Olympics Figure Skating Scandal Reinforces Pressures We Place On Youth

For what it’s worth, the women’s free skating competition at the Olympics was a no-win situation. The scandal and controversy all week is that Kamila Valieva, who is only 15, had tested positive in December for the banned drug trimetazidine. But here is the issue? Did she knowingly take it or was it given to her?

She says she accidentally took medicine intended for her grandfather. But is that possible? Is the Russian Olympic Committee trying to make Kamila, who is only 15, lie? I mean, she’s only 15, did she mistake the medicine for an OTC pain killer? Considering how hard the skating practice, it’s possible she could have been aching and taken it by accident.

There’s also the possibility it was given to her unknowingly in a sports drink so she wouldn’t be able to taste it as simple. Or there’s the possibility that she took it knowingly and thought it’d be out of her system by the time she tested.

Either way, it shows that we place too much on young people to perform well in sports and athletic activities. Remember Kamila is only 15. She’s still a kid. When I was 15, I was taking accutane for my bad acne. I had to watch my health in other areas and constantly have blood tests to monitor my cholesterol. It made my lips so dry that I bought Vaseline lip therapy by the gross.

But many people who are 15 don’t really have much of a say-so in what they do. In Russia, I’m sure it’s even worse. There’s no telling how Kamila has been pushed to perform on the ice. Most skaters start out young, too young.

I’ve covered sports at the high school level and even at the middle school level. The pressures these parents and the communities in general place on a young kid are outrageous and infuriating. One time when I was in high school, a 16-year-old kid either dropped a football on a fumble or reception. Either way, people were criticizing him for not being able to catch. He was a 16-year-old kid.

It was a game. Ironically, the team was already heading toward the playoffs. They just wanted to end the regular season with a win. Well, sometimes, that doesn’t happen. If you’re going to compete, you must face the possibly that you might lose.

Sports aside, we expect too much out of our youth. This is our main problem in that we are still seeing kids as investments rather than as people. Parents, coaches, teachers, adults sometimes think that the kids around them should make a return. You raise a child because you made the choice to have children. You didn’t raise a child in order to get a boat, or a new car or a vacation house on the beach or lake. And your kids don’t owe you grandkids.

Too often, I feel that people from my generation born between the late 1960s and the early 1980s were told a lie that they had to be on their way to a life-long career by the time they were 25 and they needed to be married and starting a family. Otherwise, they were wasting their lives. The problem with this ideology is it didn’t always pan out for many. And I think this has led to too many people in their late 30s, early 40s or even 50s feeling that their lives are unfulfilled.

Sadly, a lot of older generations didn’t have the house with two-car garage with the picket fences and the two and a half kids. A lot of people got married early or they married people who showed their true colors too late. Sadly, some people couldn’t have children through their genetics. Others lost a child early on and decided against having children to avoid the lost of another child. Women have miscarriages and stillborn children. It’s a hard thing to get over. I’m sure many of them don’t get over it.

The sad thing about machismo patriarchy is that men are considered weak if they can’t get their wives pregnant. Any damned fool can get a woman knocked up. Being a father is more than planting supersperm into a woman. With all the antibiotics and chemicals in food as well as the effects Vietnam vets suffered due to Agent Orange, I’m sure a lot of people born in the era I said above have health issues their parents didn’t have.

The more we let others set our goals for us, the more disappointed we’re going to be in life. Just because someone can graduate high school on a Friday and have a job waiting for them on the following Monday that will last them a good 35 years with many levels of promotions doesn’t mean it’ll happen for everyone. Just because someone wants to work a job that they’ll travel around the world, doesn’t make their job or life any better than someone who just wants to live the simple life.

Too many adults live vicariously through their kids because their own goals didn’t pan out. So, they immediately start to criticize the youth when they want to follow a dream job or career. I’ve been down that road. Some of the people in my hometown were quick to tell me how foolish I was. That’s why I don’t live there.

Sadly, while we’re quick to criticize Kamila. Let’s remember that she is still a kid. And for some reason, kids at that age are vulnerable to toxic behavior, abuse and manipulation. The saddest part of the case involving Kamila is that if she placed, there wouldn’t have been any medal awards presentation. So, two other people would’ve had their ratings questioned.

But now, that she placed fourth, others get their medals, but there’s still an asterisk. This happens too much in sports. It happened to the Jenks, Okla. High School football team many years ago when my grandkids were going there. It was revealed that a player was ineligible. So, all their wins and losses were considered null and void. Their season was stricken from the record, meaning all the seniors who thought they had a good final season didn’t.

At the end of the day, the kids did nothing wrong. It was the adults and their desire to win that did everything wrong. And despite all this, it doesn’t stop it from happening again and again.

Life shouldn’t always be a competition. When we make it that, no one really wins.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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