What is this relationship we have with Sport?
What is sport really all about?
Do we have a clear understanding of what sport is?
Why is sport dividing nations?
What is the meaning of this word SPORT?
The Concise Oxford English dictionary tells us (1) –
An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment
Success or pleasure derived from an activity such as hunting
So what is very clear is that we need entertainment and we need pleasure and sport delivers that for us by people who are willing to ‘exert’ themselves. That means they will strive, try hard and apply force to physically get their body to do what is needed to win.
For some if that means taking drugs to enhance their performance so they can win, they are willing to do it. In other words – do what it takes without ever looking at the consequences.
- So is sport all about winning?
- What about the losers?
- How affected are those who lose?
- Do we have enough studies on what happens to those who lose?
- Do we just wait for the next Sports news headlines to give us our buzz?
Talking of news headlines – check this out
The Rio Olympic Games 2016 – start this Friday 5 August.
BBC News – ‘If ever sport needed its most illustrious event to provide some inspiration, escapism and relief from its various troubles, it is now.’ (2)
Is this confirming we use sport to escape from life?
Is it saying sport needs an ‘illustrious event’ to take away the scandals around sport?
Could it be possible we are seeking relief from our own ‘various troubles’?
‘This is their moment to shine and to remind the world that, despite its latest crisis, sport’s mega-event is still worth fighting for.’ (2)
So why do we need to fight?
Why is it that we need to go into battle in the name of sport?
Where is this tension held in our body when we feel it is ‘still worth fighting for’?
Is a moment to shine worth more than the rest of our life?
Is this moment a time to ignore what is really going on in sport today?
Some athletes will not attend the Rio Olympics due to the Zika virus.
- So what do we know about the Zika virus?
- Why would athletes not want to attend their Olympic dream?
- Why has the World Health Organization declared an international health emergency over the spread of the Zika virus, now known to cause devastating birth defects?
This video has some answers if you are interested
Next – The Rio games are running 51% over budget according to a recent study and Brazil is suffering a second year of recession, the worst economic crisis since the 1930’s. (2)
The President of Brazil was suspended in May pending an impeachment process. (2)
Who is running the budget for the Rio games?
Are these people under the authority of a President who has been accused of unlawful activity?
Why are some who are next in line to succeed also under investigation for alleged mis-management and/or corruption? (3)
Hello – is this telling us something loud and clear about this country?
If you want the highlights of why this woman is accused of violating fiscal laws and allegedly using funds from state banks to cover budget shortfalls, read more –
So the people of Brazil are saying they are fed up with the high levels of corruption in Brazilian politics and here we have the new host of the world Olympics.
Do we care about the state of the country where our favourite sport stars are competing?
Are we really wanting to know about the corruption that is going on in Brazil?
Did we bother to question the next country where our world Olympics are held?
So just to make it clear the country HOLDING the games is in recession with a president accused of illegal activity and the majority of their people saying there is corruption at state level.
Now let’s look at the current hot news out –
According to this BBC news report ‘Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.’ (4)
So here we have an investigation by Wada – the World Anti-Doping Agency who are saying Russia’s sports ministry “directed, controlled and oversaw” manipulation of urine samples provided by athletes. (4)
The commission, led by Canadian Law Professor and Sports Lawyer – Dr. Richard McLaren will leave you in no doubt that this is high level corruption at state level. “The McLaren Report has concluded, beyond a reasonable doubt, a mind-blowing level of corruption within both Russian sport and government …”
Chief of United States Anti-Doping Agency – T. Tygart (4)
How could all this have gone on under the noses of the IOC and Wada for years, in a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory?
Why did it take a whistleblower to unearth the corruption?
Will this scandal split the Olympic movement beyond repair?
BBC Sports Editor – D. Roan (4)
DID YOU KNOW –
Can you smell anything here?
Can you read between the lines?
Are we choosing to pretend things are ok but we know they are not?
Are we aware of how big corruption actually is in our world today?
As our two previous blogs have confirmed –
We all know that Dope is another name for cannabis and the dictionary tells us it is ‘a drug used to enhance the performance of an athlete, racehorse or greyhound’ or ‘a stupid person’.
Doping means taking illegal substances to improve performance. In other words, cheating.
Well this cheating stuff goes back to Ancient Greece where substances were used in sport and so it is no surprise it still goes on today.
In 1928 the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) – the athletics world governing body was the first to ban doping. (5)
Hello – how come it is still going on 88 years later?
