Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 22
Having looked at the sport in general, US dominance (more or less) and a host of other stuff yesterday in Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 22, let’s look at the sport in this country to see why we have produced so consistently. This is actually where the true mindfreak is going to come in because the entire setup of the sport would seem to be all wrong. And yet we somehow product. I also want to look at how the US appears to slipping and their current desperation move to try to fix it as this will also be illustrative for when I turn my eye to OL’ing on Monday.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 21
Continuing on with that, I want to look at another exception to everything that’s gone before, the sole winter sport I’m going to examine. A sport which seems to have absolutely everything going against it: it’s niche, unaccesssible, has few members, no incentives. Basically it lacks everything that is usually required for success. Yet has managed to thrive consistently.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 20
In Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 19, I looked at a bunch of different factors related to cycling including how racing developed in the US (mainly crits and time trials) versus in Europe. I finished by look at single day races called the classics and want to continue from there. Because while the single day races were hard enough, grinds of 70-200km over horse-tracks, that wasn’t enough. Someone decided to intensify the stupid and that led to the development of the tours.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 19
Having looked at US success in track and field and swimming in Why the US Sucks at Olympic LIfting: part 18, I’m going to change gears (ha ha) a bit and look at a couple of exceptions that exist in the US in terms of this whole issue of sports and what we’re good at or have been good at. Because while most seem to think that all I’m doing is repeating the same information (and to a degree I am) the exceptions to some of the ‘rules’ that appear to exist are often more interesting.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 18
So in Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 11, I talked about the American ‘no-system’ sports system, how we still manage to do pretty well at the Olympic level (at least in selected sports) and looked at the big three sports in the USA: football, basketball and baseball. And while those sports are illustrative in the sense that they have become ‘systems’ of development not unlike everything else I’ve discussed, it’s still not entirely relevant since only basketball is really contested at the international level.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 17
And finally I want to look at the third of the ‘big three’ sports in America and that’s basketball. Another American invention, basketball is unique in that it is played by many other countries and has been for quite some time. More relevantly to the overall point of this article series, it has been part of the Olympic program since nearly the beginning.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 16
We invented it in the early part of the 20th century and people will follow baseball teams with an insane level of loyalty and vigor and passion: it’s not called the American Pasttime for nothing even if it is more or less dull as dirt. We have more movies about baseball in this country than I can name and baseball scandals hurt Americans in a way that is hard to describe; as i mentioned we still haven’t gotten over the 80 year old Black Sox Scandal, Pete Rose (aka Charlie Hustle) is a still a pariah for gambling while he was playing and I’m not sure what will happen when the steroid issue is finally resolved.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 15
Football is a game that is, effectively, a metaphor for war. It is played on a 100 yard (this is just shy of 100 meters) field with two end zones at either end, there is a goal post, a big Y-shaped thing in the back of each end zone. The game is played in 4 quarters and teams switch off on offense and defense throughout the game for various reasons. This usually happens when the ball is turned over or the current offense doesn’t acheive their goal, it can also occur in the middle of play if the defensive teams gets ahold of the ball.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 14
I promise, no more endless bits about sociology and American sport. Last time I gave the final necessary background to understand some of the screwiness of sports in this country including a look at gender issues along with the amateur professional issue. Frankly, given how messed up the system is and given the nature of the Olympics and the requirement for amateur status, it’s amazing that America does anything at the Olympics. Yet we do. Quite a lot of something actually.
Why the US Sucks at Olympic Lifting: Part 13
Ok, having bored you to death with too much information about the culture, etc. of the USA (#1) all of last week I will finally move towards a more detailed look at sports, in the same light as I did with the other countries. So I want to look at the sports that the US dominates, if the structure of those sports tells us anything about what is required (or not) for dominance, etc. Just like I did for everything else.