Re: Re: Columnist: Athletes are clean until proven otherwise

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It is only “weird” if you have never had a sporting hero or never even just actively rooted for one athlete (or a set of athletes) over another (or a set of others).  If you actively root for an athlete then you feel some investment in how the athlete performs, there is logically no separation.  If you felt zero investment in how anyone in the competition performed, then you would not care about the outcome of the competition.  How would anyone find enjoyment in watching the competition if they do not look up to anyone in the race?  I do not put anyone up on a pedestal (anymore) but try telling that to kids.  Kids (and even people in general) will always admire people who can do something well enough that they are among the top 10 (or whatever sufficiently small number) in the world in what they do.  They are the best of the best.  It is only natural to admire those who achieve such status.  Attaining glory is a very old desire.  That can apply to many other things (business/wealth, arts, etc.) but given the huge media focus on sports, sporting heroes will occupy an unduly large role in the public's consciousness.  Weird as it may allegedly seem, people do feel an investment in how glory-seekers perform, that there is such great interest in competitions such as the Olympic Games basically proves that.  Many people feel that they are “a part of their life” due to even just the (jingoistic if not xenophobic) national affiliations, like it or not.

I can understand not being able to enjoy watching the performances if “you suspect everyone in the event is doping.”  I think you are misunderstanding the concept a bit, however.  Stating that “nobody is above suspicion” is not the equivalent of suspecting everyone of doping.  Logically, they are two separate and nonequivalent concepts.