Olympic Badminton Scandal: Overreaction or Disgraceful?

Badminton can be a surprisingly entertaining sport to watch. The action is fast and furious and it requires a high degree of athleticism. But, when teams intentionally try to lose, it becomes pretty dull and obvious. Four badminton teams were disqualified from the Olympics on Wednesday for intentionally trying to lose their matches in order to get a more favorable draw in the medal round. Eight players in all were suspended from China, South Korea and Indonesia.

According to CNN, “four pairs of players were charged with not doing their best to win a match and abusing or demeaning the sport.” During the matches in question, the teams were seen intentionally serving the into the net, missing shots on purpose and barely chasing after the shuttlecock in order to lose points. Since the teams were trying to lose but also playing against each other, it made for comically poor play. In the match between the South Korea and Indonesia, the crowd booed its disapproval and players were repeatedly warned to pick up their sluggish play by the referee. The Chinese team has accepted its disqualification and its head coach has apologized. South Korea and Indonesia are appealing the rulings. Sebastian Coe, head of the London Olympics, described the play as “depressing” and “unacceptable.”

The South Korea and Indonesia teams are contesting that they were simply trying to increase their chances of medaling by improving their draw, so what is the harm in that? Do the ends justify the means? Perhaps the system is flawed, but this is definitely not what Pierre de Coubertin had in mind when he first introduced the Olympic Creed in 1908, which states: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

What do you think?

Should the badminton teams have been suspended from the games?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

3 comments for “Olympic Badminton Scandal: Overreaction or Disgraceful?

  1. John in Bishop CA
    August 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I really had to think long and hard about how to vote. I went with my feelings and voted yes. A winning strategy plays a great deal in the success of any team. These teams appeared to be responding to that principle. Is this instance fundamentally different that when a coach does not use the best combination of players knowing the game will likely be lost but it will not impact the eventual championship? Is a “sacrifice” bunt in baseball in the same vein? In both cases I answered myself – NO! I think the essence of sport is that every individual player should play as well as they can. Hanging back to save energy for the final push at the end is not the same as hanging back to purposely lose. Although subtle, I see a difference in this situation. It is unclear to me how “the system” could be changed but that may well be the best answer. I am just sorry there apparently needs to be an answer.

  2. David Semos
    August 8, 2012 at 3:04 am

    If winning is all that is important, then where does the 6 pillars come in. According to the creed doing your best at each level is. Where would your respect be to your opponent.

  3. Napper91
    August 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    If you’re going to throw a match, don’t make it THAT obvious.mi don’t even play badminton but even I could tell something was off… Letting balls go that we’re clearly going in and etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *