Who would have thought that of all the sports to create what I have come to see as a wonderful idea, boxing seems to be enlightened at these Olympic games. I’m referring to the practice of awarding “two” bronze medals to the athletes who lose the semi-final bouts. After all, the winners of the semi-final have medal in their back pocket. The only reason for the final bout is to determine its colour.
When I first heard/saw this practice in action, I raised the proverbial Spokian eyebrow but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. There’s nothing in my view that’s more difficult than to have one’s gold medal dream shattered/lost/derailed/evaporate (insert verb of choice here) then be asked to rally from that devastation and play for a bronze medal.
Heh, I know all the points on the other side of the argument and I really don’t have an antidote for any one of them. But when a sport is played whereby one opponent is pitted against another rather than against the field (i.e. athletics [aka track & field]), it makes good sense and sensibility to simply reward a team/athlete who makes it to the semi-finals knowing you have a medal in your back pocket and like the two who will battle it out for gold & silver, you can perform with some abandon which in my view can make for better performance and when that occurs, everyone wins.
Is that going to happen? It can and will if the IOC says it must but it’s unlikely and if you read the blog of 7/5/12 you’ll see why.