FOLLOW-UP – Aug 2, 2012 – China’s Yu Yang, one of the players disqualified from the Badminton competition is retiring from the sport. This of course is completely understandable. She did apologize however, which is certainly a good start. The coach of the badminton team, Li Yongbo took responsibility as did the Chinese Olympic committee.
FOLLOW-UP – Aug 1, 2012 – Eight badminton players from South Korea, China and Indonesia have been disqualified by the Badminton World Federation. The teams are appealing but they will, in all likelihood, not win those appeals. I applaud the BWF for taking such swift and decisive action. These competitors demonstrated a blatant disregard for sportsmanship and fair play in direct contrast to the very core of what it means to be an Olympian.
Who would have thought controversy could surround a sport like badminton, a backyard game, many of us played as children. But alas, controversy there is. Three teams, one from China, South Korea and Indonesia, are being investigated for throwing their matches. They have been charged with, ”not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and ”conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.” The teams had already qualified for the top 16 and losing was to their benefits, because they would be able to conserve energy and ensure their route to the finals would be easier. As the South Korean coach stated, ”If they play right, the Chinese team, this wouldn’t happen. So we did the same because we don’t want to play Korea. Nobody likes playing against strong players.” You’re at the Olympic games and your comment is nobody likes playing against strong players?? Wow that guy just doesn’t get it. Strong competitors, true athletes, Americans, want to win every time they do anything. Losing on purpose for any reason is unacceptable. I hate losing more than I love winning. This is not in the Olympic spirit or the spirit of competition. Both teams should be thrown out of these Olympic games on their tails. Let them think about it on their long journeys home. When the desire to win, supersedes all else, including losing, in order to have a better chance at winning, it’s time to move on to another activity. The Chinese, South Koreans, and Indonesian teams have brought shame and disgrace to their countries and they should be contrite. Falling on their swords might be too extreme but a lifetime ban from international competition is not. This type of behaviour must be dealt with harshly to ensure it is never repeated in the future.