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102 Olympic medals for white swimmers

Michael Phelps his poised to beat Mark Spitz’s record for medals won in a single Olympics. Does it say something that both are swimmers? Maybe there are too many swimming events? You don’t find 1/2 length, or 1/4 length fencing matches. You certainly don’t have shooting medley relays.

I can understand the merit of 50, 100, 200 and 400 meter distinctions. Relays also make team sorting events out of pretty plainly singular physical efforts. But do we need those variants at the international level which is often dominated by athlete superstars? If you want to have feel-good team events, perhaps relays could exclude the soloists.

How do you account for 34 swimming medal events out of a total of only 302 Olympic events. While baseball as an Olympic sport is being dropped? That’s two dozen athletes per team being offered no medal, while one swimmer gets a shot at eight.

No to mention that baseball has become dominated by athletes of color, while swimming as yet has not. It’s easier for our world neighbors to afford a bat and ball than swimming pools. Not to mention the leisure time necessary for the training. Whereas baseball is a social sport.

Is it amazing that America, home of the baseball World Series, played only among North American teams, doesn’t medal in the real world series? And how about our loss to Cuba? Even as both countries hold baseball to be the national sport, err, pastime, the match-up is still akin to a class AA school set upon single-room schoolhouse classification. We draw our athletes from a population 303 million, including the Cuban players who defect. Cuba’s talent comes from a pool of 11 million.

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