics, a cheating scandal rocks the games. No, I'm not referring to the 16 year old Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen, who has raised more than a few eyebrows with her man-beating times in the pool. And, no, I'm not talking about some roided up weightlifter from Kyrgyzstan. No, this cheating scandal  is disturbing on an even more visceral level. I, for one, will always remember where I was when I got the news that eight Olympians were kicked out of London for cheating at....Badminton.

Yes, that lovely game we all grew up playing at picnics in the summer has now arrived at the place where people care enough to cheat at it. And the people doing the cheating aren't your Uncle Ted, with a racket in one hand and an Old Milwaukee in the other. No, these cheaters are the best of the best, and in every article I could find about this story, they are described as "athletes". Apparently, the desire to reach the pinnacle of the Badminton universe so corrupted eight "athletes" from China, South Korea, and Indonesia, that they conspired to throw their matches in order to obtain a more favorable opponent in the elimination rounds to come. As you can imagine, this lackluster effort did not go over well with the thousands who had paid good bribes to get their hands on tickets to see first rate badminton. Kang Young Joong, current President of something called the Badminton World Federation, wasn't happy. "Not giving one's best effort in a match does not reflect well on our sport." So, the eight offending Asians are now ex-Olympians, but clearly, the damage has been done. So what is an Olympics fan to do? What am I to think when I watch the long anticipated Croquet finals between Great Britain and Liechtenstein next week? Will I have to wonder whether that handsome man with the silky mallet is doping? And what about the Horse-Shoe Pitching finals this weekend? Are those guys playing with magnetized shoes?

Now, I'm aware that what I'm about to say isn't politically correct, however, I can't help but notice the preponderance of Asian athletes involved in nefarious conduct at these games. What's the deal with the Chicoms anyway? In the 1990's over 60 athletes from all sports tested positive for banned substances. Of that total, 28 just happened to be Chinese...swimmers. So, pardon me for being just a bit suspicious of Ye Shiwen. And when I see any North Korean athlete winning anything, a red flag ( pardon the pun ) starts to fly in my head. Although I guess I shouldn't be surprised by amazing athletic feats by North Koreans, since their supreme leader carded a 38, including an amazing 11 hole in ones in his very first attempt at golf. Since this otherworldly accomplishment was reported by the Official News Service of the North Korean Communist Party, it had to be true. Even though there is presently no evidence of cheating, I will still keep a sharp eye out for any irregularities in what I'm sure will be an all-Chicom ping pong final later this week.