Olympics Day 4-5: Running and stuff

I continue to follow Volley Ball and Handball, Table Tennis and a bit of Badminton.

There were some great shooting competitions yesterday.   This is .22 cal at 50m and the target is only about 6 inches in diameter.
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They have to compete in 3 positions, standing, kneeling and prone. The commentatrix mentioned that their motto in preparing to shoot is “rush slowly”. Sound familiar?

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Some of the shooters have had to join the military to work because the funding is not great for shooting sports in most countries. Too bad. The American girl who won the very 1st gold of these Olympics didn’t make the finals. She missed by a single point.  There is also pistol, but that didn’t get as much coverage.

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Amazing focus.

It is also amazing how fast Badminton is.  Apparently the shuttle, made from goose feathers, can rocket off the racket at 300 mph, but it slows down quickly.  I imagine that would still sting.

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One of the Indian women competing is a sort of superstar in India.  She has some 1.7 million followers on Twitter.  I’m an underacheiver, I guess.  The Brazilian gal came to the game from a social project in a favella, and here she is in the Olympics in her home city.  Badminton House, whence the name, is a large country house in Gloucestershire, England.  It is the seat of the Dukes of Beaufort since the late 17th century, when the family moved from Raglan Castle, which had been ruined in the English Civil War.  The place was originally named Badimyncg Tun translated as Beadmund’s farm or Baeddas mint farm.  Some of the movie Remains of the Day was filmed there.

The swimming events continue to amaze, as do gymnastics.

Today, however, we have the truly classic events.  People are starting to run around in circles and throw stuff.  In qualifications, a woman from Ethiopia obliterated the world record in the 10Km.  You might see another woman a bit behind her as she crosses the line, but that’s only an illusion.  She was lapped, of course.

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Women heptathlon is starting up.  Seven, of course, sports.

  • 100 metres hurdles
  • High jump
  • Shot put
  • 200 metres
  • Long jump
  • Javelin throw
  • 800 metres

The men’s line up is different.

  • 60 metres
  • long jump
  • shot put
  • high jump
  • 60 metres hurdles
  • pole vault
  • 1000 metres

Tonight, hammer throw starts.   Put a metal ball at the end of a chain.  Whirl it around as fast as you can and let go.  What could go wrong?

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UPDATE:

Men’s Rifle, prone…. imagine lying down at the goal line of a football field and aiming at a target the size of a dime beyond the end zone at the other end of the field… with no magnification on their rifles.

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And, today, Kim Rhode competed and won medals in her sixth consecutive Olympics, the first!  She has won medals on 5 continents, ever since Atlanta in 1996!

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58 Responses to Olympics Day 4-5: Running and stuff

  1. APX says:

    The Women’s Track and Field events will be interesting. Great Britain’s Women’s team has two men who think they’re women competing. They won’t say who they are, though.

  2. un-ionized says:

    I sort of wish I had a TV. I could play “guess the faker” in track and field. Russia used to have some real steroid users. Yes, they really do work! No placebo effect there.

  3. Kerry says:

    That’s an heroic record run in the 10,000 meters, a fourteen second smash. She ran about 71 second (400 meter) laps for 24 laps plus a bit. Does anyone know her splits for the last 800 meters?

  4. dowirz says:

    I think her splits for the last 800m were 70.8 and 68.

    After she crossed the line, she crossed herself…

  5. YorkshireStudent says:

    There is a lot of confusion about the lengths the British shooting teams must go to to be able to train – some say that our handgun and rifle laws are so strict that they must go to Switzerland to train, others that they got special exemption from that law in the run up to 2012, to avoid the embarrassing headlines.

    I would have thought it was clear from our performance in the clay pigeon shoots (where the competitors train at home, and are often farmers who don’t restrict themselves to *clay* pigeons) and our performance in the rifle and pistol shooting (I have heard of no successes) that permitting a bit of target shooting may do wonders for our medal hauls.

  6. Kerry says:

    Zounds! She broke the record in qualifying!! One usually just qualifies, moves to the next round.

