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Olympic Tranquility on a Background of Unprecedented Failure

Olympic Tranquility on a Background of Unprecedented Failure
Sorokin Denis 19.08.2008

Because of the Georgian - Ossetic conflict passed attention of the Russians, for good reason, was abstracted from the started Olympiad. Meanwhile, the select team of Russia by the end of the seventh day of competitions occupies the eighth line of medal offset. I wanted to write "confidently occupies", but, alas, uncertainly - as besides us 4 more teams have 3 gold medal and two "golds" separates us from the seventh place. Besides it's found out we take "gold" on this Olympiad with hard work.

Already in one of my spring articles I predicted unsuccessful performance of our Olympic team in Peking. Without gloating, certainly, but predicted.

Putin's agitation propaganda which, probably, is the most optimistic in the world before the beginning of Olympic Games in peak to my pessimistic realism clanged the bell and declared that Russia would continue a series of sports - musical victories and would subdue Median Empire regular performances of the Russian hymn. Numerous forecasts in which the phrase "we'll pull a fast one" was pleasantly guessed were made!

The newspaper "Arguments and Facts" which sport department, probably, had visited training "Success and Positive Approach to Life" together was the leader - its forecast promised to us on results of the Games 120 medals, 40 of them gold ones and, obviously, the top step of a pedestal. The president of Olympic committee of Russia Leonid Tjagachyov was more modest - 80 all in all, 30 gold ones and as the main aim - to win one gold medal more, than the Chinese and to occupy the second place. Well, place in the three is simply guaranteed to us!

In the process of modest achievements of our select team during competitions the level was decided to be lowered and Shamil Tarpishchev declared already about 23 final gold medals. But to the beginning of the eighth day of competitions I have an impression that we won't reach this result. I am afraid to the termination of Games in our active will be no more than 20 gold medals, at the worse forecast 15-16 that will compel us to compete rather rigidly for a place in the three with select teams of Australia and Germany.

In result now we see bronze-silver select team of Russia which over and over again leaves those competitions in which we have been waiting for some "gold" in Peking. The defeats frequently appear to be very insulting - there is such an impression that sportsmen need something for victory.

Vivid example - our saber-fencer Sofia Velikaya who in a semifinal and a match for the third place took up the running 8:3 and 6:1 accordingly but on the results of 15-score opposition appeared defeated.

As soon as it began to get really tough and the picture of default of the Olympic plan began to appear, our sports functionaries began to hotch and to organize urgently brain storms for justification of unsuccessful start of the Russians. Certainly, first of all they put a slap in the face of our traditional enemy - secret intrigues and prejudiced refereeing. Well, all this is clear - the fact that teams of the USSR - RUSSIA in large competitions are being stably condemned does not become Revelation - 2008. A question in different: admitting the facts of dishonest arbitration the heads of Olympic team submit languid protests and complaints which lead only to that some judges dismiss from further refereeing.

It's no use to Russia - the gold has all the same departured. Thus some trainers with Christian humility say: "There is no use crying over spilt milk" - a pier, we lost, what can be done here ... That's the essence! In fact it is known that they always favour to the Americans and the owners of Olympic Games. Now the Chinese are the owners, they have superarrogant plans for these Games, therefore the judicial factor is involved as never. And our select team needs to be able to win not only on Olympic paths and scaffolds but also in cabinet games, otherwise dopes - scandals, not included points will be constant satellites of our team for long time.

While I do not see such struggle from the part of representative Olympic delegation: we merge both in competitions and in cabinet struggle. It's desirable to say: sirs Olympic functionaries, learn to win against the American colleagues who are able to make so that one more place for the second winners appears on a pedestal as it has been made in Salt Lake City for the Canadian figure skaters.

By the way, that were us who moved then on the top step. To justify prompt rise of the Chinese sportsmen with 26 medals left competitors far behind, our Olympic heads at once invented that the matter was in thousand-year Chinese medicine and carried that miracle - idea into mass. Word "pharmacology" and such definitions of the Chinese sportsmen as "cyborgs" and "terminators" appeared at once in press. Though it comes to my mind that the matter is not in miracle medicine ...

The last argument in this trident of excuses, naturally, becomes a request to wait a bit, a pier our kinds of sports have not begun yet. May be it's true but nevertheless the beginning all the same has been too much bad.

At that our "party workers" are being echoed by our unsuccessful sportsmen - someone was ill on the eve, someone didn't sleep well, someone didn't cope with excitement - in general, the whole bouquet of justifications. Separately they, maybe, will look intelligibly but when they began to accumulate, frequently, thus duplicating each other all that was reduced to some buzzing swarm of losers.

Domestic newspaper and Internet - press tries to brighten up bitterness of the hopes never came true or tries not to notice results of our sportsmen, or making a mountain out of a molehill where it is not present. Today's heading on mail.ru can serve as an example to it: "Russia Beats Records: the Fourth Bronze for a Day". If it's not irony, then it becomes very sad from such records.

On a background of attempts to keep escaping optimistic tune, intelligible analysis of reasons of failures of the Russian select team in the first days of Olympiad is somehow imperceptible in press.

Here, for example, interrogation on Olympic page of Rambler: what is the main reason of unsuccessful performance of select team of Russia in the first days of Olympiad in Peking?

1. Youth and inexperience of sportsmen

2. Underestimation by officials, trainers and sportsmen of strongly evolved level of commands - competitors

3. A turn of preOlympic dope scandals and depression of the team connected to it

4. Absence of "our" kind of sport in the program of the first days of Olympiad

5. I do not think performance of select team unsuccessful. Everything's going normally

Personally I have not seen here the answer which I think is the true one. Though the majority voted for the second item.

