Thursday, June 26, 2008

Worth its weight in gold (medal)?

The recent announcement that our medallist at the upcoming Beijing Olympics are to be rewarded handsomely created some debate it seems. A gold would be worth a million dollars, while bagging a silver or a bronze medal would make an athlete richer by 300K and 100K respectively.

Most people think that it is excessive, given the current situation (high cost of living, higher fuel price, perbelanjaan berhemah), but the truth is, IS IT really that excessive? Some say, the athletes are materialistic and not patriotic but I beg to differ.

Sports should be looked as an instrument for unity, and to a certain extent, meritocracy at its best. Only the best athletes are invited to be in the Olympics, and they must satisfy a certain criteria. To satisfy those criteria, countless hours are put in, be it during preparation or training.

We do not send an athlete to the Olympics based on the color of their skin, race, or even their political leaning. There is no quota involved. As long as one are able to satisfy the qualification criteria, any Abu, Ah Chong and Muthu could don the coveted national colour at the Game. 

If you can't satisfy any of the qualifying criteria, the only way you could go to the Olympics is by using (lots of) money. Accomodation, transport and venue tickets does not come cheap, my friend. Thats what I meant, going to the Olympics are meritocracy at its best.

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