It has been asserted that the Summer Olympics are a spectacle of sport and the Winter Olympics are 48 different types of sliding. This year's winter games have included talk of special speed skating uniforms and carbon fiber bobsleds. Stick & ball sportswriters are absolutely perplexed by the notion that a competitive advantage could be gained from legal equipment.
As silly as this seems to us, we should refrain from laughing at these poor fools. They have not yet come to realize that technological development is a part of sports. Do Jessie Owens' gold medals not count if he was wearing cleats? Do Joe Carter's home runs not count if he used a maple bat? Do Jacques Plante's saves not count if he was wearing a mask at the time? A technological arms race to win at the Olympics, while expensive, is preferable to a real arms race.
Naturally there is a limit to how much technology is acceptable. The question to ask is "does it put the athlete in danger?" This is what keeps aluminum bats out of professional baseball and barbed wire off of boxing gloves.
Call me an optimist, but I'd like to think this "technology doping" will open people's eyes. They may start to see motorsports as being just as legitimate a sport as any of the sliding or equestrian disciplines - Or so I can dream.
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