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Monday, April 14, 2008

What? No more badminton in Olympics after 2008!

And the ridiculous thing is that it (and judo) will be replaced with croquet and chess. This is what the president of the ICF has to say about badminton.

"Unlike judo, croquet has a distinguished and civilised history," said Laer Diputs, president of the ICF. "It's also not like badminton where you simply run around wildly, hitting back and forth. Croquet is very competitive and depends on a combination of physical skill and careful strategy. Most of all, success depends on a cool assessment of risks and probabilities, yes, much like chess."

I know what chess is and whatever battle there is to the game, it happens in the mind only. It doesn't test your physical prowess except maybe your ability to sit long in the chair and periodically use your hands to move the chess pieces, set the clock and scribble some letters and numbers. It is a respectable game and I enjoy playing chess, mostly chinese chess, however. But I don't think it deserves to be included as an Olympic sports.

When I think of Olympics, I think of the training the athletes have to go through. They train both physically and mentally. Physically, the athletes train for strength, speed and endurance. They will refine their skills and techniques in their respective disciplines - sprinting, long jump, high jump, long distance running, javelin, archery etc. Also, they will spend a lot of time analyzing their mental weaknesses and how to work on those. The mental part separates the champion from the rest.

Now, I play badminton and I can tell you that it requires you to be good at everything that I just mentioned. Sometimes it feels like sprinting across the court to retrieve the shuttlecock. Sometimes you need to jump to execute certain quality shots. To win points, sometimes you have to be really sharp and accurate. Your technique needs to be correct so you don't waste your energy unnecessarily. You need to be super-fit in order to stay in the championship. At the highest level, where all players have equal chance to win, it is the person who is strongest mentally more likely to triumph. The beauty of the game is that even a small kid can beat an adult.

And so what is this croquet game all about? I searched for it in youtube and here's what I found.

I can't believe that this game will replace badminton and judo in the next Olympics. Don't be surprised that the beauty pageant or any dance routine will feature in future Olympics as well.

Meanwhile, I still enjoy the game of badminton. Whoever wins in Beijing in August - best of luck! And to badminton fans out there, don't miss the last Olympic badminton event.



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David said...

Really, are the Olympics really worth it these days? I enjoyed it when this event was for amateurs (the Soviet bloc notwithstanding...steriod freaks). I looked forward to the Olympics until they sold their soul to corporate advertisers. Now, I probably will go outside what watch the grass grow before i watch any of it.

zewt said...

there goes our hope of getting a gold... it's not or never.

Susu Kacang said...

hi zewt

turns out it was an april fool's day joke by EKAF RETROPER.


and i thought it was a respectable website ;)

it is, actually....

Susu Kacang said...

hi david

thanks for visiting my humble blog. you have a point there. when money and politics mix with sports, the whole landscape changes.

but i think for badminton, the competition for the gold medal is still very fierce and badminton players don't make a lot of money...unlike other sports.

so, we'll still get to enjoy the games....