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Tuesday, November 08, 2005 

The end of (athletic) history

So apparently it may not be very easy to set world records any more. We're reaching the limits of what humans can do without drugs or "fundamental changes to the genetic structure of human beings".

Of course, there's no reason why we always have to try to expand and improve (as in athletics, so as in population and economy), but I'm sure many will be taking this as bad news.

They need to wipe the record books and start over with 1 simple rule.

No Assistance.

I'm sick to death of these swimmers in their full body suits which reduce friction. Yes, that makes you faster. Webbed gloves would increase that. Fins would make you even faster still! How about adding a propellar! That would make you even FASTER. Then add a gas powered motor and see what you can do!

Same goes for track and field. Take off the damned cleats and see if you can run 100M in 10 seconds.

The Olympics are supposed to be about athletic competition. Make them nude and you'll see what people can do. As long as they're allowed to use technology to their advantage the games will continue to be a farce.

It reminds me of that "Ms. Plastic Surgery" pageant they had a few years back. The No Assistance thing is a good idea, but I think hand-in-hand with that should be a series of games where competitors can get as juiced up (technologically and chemically) as they can. As long as they're aware of the health risks and aren't competing with unaltered athletes, who cares? I'm sure most of the screaming yahoo sports fans would stick with the Steriod Games, and we could see some real competition in peace.

"The No Assistance thing is a good idea, but I think hand-in-hand with that should be a series of games where competitors can get as juiced up (technologically and chemically) as they can."

agreed. since it's come to light in the past 10 years that half the world's professional athlete population are enhancing their performance in one way or another, why not go the full distance?

a major sporting event that sees the combination of athlete and scientist working together to make the ultimate (albeit slightly less human) athletic performance machine would be brilliant.

it would, however, have the downside of encouraging similar practices in "clean" events.

I totally agree that alongside the 'All Natural Olympics' you'd have to have the stimmed to the nuts 'Lets see how fast people can go Olympics'.

The only thing I think that would stop it, is the overdoses, injuries and crtain limb removal which would result.

I too would love to see some Ludditishness in (amateur!?) sports. I love watching old films of athletes wearing wool overcoats as warm up gear before an event, whose bodies are still recognizably human.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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