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Saturday, July 28, 2012

oly lifting at the real olys

How disappointed am I that my very favorite tiny little Polish oly lifter, Marzena Karpinska, is not at the Olympics because she failed a doping test?  Let's watch some video of her from happier days, shall we?

Oh, I love her so much.  Why'd you have to get caught, Marzena?

That's a lot of rhetorical questions. Ahem.

Also out of the Olympics is 19 year old Albanian Hysen Pulaku, who tested positive for a banned substance just this Wednesday.  He should be at least somewhat consoled by the fact that even though his dreams of a shiny medal have been crushed, he's got the coolest name evah.  Here's Mr Pulaku, making an impressive lift just a couple weeks ago.

You know what's interesting to me?  These people don't look like they juice.  There are guys Mr Pulaku's size at my non-impressive ghetto Y.  They just can't do that.  But they don't look much different.

You know what is also interesting?  According to my impeccable sources (i.e. internet message boards), all these world class oly lifters use something banned during their training.  The difference between who gets dinged and who doesn't just depends on having doctors and coaches who are smart enough to know what to give you when so you don't get caught. Maybe that's true, maybe it isn't, but I'm guessing it's more true than false.  Which points out the semi-absurdity of having a list of banned substances as long as my arm.  If everyone's using and everyone knows everyone's using, then the playing field is more or less level and who cares?  It's like steroid-era baseball.  You can argue till you're blue in the face that the records set then don't/shouldn't count or those guys shouldn't end up in the Hall of Fame, but a.) drugs don't make people who aren't premier athletes into premier athletes and b.) see above: no unfair advantage if all your peers are doing the same thing and c.) as far as records go, just training itself has come so far in the past 50 or 75 years, you can't compare athletes' physicality anyway.

Which gives me an excuse to post my most favorite of all old time-y baseball photos, Ted Williams getting a massage from his trainer.  Sorry for the size, but I could only directly embed the thumbnail from the slideshow.  I'm technically incompetent.  But STILL...

Ted, did you even lift??!??!!!  And yet you hit .400.

As far as I'm concerned, some/all of these performance enhancing drugs might as well be the equivalent of a modern-day weight room and the ability to watch endless hours of video of your own games/meets.  Scientific progress marches on and it's silly to forbid its fruits. There were great athletes doing great things without the benefit of them, but using them does not make someone who wouldn't be a great athlete anyway into a superstar/champion.  Feel free to disagree in comments, y'all.

Anyway, if you want to see which tiny little strong-as-fuck female weightlifter did win the 48kg class in Marzena's absence, NBC is showing the final at 12:30 am, so stay up late or set your TIVOs.  I won't spoil you even though I already know.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Andrea, I have also given this a lot of thought. Not so much to doping, which is a complex issue that has actually affected at least one of my teammates at a time when doping was unheard of in our sport, but to things like equipment.

    I can think of certain sports, including my own, in which one type of suit made a difference of seconds, which seems inconceivable when hundreds of seconds are more the norm re. time differences. Once the first few athletes got that type of suit, everybody followed... suit ( ugh, I should let the funny person here be funny) and the momentary advantage was lost.

    Your argument about athletes who get away with doping during training being the ones know when to stop, brings to mind Lance Armstrong. It is a very good point.
    A while back, a woman's whose blog I used to read, gave a very detailed description of the process through which fighters go, pre and post-weighing. In addition to the fact that TO ME it sounded really dangerous, I could not see what the point was, since every one of them practices the same deception. Going through absolute bloody hell to drop X nr. of pounds, courting an arrhythmia, weighing in and then regaining it all back in a few hrs or whatever, BEFORE the fight . WTF? When everybody else is doing the same thing, WHAT IS THE POINT?
    The (wide) world of sports :) has got to come up with a better system. Oh and as an aside, I've heard POLITICAL pundits suggest that "we show the Russians what we're made of" by not attending the Sochi Olympics. Freakin' REALLY? AGAIN? We are going to use athletes who have worked their entire lives for this one moment to make a POLITICAL statement? The LAST president for whom I lost respect for this brilliant idea was, to my knowledge, no athlete. Let's hope that the current one, who has some experience with sports, will laugh at this ridiculous suggestion! K, off my soap box now. Mention the word "olympics" in a post and I'm all over that subject!
    yeah, yeah, editing issues AGAIN...