  7. Kerry says:

    Apparently I am incorrect, not run in qualifying. However from Runner’s World some stats, with three”!!!”. http://www.runnersworld.com/olympics/6-incredible-stats-from-the-fastest-womens-10000-meter-race-in-history
    1)Ayana completed the second half of the race in 14:30.64. This 5,000-meter split is more than 10 seconds faster than the Olympic record for the distance. The current 5,000-meter Olympic record is 14:40.79, set by Romanian Gabriela Szabo in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games.
    2) Before this race, only five women had run under 30:00 in the 10,000. The top four athletes accomplished the mark in Rio.
    3) This was only Ayana’s second race at 10,000 meters. She debuted at the distance on June 29 of this year, running 30:07.00. (Did you get that? A 50 second improvement her second race!)
    4 & 5) Counting Ayana’s performance, eight women broke their country’s national records in the race, including American Molly Huddle, whose 30:13.17 bettered Shalane Flanagan’s mark by 9 seconds…Eighteen women set personal bests, including American Emily Infeld, who took 11th in 31:26.94. That constitutes just under half of the field putting in lifetime performances.
    Excellence creates more excellence.

  8. Scott W. says:

    I’d like to see a sniper event with a .50 cal and a range of 1000-1500 yards.

  9. Ave Crux says:

    I’m going to be the party pooper here, I guess. Isn’t anyone distressed to see women who have been so masculinized in sports today?

    If we are Catholic “through and through” we need to be coherent and consistent.

    Our culture and our behaviors should be entirely in accord with the dignity and modesty God expects from us. That principle requires a great deal of self denial and asceticism in itself.

    Women ought not to be engaged in public sports in this manner.

    I can’t lay my hands on the source right now, but there was a Papal encyclical in the early half of the 20th century that indicated public gymnasium practices are a danger to womanly modesty and dignity.

    Why are we so surprised by the rise of homosexuality and the feminization of our men when we see what is becoming Of our women?

    And while some may argue that times have changed. …isn’t that precisely the problem and one of the symptoms of the demise of a Christian Civilization? We ought not to be celebrating it, or surrendering to a paganization of our ideals, understanding, perspective and witness.

    This means being counter-cultural, counter-revolutionary in our customs in every way.

    This fidelity in itself is a penance pleasing to God.

  10. un-ionized says:

    Not every female is prissily feminine. I certainly am not and some of us encounter problems as a result; I’ve had church people spread rumors that I’m gay. Some women have real God-given physical talent, the cultivation of which can have very positive spiritual results. I used to participate in several sports though not at a competitive level, and the ability to focus and press on despite terrible obstacles that I developed as a result has stood me in good stead as my disability increases.

  11. KAS says:

    The more curves, the less athletic, in most cases, so you are not going to get the very curvaceous females at this level of competition. There are exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions. Big busts and well padded wide hips do not lend themselves to speed in ANY sport at Olympic levels. Many an athletic girl has hit puberty and lost that edge with the onset of some serious curves. These women were able to keep going, and attain world class performances. I have a hearty respect for them. If they apply that to all of life, they will do well.

    The hair styles chosen for efficiency do not lend themselves to femininity unless the person is very tiny boned and fine in their features. It may be the right hair for the sport, but it may not be the most flattering on the particular woman– and at this level of competition, it would hurt performance to care too much about flattering vs unflattering. This level of competition also tends to deplete the body of fat, which will tend to butch up the female figure, but once they slack off of peak, most will round up a bit as the body fat increases (and I wish I ever looked as good as that!). Much of the soft roundedness of the female form is body fat, stores designed to make pregnancy easier, which when at peak athletic work are generally depleted for the sake of performance.

    Yeah, they are not as girly, but look at what they accomplished! And they will back off the peak, and relax their focus, look around, and still be women. Women who are fit and athletic and who will have no problem racing about keeping up with their children if they go the family route.

  12. Ave Crux says:

    Women’s bodies and their range of physical fitness and/or femininity have not changed.

