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  • The Russians Are Coming

    I'm looking over my predictions (which are VERY similar to T&FN's, just so you don't think I'm WAY off base) and I just noticed this:

    Men medals (G-S-B)
    US: 5-4-5
    Russia: 1-2-2

    Women medals
    US: 4-2-2
    Russia: 8-1-9

    Notice anything? Without going into 'that subject' what accounts for this obvious 'discrepancy'?

  • #2
    Re: The Russians Are Coming

    Easy - Russian women can out-throw and out-jump their American counterparts, and American men as usual can outsprint their Russian counterparts (T&F picks 8 of your medals? in races of 400m or less for the U.S. men).

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    • #3
      Re: The Russians Are Coming

      One large part of the Soviet sports machine was to prove communism was superior to capitalism. They knew they couldn't win a propaganda war with only half their population. So the eastern Europeans saw winning women's medals just as important as winning men's; their sports programs reflected that attitude by putting essentially equal effort into both men's and women's sports.

      In contrast, the American sports machine (colleges) wasn't even close to equal until the 1980s. In other words, Title IX came to Russia even before Hitler invaded. The current situation is a holdover from that system.

      As far as drugs go, it's awful naive to assume that Americans can't or woudln't use them too!

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      • #4
        Re: The Russians Are Coming

        As I read my original post again I see it would be easy to misread my 'that subject' comment as an 'explanation.' I did NOT mean it that way. What I was trying to say was, 'without citing drugs as the answer, how do they do it?' The drug question is moot to me. Everyone has equal (more or less) access and motivation to cheat. The Russians are being very successful in their women's program. How do they do it (don't give me the drug answer)? Clearer?

        I almost kinda buy the Commie thing, but our women have had more than a generation of Title IX, and actually, women track athletes are getting the LONG end of the stick in college. Most colleges are desperate to cram women on their team to inflate their compliance numbers. Whatever the Russians are doing to identify and cultivate talent is working and we should look into it.

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        • #5
          Re: The Russians Are Coming

          >How do they do it

          I almost kinda buy
          >the Commie thing, but our women have had more
          >than a generation of Title IX, and actually,
          >women track athletes are getting the LONG end of
          >the stick in college. Most colleges are desperate
          >to cram women on their team to inflate their
          >compliance numbers. Whatever the Russians are
          >doing to identify and cultivate talent is working
          >and we should look into it.

          I don't want to start arguing about the merits of Title IX, but I don't buy the idea that women are getting treated unfairly because there are too many people on their collegiate teams. The team I was on a dozen years ago was mediocre at best but had over 70 men on it. I'd bet that women's rosters of that size are few and far between, yet no one said we were awful because there were too many men in our program!


          Over 1,000 male athletes in this country have shoe contracts in excess of $1 million per year; there's only one woman who can make the same claim. I'm sure it's much more egalitarian in Russia. American women, unlike their Russian counterparts, don't have mothers and grandmothers who fondly remember athletic competition. In other words, I think it's societal rather than organizational.

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          • #6
            Re: The Russians Are Coming

            Eastern European women are lucky enough to have escaped decades of mind-warping Hollywood programming re what constitutes femininity. I mean, check out the armpits.

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            • #7
              Re: The Russians Are Coming

              even though i doubt the russian women will win 18 medals they will far outmedal our women (probably 13-15 to 7-8). it is obvious that the entire world has dropped off tremendously since the mid 80s and early 90s where women were tossing the disc over 70 meters, jumping over 23 feet, throwing the jav over 70 meters etc etc. the russians have dropped off the least compared to other countries. four decades of field event tradition has helped, i agree the us has had no tradition in the field events save jjk and the occasional high jumper. title 9 has really helped recruit sprinters, hurdlers and distance runners, rarely field eventers. in fact some of the top collegiate athletes in women's field events come from other countries.

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