Friday, January 31, 2014

If you ain't cheatin'....

Why Vince McMahon? - read the cracked article and you'll understand. Photo credit: WWE
You ain't tryin'. I came across this article on Cracked about 5 of the dumbest ways people/teams have won (big!) in sports. While well worth the read, it is a hilariously sad tribute to how - for some folks - winning is all that matters and the ends justify the means no matter how gross a reinterpretation or stretching of the rules it might take. How does this apply to us? Well take a look at number four on the list. It re-tells the sad tale of the UK's Philip Hindes and his brazen flopping to get a restart in the 2012 Olympic team sprint.
Hindes in the middle of his floparoo - Photo credit: PA
Hindes was the lead rider in the 3 man team sprint crew followed by Jason Kenny and anchored by Sir Chris Hoy. As he came out of the block he started to wobble, flailed for a second and then fell down the track. The Olympics use UCI rules for the event and as such, any rider/team falling during a team sprint by mechanical or accidental means is awarded a restart.

This is where things get sticky... when asked about the fall immediately after the race Hindes professed the following “We were saying if we have a bad start we need to crash to get a restart. I just crashed, I did it on purpose to get a restart, just to have the fastest ride. I did it. So it was all planned, really.” - Insert loud record scratching sound here. 

Even though the Olympic committee heard these words and knew about the shenanigans the team was allowed to take the restart and went on to win the gold. Immediately after the race Hindes was asked about it again in another BBC interview stating “I just did it to get the restart. My first wasn’t the greatest so I thought to get the restart.”

Once word started to get around the British Olympic team issued a laughable response to the whole issue saying that due to English being Hindes second launguage (He was born in Germany) he misunderstood the question and that the fall was completely accidental after all. For his part, Hindes changed his story to "No, I just went out of the gate and just lost control, just fell down...My back wheel slipped and totally lost control and I couldn't handle the bike any more and just crashed." 

He went on to give another interview proclaiming in clearly understandable English how it was his inability to understand English clearly which caused him to say that he had crashed on purpose and that it was all planned in advance by his team if he started poorly. Click the photo of Phil below to watch for yourself.
Hindes keeping a straight face. - Screen grab via: The Telegraph
After watching that video it is clear that his near complete mastery of the English language would have been thrown off by the question "what happened?". 

But I digress, most will probably say no harm no foul because the Brits were obviously the better team as evidenced by their prodigious haul of medals that summer. For me however it's always a question of integrity, of winning with panache. Not winning by getting away with stretching a rules. It reminds me of the Piti principle that the Velominati keepers subscribe to:

"The Piti Principle - Punishment for violating the spirit of the law: A model of punishment wherein a competitor is sanctioned for abusing the system while still technically staying within the guidelines."

If this is not an example of that I don't know what is. 

No comments:

Post a Comment