Sportsmanship 101

By |  August 10, 2012

OK, so we have to wait four more looong years before golf is an Olympic sport (why is that, by the way?). Even if golf is enduring one last snub during these Games, I still find the Games worth watching–and worth writing about, too. 

I love the Olympics. I love the anticipation, the photo finishes, the intense rivalries. I love the underdogs, the team favorites who live up to the hype.
The London edition of the Olympics, however, is a little rough around the edges. It has, shall we say, a cockney accent. On the one hand, we’re witnesses to mind-blowing feats by Michael Phelps, the most awe-inspiring swimmer of all time, and Gabby Douglas, who came this close to not even making the U.S. gymnastics team then won gold. And how about U.S. runner Manteo Mitchell? The guy ran the 4×400 relay on a broken leg, enabling his team to qualify for the final, even though he won’t be running in it.
On the flip side, you have really, really poor sportsmanship, London Games. Not just from athletes, but from well, everyone. Jordyn Wieber, the favorite to win gold in women’s gymnastics, gave it her all and had an off night. She placed fourth in qualifiers, missing the finals. She interviewed on TV afterward, tears in her eyes. The loss was disappointing, she said. The reporter interviewing her disagreed, calling it “catastrophic.”
Stories like that are a dime a dozen this Olympics. Fans shout at athletes’ cheering parents to sit down, runners join in when their teammates are raked over the coals for being overrated (see Lolo Jones), even badminton players throw games. What’s happening? 
You can tell a lot about a person’s character by the way they play sports. We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly this time around. Which category will golfers fall into in 2016? Send good vibes!
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