PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:11pm

It is not all about winning gold

Television coverage of the London Olympics has attracted a massive worldwide audience, fascinated by the intense contests between the competing nations.

However, I wonder if we have forgotten the true meaning of the Games. Too often, it seems, fans only care about those who have won medals.

They have forgotten about the spirit that is supposed to define the Olympics, that is, the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. We must not lose sight of these principles in spite of all the commercialism that surrounds the various events.

Of course, we should applaud those athletes and nations which win gold. But winning first place should not be the only goal of competitors.

We should show our appreciation for all those who have taken part, even if they did not win a medal. It is important to remember that they all started training from an early age and have had to work very hard just to get to London.

I also hope that the athletes will remember what the Olympics stands for and recognise that winning gold is not everything.

I trust they will leave London having forged friendships with fellow athletes and that they will have learned more than the desire to get on the winners' podium.

Yau Tsz-yan, Kwai Chung

Desire for profit takes priority

Bravo Tim Noonan for giving voice (in your columns on the Olympics) to the frustration felt by many of us for the corporate hypocrisy of these Games.

It's as if he were sitting in my living room with one hand on the remote control as I throw it at the TV in anger. Only in Hong Kong could a cable company do everything in its power to make you pay as much as possible and give absolutely nothing in return.

Ordinarily, I would just boycott iCable but Now TV is as appalling with its service. Both companies know they have no competition. They're just happy to flip major international sports competitions back and forth in an effort to lure customers while providing a bad service in return.

Noonan has also pointed out the deplorable hypocrisy of the Games organisers as well, where they bid themselves out in the same fashion as iCable and Now TV.

We watch the Olympics for events where world-class athletes are willing to give everything. Unfortunately, that same passion is not shared by the patrician organisers of the Olympics and the cable companies that cover them.

Gregory Flynn, Mid-Levels

ATV and TVB doing fine job

I congratulate ATV and TVB for their joint effort in providing bilingual coverage of the Olympic Games to the residents of Hong Kong.

Despite the early difficulties faced, I'm sure their efforts in making this happen will be appreciated by all Hongkongers.

Rob Lockett, Shenzhen

Badminton players scapegoats

I take a different view to many people regarding the disqualification of eight badminton players from the Olympics, including Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang from China.

Sometimes in life you have to sacrifice a battle to win the war. For example, in a marathon, you might hold back until making a final dash for victory.

The Badminton World Federation decided to disqualify four pairs of female players. They were willing to lose a game to put themselves in a better position, that is, to face a weaker opponent. I do not think that this motivation was wrong.

The fault lay with the round-robin system. This set-up is not popular with fans. It is the federation which created this system and it has made these players scapegoats.

In some soccer leagues, there have been accusations in the past of corruption by players and officials to help betting syndicates. Nothing of the kind has happened here. These women may have only one or two opportunities to play in an Olympics and they have devoted their lives to their sport.

Sometimes we have laws that have loopholes and people take advantage of them. But they are not punished for doing so. What has to happen is that the loophole is plugged. A bad law should be amended. Clearly, this is what should happen with the round-robin system.

If I was playing at this level and was asked what was most important, pleasing the audience or winning gold, I would opt for the latter choice.

The dreams of these young women have been destroyed just, as I said, because they decided to lose a battle so they could win a war. Now they return home in shame instead of basking in glory.

Surely someone in the International Olympic Committee should say something about the problems that exist in the game of badminton and the federation that runs it?

Jufang He, Sha Tin

Relaxed view on guns dangerous

Peter Call surprisingly defends the exporting of violent films by the US to other parts of the world ('Misguided view of violent films', July 30), arguing that 'according to the FBI, violent crime is now at an all-time low in the US'.

However, I think such figures are misleading. Many Americans are gun mad and have easy access to firearms.

While on holiday in Honolulu, Hawaii, 20 years ago, strolling down a street I came across a shooting club where you could walk in and pay to fire off 100 rounds. Nobody checked my passport or visa. Another time in San Pedro, Los Angeles, I was in a gun shop with bullets and guns openly displayed on the counter.

By contrast, I was a member of a gun club in Hong Kong and it was heavily guarded and not open to the public.

I don't understand how Americans can live comfortably when they face a daily threat from firearms.

Pang Chi-ming, Fanling

Impressed by courteous Hongkongers

My wife and I have come from Calcutta on a month's holiday to Hong Kong and are staying with our son-in-law and daughter who live here.

We have been very impressed with several characteristics that we found here - discipline, efficiency, and a professional attitude to life in general.

The people are courteous, helpful and friendly. What we appreciate the most is the standard of traffic discipline; it is truly outstanding.

We also spent a few days in Macau and were equally taken with what we saw.

It will take Calcutta at least 100 years to come up to Hong Kong's standard of living.

Do keep up the good show.

Lieutenant Colonel J. K. Dutt (retired), Calcutta, India



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