Sunday, January 20, 2013

Loosing faith in sports

During the youthful days of our generation the list of sporting legends of our times included the likes of Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, Andre Agassi, etc.

Media portrayed an image that what happened to our earlier generation in the form of East German doping scheme would never repeat and with the amount of testing involved sports were clean now. Only eyebrows were raised against a possible Chinese doping scheme. It was claimed that testing would be done and results confirmed in 'no time' so that there was no chance of enhancing performance by taking drugs. But today years after we are told that the 'legends' were not really legends. Sitting and watching Lance confess was drawing a lot of emotions from me and made me think.

Earlier even when he was stripped of the titles and when he dropped his defense, I still had this whimsical wish that it will be proved otherwise and that his story will continue to be immortal and would always serve as a source of inspiration for all cancer patients. When the other 'legends' failed I never wished that it was untrue. Given this context I wanted to watch the interview with Oprah badly. By the time I watched it I had already read the reviews which were critical about him not showing remorse for his actions and that he failed to shed more light on the case.

But when I was watching it I was trying to think from his shoes. Since he had doped from day one and continued for a decade, obviously it has got engraved in his value system as 'not a wrong thing' which according to him was almost similar to filling up his water bottle before a race. For example for some people their value system takes drinking as 'not a wrong thing', for some other people smoking joint is 'not a wrong thing', for some people being a non vegetarian is a 'wrong thing', for some stealing is 'not a wrong thing'. So if we look closely each human being has their own axis of value system and comes to a subjective derivation on what they see as right and wrong based on it. Lance was also a mere mortal with his own axis of value system, it was just our foolishness to get caught to the marketing gimmicks and weave a larger than life portrait of a person whose value system we never knew of. It just holds true even beyond sports, we blindly place them on a higher degree of value system which is no where near reality.

The harshest reality that dawned on me while watching it was that we should stop 'boiling our blood' and watching sports only to know 10 years down the line that it was all cheated.

I learnt a lesson for life I would watch sport the way I would watch theater and cinema, just applaud the act and not take it anything beyond that. Its not all due to Lance, but this thought process started with match fixing in cricket and then when they started the 'tamasha' called as IPL which I have this edgy feeling would bring out a bigger can of worms and in another 10 years from now it will be proved as a master piece of theater. All this time for the sake of the game cricket, I had a wish that my suspicion be proved wrong, but now I wish that 'whatever the truth, let it prevail'. Not just cricket or sport, but everything!