Jordyn Wieber was a heavy favorite heading into the preliminary trials, but was left to tears after failing to qualify for the finals.
It's hard to ignore the liberal love fest taking place at the 30th Olympic Games in London. Maybe you've heard the accusations that the opening ceremony was a leftist propaganda campaign. That's true, but it goes far deeper than that.
The Olympics are becoming less about competition and more about everyone taking home a prize -- deserved or not.
Take gymnastics, for instance. Jordyn Wieber, the reigning world champion, had the fourth highest overall score in the individual all-around qualifier. Only three gymnasts earned a higher score -- Viktoria Komova of Russia, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, both who happened to be from the United States. This proved to be the death knell for Wieber.
You see, in an effort to make the results "fair," the International Gymnastics Federation decided in 2004 to only allow two gymnasts per country to qualify for the all-around final. They did this to ensure that no one country dominated the sport. In doing so, they sealed the fate of world champion Wieber.
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What is this? I thought these were the Olympics, where the best man wins. As her coach John Geddert, wrote: "The former world champion does not get a shot at fulfilling her dream just because her country happens to be incredibly strong." This is an absolute shame. The strength of your country should not be the determinant of your fate. The best should progress to the finals regardless of country; Wieber should have been no exception.
Instead, she, the gymnast with the fourth highest score, sat on the sidelines and watched Aliya Mustafina -- who placed behind her in qualifiers -- win the bronze medal. Wieber was wrongfully denied the chance to compete in the finals against several gymnasts she had beat in the qualifiers. A grave injustice if you ask me.
And the injustices were not limited to gymnastics. In badminton, the rules are set in such a way that sometimes it is to a team's advantage to lose. Eight women from South Korea, China, and Indonesia worked the rules to their benefit, and they were sent packing because they played "in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."
But, if this is the case, aren't the rules themselves detrimental to the sport? Isn't it the job of the sports' governing bodies to set the rules and the athletes to play by them? Then why are the athletes penalized for playing by the rules?
There is a clause that says "players must make their best effort." But they were in fact putting forth their best effort to win a gold medal at the Olympics. They played by the rules and were penalized for it.
Perhaps they should have played into liberalism a bit and said they were trying to make it more fair and equitable for other countries, so that everyone gets their fair share. Visa, after all, is saying "Go World" in all their commercials. So maybe the exiled badminton players should have said "Go World," too. I bet the liberals would have bought it.
As for the opening ceremony, it, too, was a liberal love fest. There was a tribute to Britain's socialized medicine system, the National Health Service, or NHS, which featured dancing NHS nurses; it amounted to little more than a disingenuous portrayal of a broken system. The rest of the ceremony followed suit -- a tribute to unions, same-sex kissing, nuclear disarmament and the like. Labour politicians even praised Danny Boyle, the artistic director, for "smuggling in wonderfully progressive socialist sentiments" into the ceremony.
But the opening ceremony is a minor part of a much bigger picture. The Olympics aren't about competition anymore. They're not about winning and losing and the best man winning. It's changed into something I do not recognize, something very far from the definition of fair, pure, and just competition.
It's clear that there is an encroaching theme in the Olympic Games: Everyone deserves a gold medal. But the Olympics should be about equal opportunity, not equal outcome. And herein lays the difference between liberalism and conservatism.
For liberals, all that I have described is fair and equitable. For conservatives, it is anathema to all they represent. The Olympics, like life, ought to be an equal playing field where everyone --regardless of country or creed -- has the opportunity to succeed and be rewarded for that success. Athletes should not be hampered by the strength of their country or the rules of the game. The best should win. Bottom line.
So while the Olympic committees strive to give everyone a prize and Visa proudly announces "Go World" in all its commercials, I have one thing to say: Go America.
Kayleigh McEnany is a writer and political activist who graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and studied at Oxford University. She is the founder of www.RealReaganConservative.com. She writes every Tuesday for the International Business Times.
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