What is this telling us?
Why is it reported that doping has been a concern since 1920’s? (5)
Why did a major drug scandal in 1998 lead to the anti-doping organisation Wada – an Independent international agency in 1999?
Why is it that we wait for something big to happen when it was going on way before then?
Did we ever deal with this behind the scenes ugly stuff?
Have we just found new ways to not get it detected?
Do we think that winning is what this is all about?
Why is winning at any cost so important in the name of sport?
Are we really that ignorant or does it suit us in some way to not know the Truth?
WHY should be the question we all need to be asking?
Why is sport all about winning at whatever cost?
Why do our bodies’ need substances to go beyond its natural state?
Why do we accept that pushing our body to extremes is normal?
Why do athletes need to compete and win at all costs?
Why are some willing to ignore the side effects of drugs?
Why do they think it is ok to fake it to make it so to speak?
Why are anabolic steroids needed to allow athletes to train harder?
Why do these androgenic agents build muscle fast?
Why are the risks stating increased aggression for this substance?
Why are stimulants used to overcome the effects of fatigue?
Why do we need to increase the heart-rate and blood flow artificially?
Why are we not interested that these drugs can be addictive?
Why are diuretics and masking agents used to remove fluid from the body?
Why do sports like boxing and horse racing use this to ‘make the weight’?
Why would anyone use narcotic analgesics and cannabinoids to mask pain caused by injury or fatigue?
Why are Glucocorticoids used to mask serious injury when they affect our metabolism?
Hello – this is serious stuff if you just stop and re-read this.
Our body is telling us something and we take an addictive drug to pretend it is not happening.
How intelligent are we really when we choose this in the name of sport?
Why are peptide hormones like Erythropoietin used to give athletes energy and increase bulk?
Why are human growth hormones used to build muscle?
Why did it take 7 world wins to find out about Lance Armstrong?
Have we observed him since he has been stripped of his titles?
How does he really feel now that he is banned from sport for life?
Would Armstrong still be competing today if he had not been caught?
We had Ben Johnson back in 1988 known as the ‘world’s highest-profile drugs cheat’ stripped of his Olympic Gold. (5)
Was that a sign for us to wake up world and smell that something is not right with these athletes performing like super humans?
Why are super fit and healthy sports stars dying at a young age?
Why are we not asking WHY does this happen if they are at the top of their game?
We all know they have the best trainers, doctors, nutrition and everything else money can buy looking after them.
Danny Jones – aged 29 Wales International Rugby star
May 2015 – Cardiac Arrest
Reggie Lewis – aged 27 NBA Player
Heart Attack during training
Jules Bianchi – aged 25 Formula 1 Grand Prix driver (6)
July 2015 – High speed accident. Severe Head Injuries
A 396-page report confirmed that Jules Bianchi did not choose to slow down. It suggests a closed cockpit to protect drivers’ heads. Is this the answers his fans want to hear?
Should we be asking why high speed driving is allowed in wet conditions?
Why is this dangerous sport so popular?
How many more deaths do we need to witness around the circuit before we say enough?
What is the thrill that high speed driving gives us all?
Jonah Lomu – aged 40 Greatest Global Rugby Superstar
November 2015 – Cardiac Arrest
His team doctor John Mayhew said “cardiac arrest is the final pathway of the heart shutting down. That is all there is really.” (7)
- What is this doctor telling us all here?
When we have a heart attack is it our body saying enough and our heart shuts down?
How are we living every day that gets us to this point?
What choices was Jonah Lomu making for his career when he had kidney disease?
How come his health problems came to light after his retirement?
Could it be possible that he had to stop to feel the Truth of what was going on in his body?
Does the death of world famous Jonah Lomu tell us how we don’t have the answers?
How does someone die so young when they had the pace of a sprinter?
How natural was it for his 19 stone frame to beat the 100m in 11 seconds?
Tommy Hanson – aged 29 MLB Pitcher
November 2015 – Catastrophic organ failure
Delayed complications of Cocaine & Alcohol Toxicity (8)
Are we interested in why our top players use alcohol and drugs?
What was Tommy Hanson’s life like before he got famous?
Was there something deeper when he said he had ‘mental issues’ following the death of his brother? (9)
Could it be possible Hanson needed substances to not deal with what was going on in his private life? Possible?
