The 2012 Summer Olympics in London may try to represent the best in sports competition but that doesn’t come without a few scandals here and there–which I am totally okay with because let’s be real. You can’t throw together almost every country around the world into a competitive atmosphere where the sole purpose is to earn that elusive gold medal without something bad happening. Example: the recent fencing controversy where South Korea’s Shin A Lam refused to leave the piste after an error with the timer cost her the bout (or whatever it’s called).
Today, it’s badminton that’s making headlines. The South Korean, Chinese and Indonesian female players were disqualified for intentionally playing badly in the doubles competition in an attempt for an easier draw.
The federation found the players guilty of “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport” in matches Tuesday night.
Players were roundly booed after they appeared not to exert themselves in preliminary rounds of the round-robin tournament before they were set to move on to elimination competition.
Oh snap! That’s like a whole slew of Asians behaving badly–at the Olympics, too! I’m sure this isn’t the only time players have tried to cheat the system for the Olympic Gold but I feel badly for the other players–and the audience. They came there to watch a good game; who wants to see people play horribly on purpose? The point of the Olympics is to celebrate the sports, and all the insane talent required to participate in it…which is why I never play any.
On the plus side, maybe more people in the US will understand how crazy badminton can be. This isn’t a lawn sport, people. Badminton is intense. Have you ever had a birdie smashed straight into your groin by a disgruntled player? IT HURTS. I played on the Junior Varsity team in high school (we had the cutest purple skirts for our uniform!) and occasionally at the 24-hour badminton club in San Gabriel Valley, and I’ve always been amazed at how many people participate and how HARD they play. They snap the racquets back and forth like it’s no big deal, yell across the court and make sure that the poor birdie hurls–not soars–straight towards your face. Or that one tiny blind spot. Or your groin, if you’re me.
Badminton, my friends, is one dirty game. So who wants to play with me next time?