The run up to the Olympics has not exactly been a positive one. There were stories about delayed construction and Brazilian corruption. And, if that weren’t enough, there were countless reports of state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes.
Now that the Olympics have begun, Brazil’s problems, other than the polluted waters, seem to have largely faded away, at least in the coverage I’ve seen on TV.
The doping scandals remain, with the largely unprecedented acts of a Russian swimmer being booed by fans and shamed publicly by a competitor.
In addition, the doping scandal has broadened beyond Russia, with weightlifters from a number of countries banned from competition.
But now, thanks to the Dutch, we have a shining moment of integrity.
The Dutch team has very strict rules about alcohol consumption and leaving the team’s base of operations. Yuri van Gelder, a gymnast, broke them. After qualifying for the finals on the rings he went out drinking and stayed out into the small hours of the morning, Reuters reported.
So what did the team do? They expelled him.
Here’s what the Dutch Olympic team leader had to say:
“It’s terrible for Yuri, but this kind of behavior is unacceptable,” Dutch team chef de mission Maurits Hendriks said in a statement on Tuesday. “In sports terms this is a disaster, but we had no other choice given the violation of our values.”
Bravo. They unquestioningly stood up for their values, and they did it even when it meant sending home a potential medal winner.
I think the Dutch Olympic team just earned a gold medal for integrity.A Gold Medal In IntegrityClick To Tweet