Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Olympic competitors should be naked

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-05-24


How come people rail against performance-enhancing technology in sport when the technology involves biological engineering rather than mechanical?

Fancy swimsuits that reduce drag in swimming pools create just as much unfair advantage as use of EPO.  The same goes for track shoes (if manufacturers are to be believed).

So… either we ban all technological augmentation, or we allow it all.

Why don’t we return to the rules for augmentation of the original Olympic Games?  Everybody competes naked.

Advertising sponsors for telecasts would probably like that, too!

Of course, we’d need to allow some body-paint on competitors in field sports like hockey.  Scottish teams in international competition can use woad…

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3 Responses to “Olympic competitors should be naked”

  1. Sarah said

    That’s the most sensible idea, from a fairness point of view. The level of technological assistance available to athletes from rich countries has already turned the whole thing into a farce, and it’s only getting worse. Although I think a good sports bra should be made available to every female athletics competitor who wants one, otherwise it’s a bit cruel!

  2. Dave Bath said

    Sarah: Bras (and jockstraps) that prevent jiggling of sensitive body parts merely overcome a physical impediment to competitiveness. Such “containment” technology can also remove the natural physical advantage a “less well-endowed” person has: that they are more streamlined, and could be considered a technology against pain, similar to use of painkillers for high-jumpers with dodgy knees, straps to strengthen weak joints that prevent injury (and Cooper’s droop is DEFINITELY an injury in my opinion).

    So, I’d argue for sporting and historical purity, NO exceptions for protective gear that could have other purposes.

    Of course, this post was meant facetiously, totally unrealistic, but totally logical.

  3. […] The Olympian’s New Clothes[…]

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