1994 – Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna died aged 34
We have the highest paid athlete at the time with a huge salary and endorsement deals die from the sport that made him famous
Korey Stringer – age 27 American football NFL Heat Stroke symptoms (10)
Should we be asking WHY is training in full gear – around 50 pounds of weight – at 110 degrees necessary in the name of sport?
Why are experts saying this could have been prevented?
“… There is no safe place just because you are an NFL guy and you have the latest high-tech equipment or you have the best rehab equipment (or) you know all the nutritional values”
Marc Vivien Foe – age 28 Footballer
Died at the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final game
Would there have been signs about his health and well-being before this game?
How does a high profile English Premier League player have a price tag of $6 million but a life age of 28?
What was going on in his life that finally shut his heart down?
What was his body communicating to him?
Why do we have little interest in the true health and well-being of our players?
Antonio Puerta – age 22. Spanish International Football – playing for Sevilla at the time
Died of Heart Failure (11)
How young is that?
Why do we not have the answers?
Why are we not demanding what on earth is going on?
Why do these tragic stories not make any sense?
These are super fit guys, professional athletes with every modcon available to them and yet their heart gives up.
Could it be possible “there will be some underlying heart problem …” as Dr Panther of Pure Sports Medicine says? (11)
Could it be possible that the fame and recognition for these sports stars means more to them than the ‘underlying heart problem’?
Could it be possible that they felt they were loved and adored through what they could do and so this is what they continued to focus on, at the cost of their inner-most true health and well-being?
So here are some WHY questions about Sport –
Why is sport all about winning at whatever cost?
Why does sport command such big audiences?
Why do we love our sports games above anything else?
Why do we choose to get lost in the win-lose world of sport?
What is all this competition about?
Dictionary says compete means ‘strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others’ (1)
Why do we go to great lengths at the expense of our body to win?
Why do we need to establish superiority over others in any way?
Why is defeating another giving us so much pleasure?
Why do we not study how players feel when they are defeated?
Why are there no studies showing the behaviour patterns of winners?
Why is it that we have this battle between nations in the name of sport?
Why do countries have divisions in the name of sport?
Why do people fight because we support different teams?
Why does competition bring up so much emotion in us?
Why is alcohol a huge part of a football match in the UK?
Why is there so much police presence needed during a football match in the UK?
Why does the whole town have to shut down so the winning team can parade their cup in an open top bus?
Why is it normal for rugby players to be injured during a game?
Why is it normal for sport to push the body beyond its natural limits?
Why are some sports so aggressive?
Why is there domestic violence increase after a World Cup match? Why do the Wimbledon final tickets sell at £43,000? (12)
Why does anyone pay £5000 for a booking fee for one match? (12)
Why do the winners get all the attention and recognition?
Why have our sport stars got celebrity status?
Why is UK footballer Wayne Rooney paid £300,000 per week? (13)
Why are our teachers and nurses earning so much less?
Why do we rate our sports stars so highly?
Why do people try to use players as role models?
Why do some of our sports’ people have dodgy private lives?
Why do some have extreme behaviour that no one understands?
Why does our mood change if our team wins or loses?
Why are there big bucks involved in the whole sports industry?
From ticket touts to betting offices and the sale of merchandise – there is heaps of money exchanging hands.
Cyber-criminals have fake websites that are professionally constructed and appear legitimate. Conmen run lottery scams where letters and emails are sent confirming a cash prize and trip to Rio Olympics. Winners may also be asked to provide their bank details and other personal info (14)
Check out these prices –
Boxing – Floyd Mayweather Vs Canelo Alvarez
$30,940 per ticket
NBA 2010 Finals
$57,950 – one ticket for Lakers and Celtics match
$115,000 – closer seat, same match
London 2012 Olympics – Opening Ceremony
$4,000 per seat
Golf The Masters 2013
Grand Prix Formula 1 racing
The most expensive sport in the world as it requires the latest in sports car technology (15)
Next – have we ever stopped to consider does the loser ever get over it or do they push even harder and keep going at whatever cost until they win?
My only ever visit to a football match was enough. You go through a tight narrow metal turnstile, which reminded me of the iron doors inside prison. There was loads of swearing, shouting and yelling and it felt like a ‘venting playground’ where people gave themselves permission to release built up emotions and lash out on a team and its supporters in a short space of time. Most had been drinking alcohol.
On that note – research by Lancaster University criminologist Dr Stuart Kirby, a former police officer concludes that domestic violence increases after football matches whether the team win or lose.
