By Ken Reed
There are plenty of good and bad things about the overly commercial and political Olympic Games. We’ve written about both multiple times in the past.
For these Games, I’ve been looking for more of the good.
I liked the symbolism of seeing North Korean and South Korean athletes march into the stadium together for the opening ceremonies. And I enjoyed watching a story about North Koreans and South Koreans playing on the same women’s hockey team at the Olympics. Two cool stories that probably won’t do much to change the current political situation involving the two countries but cool nonetheless.
When one just sits down to watch the actual competitions, a lot more good than bad can be found. I like watching athletes who have trained for years, giving their ultimate effort, whether that’s to win a medal or simply to finish their event.
One of my favorite stories this year was about the Russian luger who offered his sled to American Chris Mazdzer before the Olympics started. The Russian knew Mazdzer was in a slump and wanted to help him. Mazdzer graciously declined the offer and ended up winning a silver medal on his own sled. But he was deeply moved. (Mazdzer declined to name the Russian luger who demonstrated such amazing sportsmanship.)
“It’s such a unique bond on the luge circuit. I don’t know how to relate it,” said Mazdzer.
“But we all look out for each other. We all want the best for each other. … I think that what it shows is that we care about each other. There is a human connection that we have, that crosses countries, that crosses cultures, and sport is an amazing way to accomplish that.”
Now that’s good stuff. At times, the Olympics actually can represent the highest and best of sports and humanity.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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