    Nonetheless, Christian Civilization has always opposed the paganization of women in culture and set itself against such pagan disregard for modesty and womanly dignity. It’s not about being “girly”.

    At no point in the 2,000 years of Christian history has it ever been considered acceptable to have women competing in public sports in this manner until the marked decline of social mores most notable in the last 100 years, which is precisely addressed even in a Papal encyclical of recent times.

    If we lament the decline of the Church and civilization, this is certainly part of the cause and effect.

    Just because a woman is athletically inclined doesn’t mean it’s a “gift” that God intends for her to put on display.

    A woman’s physical fitness is a blessing and has a lot of advantages: but that does not mean it’s ordained by God for public sport.

    In fact, for 2000 years the Church thought otherwise.

  13. un-ionized says:

    Women’s range of fitness may not have changed, though that is very debatable with the modern change in nutrition. So we/you are to determine what is or is not “ordained by God” for others?

  14. un-ionized says:

    You can find some curvy people in the higher weight classes of powerlifting. About all I’m good for now is eating and napping. Is pushing a grocery cart a sport?

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    Several of us saw a clip of Michael Phelps, I think qualifying in the 100m butterfly, go from 8th to 2nd in one length of the pool. One colleague quipped that when they check Phelps for drugs they should look for gills and fins too.

    Heard that Katy Ledecky won the 800 by 12 seconds.

  16. Mary Jane says:

    Some Olympic sports, women’s ice skating and women’s gymnastics in particular, I do not consider “modest”. The outfits/costumes are terrible.

    I was a competitive swimmer for a number of years so I do enjoy watching the swimming and diving…although a similar argument could possibly be made about some of the suits the swimmers/divers wear.

  17. un-ionized says:

    Maybe they could have a special event for women wearing those long sleeved pants swim suits. The hydrodynamic drag would be most annoying! It would be like watching a snail race.

    My lycra days are definitely over.

  18. Mary Jane says:

    Un-ionized, I think some of those suits use technology/fabric that actually causes the water to “bead” and roll off the fabric better than the way the water rolls off the skin. It’s like treating your windshield with “rain-x” versus not. Great for modesty too, right? :)

  19. Ave Crux says:

    The Church teaches us that.

    Are you aware that Our Lady at Fatima – after lamenting that more souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other sin – also warned against immodesty, saying that many fashions are displeasing to God, and that the faithful should not follow fashions?

    If Our Lady comes all the way from Heaven to speak to us you can be sure she will let not waste time on confiding unnecessary information.

    And if She lamented immodesty, She certainly wouldn’t see it as acceptable in such a public Arena for women to dress and comport themselves as they do in Olympic sports.

    The problem with Catholics today is they do not realize the radicality of Christ’s call to be a witness in the face of a pagan civilization, and this is precisely why the Church is dying.

  20. un-ionized says:

    The problem with some Catholics is they need to get their attention on their own behavior.

  21. un-ionized says:

    Mary Jane, yes, it’s good to not turn your exercise session into a big wet shirt contest. If those suits were cotton you could be dragged down and drown. There would have to be one lifeguard per person.

  22. Mariana2 says:

    Just noticed that Usain Bolt is wearing a Miraculous Medal.

  23. APX says:

    Mary Jane,

    You hold a double standard. Women wear less clothing for diving and swimming, yet gymnastics and figure skating clothing is immodest to you? The clothing, liking swimming and diving, is designed for the sport and its requirements. Actually, men’s rugby is far more immodest.

  24. Ave Crux says:

    This is a forum for discussion on various matters from a Catholic perspective…that is precisely what I am doing. [It really isn’t. It’s Fr. Z’s Blog, sort of like my living room, or back yard. Just sayin’]

    Sharing the teachings of the Church – as I have here – is how the Catholic conscience and world view beomes better informed and formed.

    Two of the Spiritual Works of Mercy involve exactly that: “Admonish the sinner” and “Counsel the doubtful”.

    I haven’t even “admonished” – I have simply posited a truly Catholic perspective on the matter presently offered for DISCUSSION.

  25. un-ionized says:

    But some of the things that you have said are debatable.