Do you know what superficial impression I've got from performance of our Olympic team? That I do not see in our sportsmen victorious spirit, unshakable aspiration to victory, confidence in own forces - that is I don't see qualities which always distinguished select team of the USSR and the first formations of select team of Russia. Plus to this factor now there are almost no athletes in which victory you do not doubt and whose names are embodiment of our country and our pride. Well, the Soviet fuse ended! Magnificent Karelin, Nemov, Popov, Khorkina, Каbaeva left ... Our select team remained practically without leaders and authorities. How could such team win motivated and monolithic Chinese select team?

The answer about the reasons of weak performance of our Olympians lays on a surface and is known to many - all these is a natural result of sports oblivion in the postSoviet Russia. 90-s years were remembered by many by empty stadiums when matches "Spartak-Dynamo" passed at attendance in 2000 people; collapse of mass sports; closing of free-of-charge classes and also unknocked hockey "boxes" in court yard of the Russian cities.

People then had no time for sports, country leaders all the more so. It in general had no time for anything that concerned development of the country.

Two-thousand' years came, gold petroliferous time of the "reviving" Russia. The president put a tick in the column "development of sports" and something somewhere began to move. It appeared it happened mostly in media-space where sports was declared national idea and judo and mountain skiing brilliants in its crown. Even a number of sports objects were built, some of them appeared really necessary and of high quality. But thus the exhaust appeared the same as from all national projects, that is propaganda - they began to tell a fairy tale to people which was quietly finished when it was lulled and dozed off.

Some people at sports forums quite sensibly estimate the real reasons of unsuccessful performance of our Olympians, only thus throwing stones after 90-s, overlooking to throw a cobble-stone of the corresponding sizes after the field of 2000. In fact what is the sense from pronouncing slogans to glorify sports and construction of ice palaces if at the same time drinking of alcohol is a favourite pastime of youth. It is possible to construct as many as possible sport grounds and fitness - halls but, not having made occupation by sports fashionable, prestigious and habitual it will not make people change a habitual kind of leisure which consists in every day goings to cinema, kebabs in the days off and club chills on Fridays loved so much by "office plankton".

In this connection it is necessary to note that all 3 gold medals of our select team were won by representatives of Northern Caucasus. I believe, the reason here is that alongside with traditionally strong wresle school, the Caucasians achieved in keeping adherence to mass sports and a cult of physical strength in the republics not having given in to the all-Russian tendency to alcohol drinking and absence of interest to sports. Therefore it's a norm that from thousand of the Caucasian guys training in court yard and classes their best representatives managed to become the best also in the world.

Observing welcome ceremony I failed to restrain myself from avaricious man's tear looking what concealed pleasure and pride China experiences from receiving Olympiad. It was appreciable also in speech of Chairman of People's Republic of China Hu Tsintao and in enthusiasm of spectators and in majestic procession of the most representative on these Games Chinese delegation. Deification of that sensation served a story of the announcer about the boy who went near to the standard-bearer and appeared was the small Chinese hero saving his peers during earthquake.

It was then when I felt true envy to the Chinese state seeing as all and everything are subordinated to one idea - to creation of the great country! Everyone - both the country leaders and simple Chinese who every day do all for its realization including sports meets is uniform in it.

Here you are the main difference of today's Chinese and Russian sportsmen from each other. The first carry out a nation-wide task and are instinct with elation and aspiration to win at last Olympiad in command offset (remind that in Seoul - 88 they were not present even in first ten), the second base on hurrah - patriotic PR of Putin's authority, personal sports ambitions and 100000 euros for prize-winning which, it would be desirable to think, nevertheless are not predominating in motivation of the Russian Olympians.

There could be only one conclusion: while we shall not go the same way as China goes and shall not make idea of the state development our overall aim, it's better not to make forecasts about Olympiad - 2012 in London as sports, as well as army, in fact, are precise barometers of condition of the state. And even promotion of sports as main national idea and locomotive of the development will not help the Russian Federation to stop regress and "to rise from knees", especially with Olympic bar on a breast.

Sports are certainly important but, alas, are secondary. I think there is no sense patriots disappointed in authority to be defeatists and to wish fiasco of the Russian select team on Olympiad aiming to nake unattractive validity in which the Russian sports found out themselves under supervising of VVP. In case of failure, authority with the help of mass-media, sports officials and loyal trainers will all the same explain to trustful inhabitant that everything should be as it is: as in a novel of Oruel "1984" all July messages about 30 gold medals will be withdrawn and all-or-nothing fan - registrar will find out Leonid Tjagachyov's weighed preOlympic forecast about 10 gold medals and his fresh interview from August, 24th in which he will declare with satisfaction that the plan managed to be exceeded; Russia will be PR-ed as bronze champion of all times and peoples; it will be transparently hinted about the Americans that they wouldn't see so many medal places without the help of judges (especially, Michael Felps); the Chinese will be declared superpeople and for persuasiveness in the day of closing of Olympiad "Rokki-4" will be shown where before fight with hero Stallone the Soviet doctors stuck half of forbidden preparations of CCH to Ivan Drago.

At this very moment of not corresponding to Olympic spirit fair play scene there will be a running line shown with congratulations addressing sportsmen of People's Republic of China, our people who are not fool will understand, whence China got so many medals. At last for those who will doubt in these reasons of possible unsuccessful performance of the Russian select team, bugaboo of 90-s' and its main creator Boris Nikolaevich will be shown as a trump.

Thus Putin will remain in chocolate, as it will appear that sports have revived a big deal at him and it is necessary to wait for the results of his wise management accurately to Olympiad 2020. We in general have a lot of planned for this year, so victory at St.-Petersburg Olympiad will not be superfluous. Therefore I suggest just to be fans of our sportsmen. Guys really try and do everything that is in their forces. It's not their fault that they fail to rise on the top stage of a podium. Whose fault it is I have already written before ...
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