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Oh Really Everybody Does It!

Oh Really Everybody Does It!

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Published by Herm Zandman

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Published by: Herm Zandman on Jan 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/29/2014

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Oh Really?Everybody Does It!Every two years since the 1982 Olympics, Bob Goldman has conducted an informalquestionnaire among Olympic-level US athletes, asking: If you were offered an illegalsubstance that would guarantee you to win and not be caught, would you take it?In1995, the answer from 195 in 198 athletes was ‘yes.’ Asked if they would take a banned substance that would enable them to win every competition for five years butthen kill them, more than half the athletes said ‘yes.’ “With the money athletes canmake now, the kids don’t really care about taking drugs,” says Goldman (Buchanan, N. 1998. Just Say Go. (Doping in Sports). P.2. http://ask.elibrary.com/).In a realm which is seen as the standard bearer for ethics (a word like‘sportsmanship,’ expressions like ‘being a good sport,’ or ‘acting in a sportsmanlikemanner’ are used to indicate this) the economic reality has well and truly overtakenthe moral perceptions coupled to sports practice. It has now reached the point thathuman genes are being commodified, reduced to merchandise, in order to providesports stars with performance enhancing means that are well nigh undetectable, themost popular one currently being the human growth hormone (hGH), which hasnumerous negative side-effects such as leukaemia, respiratory problems and thyroidenlargement. In Sports Illustrated of July, 1991 the story of Alzado, former NationalFootball League star, can be read. “I lied,” he declared, after decades of denial. Hewas now prepared to admit to massive use of steroids and genetically engineeredhuman growth hormone, drugs that he believed caused him to contract inoperable brain cancer (Kimbrell, A. 1993. The Human Body Shop. London. Harper Collins.Pp.234-237.).The situation becomes especially difficult for those who hold to the Biblicalworldview and try to apply this to the practice of physical education, because thesesports heroes are the new gods of society. They are the supreme role models for impressionable youngsters, be they from a Christian or non-Christian home. Their influence on the hearts and minds is massive. In New Zealand and Australia the sportsheroes are actively used to promote societal values among school children; they travelaround schools to impress the value of learning, they are shown on televisionadvertisements to advocate tolerance for those suffering from disorders. In having thisapproach, New Zealand and Australia are not unique. In most other countries young people are encouraged to mirror their behaviour, especially in terms of the grit anddetermination shown by the proven sports elite to be successful (success beingmeasured in terms of economy and prestige).As demonstrated every year with the handing out of Orders of the British Empire andother awards, sports heroes feature very prominently. In 2004, Prime Minister TonyBlair of England even persuaded the Queen to shift the deadline for acceptingcandidates in order that the English national rugby team might still be in on thehonours. When the occasion happened, it was reported that the English nation hadcome to a standstill to observe it all. In the eyes of many Christians, the honours aredefinitely cheapened by such preoccupation with sport heroes.The world over people were shocked and dismayed to find out that the prominentcyclist Lance Armstrong was convicted of doping during the course of his career in1

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