Separate national research has echoed the Kirby findings with domestic abuse reports up 27.7% when the England team won a game and 31.5% when they lost.
Dr Stuart Kirby said “… there will be people who get involved in domestic abuse for the first time during England games”.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh says –
“One of the things we are looking at is around learned behaviour.
Are there now people who have seen their parent behave in this way during tournaments who now think it is acceptable for them to do the same?
There is a mixture of factors that come together during a World Cup tournament; many people drink alcohol, there is the emotional stress of the game and there is a whole issue around competitiveness and testosterone levels.” (16)
This is serious stuff and needs our attention.
Our world demands scientific evidence so we need to be asking for more studies and more research on this type of behaviour.
Is the game more important that the abuse that goes on after with our family members at home?
Is there something else at play here that we are not willing to look at and deal with?
Who is really winning here if we look at society as a whole for one moment?
Why do we have victims of domestic violence because of a sport’s tournament?
This makes absolutely no sense.
The Truth is Sport makes no sense when so much in our world needs our attention, starting with our own health.
Have we taken a look at the latest figures on Illness and Disease, which is now bankrupting our health systems worldwide?
Are we interested in the state of our welfare systems that are trapped in a no win cycle?
Do we know the global statistics on Domestic Violence and how huge this issue is?
Do we truly care or is it far more important to find the next season ticket or get to the next match, which is the short term solution to our happiness?
Is it time that we press the pause button and just stop for a moment to reflect on the knock on effect that sport maybe having in our life?
How are we contributing to the sports industry and at what cost to our own personal health and well-being?
Dear World – Are we ready to stop and feel WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO US IN LIFE?
And WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY?
(1) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011
(2) Roan, D. (2016, July 15). Rio 2016: ‘Olympics is Still Worth Fighting For’ http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/36804134
(3) (2016, May 10). Could Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff be Impeached? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-36028117
(4) (2016, July 18). Russia State ‘Sponsored Doping Across Majority of Olympic Sports, Claims Report http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/36823453
(5) (2015, August 20). Doping in Sport: What is it and How is it Being Tackled? http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/33997246
(6) Johnson, D. (2016, February 16). Horrific New Details on Formula One Driver Jules Bianchi’s Tragic Death Published by the FIA http://www.telegraph.co.uk/formula-1/2016/02/16/horrific-new-details-on-formula-one-driver-jules-bianchis-tragic
(7) (2015, November 18). Former New Zealand All Black Jonah Lomu Dies Aged 40 http://www.itv.com/news/update/2015-11-18/new-zealand-legend-lomu-died-of-cardiac-arrest
(8) SI WIRE. (2015, December 11). Former Braves P Tommy Hanson Died from Cocaine, Alcohol Use http://www.si.com/mlb/2015/12/11/tommy-hanson-death-cocaine-alcohol-use-braves-angels
(9) Gleeman, A. (2013, May 29). “I Was Having Mental Issues with the Death of My Younger Brother” http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2013/05/29/tommy-hanson-i-was-having-mental-issues-with-the-death-of-my-younger-brother
(10) Bunn, C. (n.d). Medical Experts Say the Death of Korey Stringer Was Entirely Preventable http://www.active.com/articles/medical-experts-say-the-death-of-korey-stringer-was-entirely-preventable
(11) Moore, G. (2007, August 29). He Was Sent to a Specialist and Told: ‘Hang Up Your Boots or You Could Die’ http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/he-was-sent-to-a-specialist-and-told-hang-up-your-boots-or-you-could-die-463483.html
(12) Cooper, R. (2013, July 4). Ticket Prices for the Wimbledon Men’s Final Hit a Record £43,000 per pair as Murraymania Reaches Fever Pitch http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2355996/Ticket-prices-Wimbledon-mens-final-hit-record-43-000-pair-Murraymania-reaches-fever-pitch.html
(13) (2016). Wayne Rooney Salary. What Footballer’s Earn http://www.whatfootballersearn.com/player/wayne-rooney
(14) Davenport, J (2016, July 25). Rio Olympics ‘are a goldmine for fraudsters’. Evening Standard
(15) Brock. (2015). Top 10 Most Expensive Sports Tickets Ever Sold in the World http://www.mostluxuriouslist.com/most-expensive-sports-tickets-ever-sold
(16) Laville, S. (2014, June 9). Police Fear Rise in Domestic Violence During World Cup https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/08/police-fear-rise-domestic-violence-world-cup