Letter: Ethics of the race to be stronger, faster, higher

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The Independent Online
Sir: If any events must be dropped from the Olympic Games (report, 23 July) would it not be more consonant with their 'higher, faster, stronger' motto to eliminate first, rather than the modern pentathlon or boxing, those events that cannot be weighed, measured, counted or timed?

I accept that such events give much pleasure, and that preparing for them is gruelling and dangerous, but do not these considerations apply equally to various forms of dance? Rhythmic gymnastics and ice-dancing seem to have more in common with formation dancing or ballet than with judo or hurdling. No one awards penalty hits against fencers because their breeches are too revealing, or marks high-jumpers for artistic interpretation.

Is not part of the answer to the problems of the modern Olympic Games to set up a parallel extravaganza at which dances of all kinds, body-builders, circus artists and any other performers could periodically compete for medals?

Yours faithfully,


London, SW15