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comment by NotPhil
I'm not sure why anyone thinks the goal of the games is to win a gold. The point of playing any game is to play the game.

There was nothing wrong with the way the tournament was set up. They only wanted players who had traveled far, at great expense, to be able to play more games than a single elimination tournament would have allowed. The fault is entirely with the players and coaches who tried to pervert the system and created lousy matches because of their behavior.

I'm surprised they were only disqualified. The Badminton Federation should have barred them from any future tournaments as well. They know that these players care so little for the game that they'll wreck it trying to get bragging rights. No matter how any future tournament is set up, these players will attempt to do the same again, and they will succeed to some extent or other because there is no such thing as a perfect system. Any system requires the people in it to act in good faith, and these people couldn't be bothered with doing even that.

lessismore  ·  3372 days ago  ·  link  ·  
At this level, the goal is to win the gold. Some of these people dedicate their entire lives to win the gold. That is what they will be remembered for and more importantly it can very well set them up financially in the future. Why do we remember Mary Lou Retton? It is because she WON the gold. Did Kathy (Who Is She Again?) Johnson get to be on the box of Wheaties? No. It was the gold medal winner.

If the game is all about sportsmanship and fair play, this girl would have been in the medal rounds. The USA Men's Basketball team would have won the gold medal in Munich in 1972.

mk  ·  3372 days ago  ·  link  ·  
After learning a bit more, I'm not sure where I sit on this. From what I understand, these Chinese players were trying not to play against the other Chinese team in order to increase the chance of China winning more medals. That is pretty bad.

A real problem is that these players could have thrown the match while looking like they were trying, and IMO that wouldn't have been any better. How would you ever know that a team wasn't underplaying? In that sense, there is a problem with the setup.

An easy solution would be to have a limit of only one team per country.