SI.com - Olympics - Russia-China alliance troubles USOC - Friday July 15, 2005 4:50PM COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- The Chinese are looking beyond their own 1.3 billion countrymen in an attempt to beat out the United States in the Beijing Olympics. They want Russia's help, too.
In an arrangement the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee says could 'clearly be suspect,' Olympic committees from Russia and China have agreed to work together in hopes of knocking the United States from the top of the medals table in 2008.
'To beat America we need to unite our efforts and knowledge ... to achieve better results in swimming and track and field, where they are strong,' Russian Olympic Committee chief Leonid Tyagachev told The Associated Press last month.
And while USOC chief executive Jim Scherr says he isn't against countries working together -- sharing training techniques, advances in medicine and the like -- he has a problem if the effort is targeted at a single country, specifically his.
'It's not uni ...
Sports is to be all all about cooperation AND competition.
Interesting to note, the name of the head of the USOC wasn't put in the lead of the article. The first name in the article was that of the Russian. The American on the hook with me for sillyness is Jim Scherr.
I'd say it is fine to have the world's best athletes looking to out perform the American team. I'd be flattered. I'd be proud. I'd be getting on to more work and excellence. The USA squad is rich with talent in these times. Mostly due to the fact the the rest of the world is so weak. And, because the rest of the world often sends its best athletes to the USA for ongoing training. We thrive, if you think we do, in part because we accept the participation of the foreign athletes.
In the medal standing, as the Games go to Beijing, I expect China to be in the top three -- if not first -- in total medals. Understand, that no country wins the Olympics. That is just a media scorecard. However, that is what happens.
2004 (Athens) Olympics
Nation, Gold Medals, All Medals
USA = 35, 103
Russia = 27, 92
China = 32, 63
This is a most funny statement to me, "The elaborate Beijing national training center." There is some history here. As a book publisher, I did a few books with the first western athlete to ever enter the national training center in Beijing. To couple the word, "elaborate" with that description -- back then -- is folly. You'd have to read the book, Search for Greatness, and know what I'm digging at.
The first foreigner from the west to be invited to the center was Dr. Judd. His story is in that (rare) book.
These days, the center has had a facelift, to say the least.
But, back to the gist of the article. -- It is fair! I have no problem with the new partnerships with China and Russia to beat the US -- even in swimming.