Friday, February 12, 2010

Go Canada Go!!!

The olympics are starting. I'm so excited!!! we're currently watching the opening ceremonies, totally psyched up. I"m so impressed by the range of countries, I mean seriously India has a team (only 3 athletes but still!!!)

I'm sad to say that I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of diversity within teams. I can't help but notice that teams like Great Britain and France, which are such diverse multi-ethnic countries, had very homogeneous looking teams. Canada and USA haven't walked out yet, so fingers crossed that we'll do better, but I doubt it.

Now I don't think that lack of diversity in the teams is due to any sort of systemic / institutional racism, I'm fully aware (from experience) that immigrant families put more emphasis on things like academics and jobs than on sports. Still, since there are so many 2nd and 3rd generation ethnic brits, that there would some colored people....


Mountainmums said...

Concerning the diversity of the French team, things would be very different if it were the summer Olympics. I don't think he issue is what immigrant families put emphasis on but rather the geographical distribution of different populations.
Most people that reach the winter Olympics come from mountain towns and villages. The population in these areas is just no as mixed as it is in the rest of the country.
There surely are other reasons, but I'm guessing this one does explain a lot.

chall said...

It's also a little thing called money.... the winter sports are more expensive to train and buy equipment for. Summer olympics in that sense are more "equal". And this even if I looooove winter sports but where I come, that's the biggest distinction if you start of not.

down hill skiiing for example is much more expensive than cross country... and I don't even know about luge/rodeln. Hockey is way more expensive than soccer, so back home some kids take up soccer/a type of lacrosse indoors and then some kids take hockey. Everyone "knows" hockey is the richer sport with all the gear, ice time and parents dirving etc...

Ah well, you probably know this too? And it's proboably more what you said earlier with putting the emphasis on studies and intellectual things rather thna throwing themselves down a snowy hill?!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

I was just going to say exactly what Chall said! For the summer games, you can get started with nothing more than a pair of running shoes. For the winter games, you need expensive equipment and parents with enough leisure time to drive you to and from the venues.

In the UK, ice rinks are few and far between - I'm from a decent sized city of around 200,000 people, but there's not one single ice rink. It's just not part of our sporting traditions - football (the kind where you move the ball with your foot), rugby and cricket fields are everywhere, as are running tracks, tennis courts and swimming pools. But no ice.

As for snow... well, there's some left in the very far North of Scotland. The Scottish ski hill (not really a mountain) where I had my very first lesson has had to close recently due to decreasing amounts of snow year on year. Most Brits who do ski, ski in the Alps - but it's only the very rich families who can afford the flights, accommodation, rentals, lessons etc. My school took a few kids on a trip once, but only the very richest kids in the school - my family couldn't afford it despite being comfortably well off (both parents were teachers). Our vacations involved driving, camping and hiking, rather than flying, hotels and skiing!

If you look at the British (and other European) summer Olympic teams, and especially our football teams, you'll see a very different picture.