The Olympics is supposed to be about good sportsmanship, an impressive level of achievement, and people coming together from all backgrounds and from around the world to compete against each other. Athletes who have made it to this point did so through their own hard work and dedication to the sport – they weren’t selected to be there by affirmative action. The only thing that got one competitor or team of competitors in the door, was having worked harder than those they were up against. Sheer determination and skill level, not race, has put the best of the best athletes up against each other, just how it should be.
However, that’s about to all change as the US Hockey team has just found out just hours before they’re set to compete in a game they’ve worked years to get to. For the US Olympic Committee (USOC), it’s not about ability and hard work, they’re more concerned with making sure everyone gets a ribbon even if it means America goes home without a medal in any sport and regardless of who they have to cut from the competition to ensure “fair and equal treatment.”
The committee previously expressed their displeasure with the team they sent to the Winter Games this year, which also happened to be the largest ever. Yet among those competitors, they noticed a massive problem. They had selected participants based on skill and accomplishment, just as they were supposed to, but the diversity didn’t shake out the way they had hoped. Not that it even should manner since race is not factor in qualifying for the Olympics.
However, the committee couldn’t let it go and waited until the last second to deliver some really disgusting news to the US hockey team which happens to be all-white by total coincidence.
The USOC has previously stated that it’s of top priority that they eliminate the overwhelming proportion of white participants and replace it with more diversified athletes. They boasted that this year, a mix of all races and sexual orientations had been achieved more than before in who they sent to the 2018 winter Olympics. However, there’s one exception to that which is an apparent thorn in their side as the hockey team is all white, which evidently, makes the USOC look bad.
Independent Journal-Review reports:
Of the 243 athletes set to compete in this year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 10 are African-American and 10 are Asian-American —- more than the number in previous years. There are also two openly gay men, one of whom has made news for his comments about Vice President Mike Pence.
Still, there are concerns among officials that improvements could be made, perhaps in light of how, for instance, USA Hockey had 131 team members in 2016, none of whom were minorities. Maese writes:
“The lack of diversity on the winter teams is certainly not a new issue, and it’s not unique to the United States. But the USOC has identified it as an area for targeted growth. Thompson was hired to his post in 2012, shortly after the job was created, because the USOC saw room for improvement at every level: from athletes and coaches to the officials who run the national governing bodies for each sport and executives who work for the USOC.”
“[W]e’ve just been trying to find ways to make sure our team looks like America,” Thompson said.
For their part, the committee is not so concerned about this because of their own ideas, they are receiving some substantial outside pressure by lawmakers to ensure a “fair” level of diversity. This is pretty disgusting.
“The USOC and the governing bodies for each sport are required by law to submit a report to lawmakers every four years detailing the participation of minorities, as well as women and disabled individuals,” IJReview reported. “Additionally, the USOC requires the governing bodies to fill out an annual ‘diversity scorecard,’ as Maese describes it.”
“We wanted to see what that diversity looks like, how we could measure it, track it,” Thompson said. “That has had an incredible impact. I think it means we’re being transparent with our fans, so people can see, No. 1, it’s a priority, and, No. 2, we’re being honest about it. In some areas, we got some work to do.”
Whatever happened to diversity being among people’s skill level and picking from that? How incredibly dull would the Olympics become if they best of the best aren’t competing against each other – races are of vastly different ability levels. There’s no competition there. The one person actually qualified to be there would blow the others there on affirmative action alone, out of the water. It’s not even a competition at that point, it’s just a ribbon ceremony where everyone gets a participation prize.