York University kinesiology Professor Parissa Safai thinks US snowboarder Shaun White’s refusal to participate in the slopestyle competition at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is the first whiff of a bubbling conflict. “I think the games get romanticized to the neglect of rational study of whether these athletes are risking their life and limbs,” said Safai in The Globe and Mail Feb. 14. “The answer isn’t to sit here and say, no, no, no Olympics. Because there is something to be said for risk. If athletes don’t push themselves, we risk not seeing the human body in its fullness and glory. I cannot deny the thrill of watching them do these things with their bodies, the genuine and honest uncertainty of the outcome. . . . I don’t mean to advocate that we bubble-wrap everyone.” What does bother her, she says, is a lack of transparency. “My question is, who profits from this? And my answer is, not the athletes.” Read full story.
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