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Children's Olympics

A global event
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I looked for this but couldn't find it the way I see it. Make it the same way as the adults have it. Televise the whole thing, make it a big event. Can you imagine the under 5 age group's pole vault? 7 year olds doing archery? 10 year olds tobogganing? Unsure about the small bore shooting though...

Maybe hold them every 2 years rather than 4, to allow for varying development stages. Obviously have age groups for different events. I think they'd love it. Could make some into big stars.

And I think the adults'd love it as well.

saker, May 28 2003

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       Why? I personally think normal athletics is scraping the bottom of the interest barrel, so can't see any reason to do it for entertainment value. There are obviously loads of country-wide athletics events for youngsters (and probably some international ones for each discipline individually), and then they can graduate to the real Olympics pretty much as soon as they finish school if they want to. Sounds about right to me.
sild, May 28 2003
  

       Well, [sild], I personally think "sports" such as golf and Formula One racing are "scraping the bottom of the interest barrel," but millions worldwide don't. I'm not particularly into athletics these days, but I enjoyed them (spectating and participating) as a kid. I just thought it'd be fun for the kids, that's all. Encouraging healthy activities at a young age can surely only be a good thing. If kids had a focus, such as the international event I described, I think they'd be even more likely to continue participating in sporting activities into adult life. Healthy bodies, healthy minds and all that.
saker, May 28 2003
  

       It's a nice intention. I just think that the existing athletics events for kids are enough, and that the concept of the Olympics is about being a professional athlete, whereas kids should be worrying more about school than athletics. I didn't bone you, by the way :-)
sild, May 28 2003
  

       The training required for Olympic level competition is extremely damaging to growing bodies. Just witness the painful problems suffered by gymnasts in later life. So, big smelly fishbone.
sild: "the concept of the Olympics is about being a professional athlete," um, no, not really.
DrCurry, May 28 2003
  

       You're right DrC - that's bullshit. The concept of the Olympics is just being the best at stuff. I guess what I meant was that this nearly always requires being a professional athlete.
sild, May 28 2003
  

       Fair point [DrCurry]. No gymnastics then. But stuff like football, and the track and field events should be fine. And I didn't really envisage the kids training in the way adults do. I saw it as organised, but not totally serious, a fun thing that might give kids a chance to take part in a fun sport that they might not otherwise get.   

       Thanks for not boning me, [sild]. Now that I think about it, though, I might just bone myself.
saker, May 28 2003
  

       sild, wrong again. In virtually all categories, the Olympics in fact requires that the athletes be amateur.   

       It was a sad moment when they made allowances to permit professional athletes, in my opinion.
waugsqueke, May 28 2003
  

       Starting a competition against other countries at such a young age would surely cause problems with dealing with foreigners later on in life. We already have enough xenophobes out there. I love the boning comments by the way. What a great double entendre.
goober, May 28 2003
  

       [goober], I disagree about my idea creating xenophobia. I think the opposite would be more likely.
saker, May 28 2003
  

       O.K. I guess you give parents and coaches more credit than I do. As Homer Simpson would say, "Play the race card! Play it."
goober, May 28 2003
  

       saker, that's so much cr...um, woolly thinking. An Olympic competition will exclude kids, not include them. It will worsen the pressures on kids to compete, not make it fun. And it will give absolutely ZERO kids the chance "to take part in a fun sport that they might not otherwise get."   

       Go build playgrounds and sports centers in needy areas. THAT will give kids the opportunities you suppose they need.
DrCurry, May 28 2003
  

       I can see why you think my thinking is, um, woolly, [DrCurry]. Here's what I was really thinking though:   

       Olympic athletes live together in the Olympic Village, and while there is obviously competition, there is also a real air of comradeship and camaraderie. Being brought into close contact with your peers from completely different cultures in a sporting fashion would also be beneficial, I feel.   

       // It will worsen the pressures on kids to compete, not make it fun. //   

       Fair comment. But there may be ways to alleviate this, with a little application.   

       // And it will give absolutely ZERO kids the chance "to take part in a fun sport that they might not otherwise get." //   

       IMHO not so. Not many kids (at least not here in the UK) get to take part in many Olympian events.   

       // Go build playgrounds and sports centers in needy areas. THAT will give kids the opportunities you suppose they need. //   

       I couldn't agree with you more. Maybe that's what my half baked idea should have been in the first place.   

       Thanks for the comments, though.
saker, May 28 2003
  

       saker: AT the Olympics, athletes live together and experience comradeship and camaraderie, for all of about two weeks. TO GET TO the Olympics, athletes subject themselves to YEARS AND YEARS of pounding routines, getting up before dawn to practice and risking all kinds of long term damage to their bodies from their workout routines, and in general not leading the kind of normal, well-rounded life a good parent would want for their child. I pour manure on my fishbone.
DrCurry, May 28 2003
  

       Curry, it should be pointed out that in many disciplines (figure skating and gymnastics come to mind initially) we are talking about kids here away.   

       It is not unusual to see 11 and 12 year olds competing in the Olympics in some events. Nadia Comaneci was what, 13? They are training as hard as you say at very young ages long before they get to Olympic level ability. In many respects, depending on the sport, this is already baked.
waugsqueke, May 28 2003
  

       Fair 'nuff. Thanks for the manure, btw, my roses'll love it.
saker, May 28 2003
  

       Someone should know what a pulled muscle or torn ligament *is* before they risk injuring it.
thumbwax, May 28 2003
  
      
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