long in the tooth?

maybe it's just me... but i'm getting sooooo tired of sports commentators who are making an issue of the age of some of the athletes competing at the Olympics.

case in point...

the gentleman calling the race this morning on CBC for the men's 10,000 metre final. he said that Haile Gebrselassie was "long in the tooth"!

and Mr. Gebrselassie is 35!!!

huh?

(eta: Gebrselassie finished 6th, one spot lower than he did in Athens, though he won this event in Atlanta and Sydney. in 7th place, was Kenyan Martin Irungu Mathathi - who will be 50 on Christmas Day!!!!)

good thing that man wasn't doing the women's marathon coverage - i wonder what he would have said about the 38-year-old winner, Constantina Tomescu????

or Dara Torres race, where the 42-year-old got a silver by 1/100th of a second??? or does that margin only count when you're a youngster like Phelps and you win by it????

*sheesh*

should we ask him what he thinks about 61-year-old cdn equestrian Ian Millar appearing in his 9th games (would've been 10 but for the 1980 boycott)?

grrrrr.....
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Last edited by rouquinne; 08-17-2008 at 10:58 AM.
It's unusual to see any sort of athlete over the age of 35 (except golfers). I don't think it's primarily ageism as much as it's hard to be physically competitive against an 18 or 22 year old. So in a sense it's actually a tribute when they do mentioned Torres at 42 and the male swimmer in the relay who is 32 or any of the older competitors you mentioned. The commentators start mentioning age at 25. Also I got tired of them gushing over Phelps. It was so bad it felt like many of the other medaling athletes achievements were chopped liver.
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I would agree that the discussion of ages is somewhat understandable, given the physical realities of competition at this level. But I also agree that it is discouraging to listen to!

What I'd like to see is this: extra commentators coming in to analyse the performance of the regular commentators, emphasizing how they are holding up given their ages. You know, sort of like, "Boy, Announcer X (insert name here) has been talking for a long, long time, and there are still 3 more rotations/heats/races (whatever) to go! Four years ago she could have handled this with no problem, but age takes a toll on those vocal chords! What do you think, Bob?"

"Well, Bill, you're right.... she's gonna have to stay well hydrated, and I hope the lights aren't too bright in that booth...... She's been doing her vocal exercises, but only time will tell if she can go the distance under these tough competitive conditions...."
It's meant as a compliment to the older athlete. It's a biological fact that older folks do not have the same physicality of younger ones, and it is a rare and admirable feat when someone in their 30's or 40's manages to compete at an elite level in sports...and win! It means they've worked many times as hard as younger athletes to achieve the same (or better!) physical condition. I'm not offended by that. I think we should celebrate older athletes. It serves as a role model for us non-athletes that we too can achieve physical strength and endurance at any age.
I think it could be done better, but I look at it as compliment as a whole.

I don't mind the Phelps coverage so much. He does deserve the accolades, but it would be nice to see others too.

Rou, have there been special segments on Millar considering his age? I think it's cool that he is competing at 61.

I was watching some of the women's weightlifting and there was a comment about one of the female athletes as she was the heaviest female competitor at the games. It wasn't done in a rude manner, and it was an interesting factoid. I guess it depends on how it's done.
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I don't think I ever heard that term before, or maybe I have but it's been so long that I forgot. So I looked it up.
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I've always liked that expression, along with "older than dirt."
My grandmother's favorite saying when something/someone was old was: "That's from the year of the flood".
What I'd like to see is this: extra commentators coming in to analyse the performance of the regular commentators, emphasizing how they are holding up given their ages. You know, sort of like, "Boy, Announcer X (insert name here) has been talking for a long, long time, and there are still 3 more rotations/heats/races (whatever) to go! Four years ago she could have handled this with no problem, but age takes a toll on those vocal chords! What do you think, Bob?"
Originally Posted by wavycurly40+
i LOVE it!

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Rou, have there been special segments on Millar considering his age? I think it's cool that he is competing at 61.
Originally Posted by redcelticcurls
oh yes, our main website for Canadian athletes has a feature on him:

Ian Millar: Unfinished Business

it's available at

http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/olympians...arprofile.html

the saddest thing is that Mr. Millar's wife died earlier this year...

and didn't see him finally win an Olympic medal - silver in team jumping.



with the advances in training routines, nutrition and health care in many countries, i don't think it's unreasonable to see elite level athletes in individual sports who are into their 30s or 40s. certainly there have been older athletes competing in equestrian and sailing events for years. it just irks me that people seem to be almost written-off once they get past Age X. i felt the same way when the commentators were all in a tizzy over Greg Norman (53) at the British Open last month. they even act like the guys in their 40s (in the golf world) are old timers.

competing in the Olympics twice used to be a big deal; now, 3 or 4 times will become more normal and the "older" athlete will - hopefully - become more commonplace so that people won't feel it necessary to suggest that the competitor is "long in the tooth".
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Little Mother of all the Roaches, President-for-Life of the MAC Harlots!

Last edited by rouquinne; 08-18-2008 at 11:41 AM.
Join Date: Mar 2008
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RCW:
My grandmother's favorite saying when something/someone was old was: "That's from the year of the flood".
Funny!

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