Sara’s Outlook

Olympians are the world’s best athletes. Even people who don’t typically watch sports tune in every two years to watch both Winter and the Summer Olympics, despite their nationality or where they happen to reside.

The 2008 Olympics took place in Beijing, China. There were 10,500 athletes that were competing in 28 different sports.

There were all kinds of new records set during these 2008 Olympic Games. Forty-three new world records were set as well as 132 new Olympic records. Overall, 87 countries won medals, which in itself is a record.

U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps was, and probably still is, the most talked-about athlete of the 2008 Games, overcoming incredible obstacles and winning eight individual gold medals in the sport of swimming. This is why athletes like Michael Phelps are so extraordinary.

However, I was watching Chelsea Lately the other night (which many of you probably don’t watch) and she was having a conversation about how Olympians have more sex during the Olympics than most athletes do in their lifetime. I thought this to be an odd statistic, let alone one more thing that seems to smear the Olympics, especially these past Games in Beijing.

The women’s Chinese gymnastics team was scrutinized about the age of some of the team members. As is obvious to anyone who watched any of the women’s gymnastics events, certain girls most truly did not look like they were 16. There are even reports that there have been articles written about these certain athletes with their real ages in Chinese newspapers.

So my question is ‚Ä” is this what the Olympics are coming to? Is this going to be the next big scandal of our era? For everyone’s sake and for the sake of the Olympics, I hope not. The Olympics are supposed to showcase the natural talent of some of the most gifted athletes of all other athletes in the world. We look up to them, we watch them perform in ways that our bodies never could. They are our idols.

The problem with focusing on the things that these athletes, or any athlete in general, do in their personal lives is that it takes away from the sport. Perhaps you remember the whole Kobe Bryant debacle when he was accused of raping a woman he had had an affair with. For months on end, people were scrutinizing whether or not Bryant had actually committed the crime, or if he was an innocent man being accused of rape solely because he was a famous athlete.

I couldn’t watch Sports Center at any point in time and not hear something about that incident. Not that I’m saying that it wasn’t necessary to find out the truth in that situation, but there is a time and a place for everything. I just believe that situation was handled very poorly and it shined a negative light on sports.

Then there’s the saying that Michael Phelps is the walking STD of the University of Michigan. So I ask myself: is this true? Maybe we will never know the truth. If he had decided to sleep with several different women while he was at college, then that’s his personal choice.

Then again, maybe he hasn’t slept with several different women while he was at college. Perhaps people just spread rumors like this to tarnish his reputation out of jealousy or some other emotion. My point is ,we may never know the truth.

The world watches the Olympics religiously. They are broadcast on the television station, NBC and its cable-owned stations cover all of the events every single night of the Games. There does not need to be any foul smear on the Games, otherwise it will compromise the entire perspective through which the Olympics are viewed.

Sara Brown is a sports editor for the Voice. Tell her what you think at:

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