  26. Ave Crux says:

    Father Z….a clarification/some additional precision in my choice of words: “This is a blog where Father Z permits us to visit and comment on topics he brings to our attention….(some being moderated ;-)”

  27. Ave Crux says:

    The debate is not mine. I am only repeating what has already been stated authoritatively in a Papal encyclical, and in the very words of Our Lady at Fatima.

    Why is it that when someone quotes such sources there is often these days a disconnect and lack of deferential assent to the authority quoted, and it’s treated instead as though it’s merely the *opinion* of the person who cites it….?

    I’m simply quoting a Pope and the Mother of God, by Whom I try to let myself be instructed and guided.

  28. Mary Jane says:

    APX, I certainly do not. I said in my comment that the clothing for swimming and diving had potential modesty issues. I was a competitive swimmer in high school, before I came to the realization it was not a modest sport I could continue to participate in.

    The clothing for swimming and diving doesn’t pretend nothing is covering the skin (like many of the ice skating and gymnastic outfits that use skin colored mayerial to give the illusion the person is wearing nothing there).

    Some more charity and thought before posting in this thread would benefit all, I think.

  29. un-ionized says:

    I am so glad to see the word charity. Too often we believe everything is to be taken de fide regardless of the source.

  30. Ave Crux says:

    When the Mother of God laments immodesty and says it should not be followed, after also saying more souls *go to Hell* for sins of the flesh than for any other sin, while also granting an unprecedented miracle of nigh apocalyptic proportions witnessed by 70,000 people in order to get our attention and attest to the authenticity of Her pleas, I think it’s time for people of good will to listen and respond.

    God is trying to get our attention as in no other time in human history.

    Can it be said that Our Lady was lacking in charity because of the many ways in which She called the attention of the human race to the sins being committed?

    Souls awaken by degrees, and such godes to conscience are both loving and salutary.

    Mary Jane herself said that she competed in swimming until she realized the immodesty involved. That’s a soul of good will!

  31. robtbrown says:

    It needs to be pointed out that most of the Olympians we watch on TV are professionals–and I don’t mean just play for pay. Professionals orient their lives toward their professions. Those uniforms that some think immodest are worn for one reason–to maximize performance. They would wear a circus tent if it would help. Did you ever notice that none of the male swimmers have chest hair? They shave down before competition.

    I wonder how many understand the price that is paid by professionals.

    Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson both have had hip replacements. Tiger Woods has had multiple knee and back surgeries. And these injuries were not from the contact of pro football or from pro basketball, where players destroy their joints by running and jumping thousands of times every season. When I was KU, Gale Sayers was working in the athletic department. He had a pronounced limp. Joe Namath has had both knees replaced. Some years ago there was outrage about the high pressure practices of young girl gymnasts. I found the reaction amusing. Did they think these young gymnasts just hopped around for a hour or so in a gym?

    And it’s not limited to athletics.

    It’s not ususual for Physicians to ruin their health and ignore everything (incl their families) to treat patients. Some years ago I was at the home of a very good friend after Christmas midnight mass. For some time we listened to Bach and enjoyed Brandy and cigars when his father came down the stairs (2:30am). He was getting for the second emergency that night. He returned later to say the baby had been born dead. The mother had been on drugs, and the baby was a cyclops. Then he went back to bed, for the third time. That meant 3 sleeping pills and two other pills to wake up. The family? Non Catholic. The oldest of three children converted and became a priest. The other son committed suicide. The daughter died young of cirrhosis.

    And it’s not just medicine. There are lawyers who get to the office at 4:30am. In fact, the best tech manager I ever worked for told me one day that he had come in at 3:00am.

    And I could go on. If people want super sports or super good computers, there are professionals whose lives were distorted for those things.

  32. un-ionized says:

    Robtbrown, I know a young lady in ballet school who appears to be on her way to the elite ranks. She had a stress fracture in middle school and dances probably six hours a day. That takes a lot of fuel too. There is also the peer pressure in that field that causes anorexia nervosa. The mothers know about this and are vigilant, though it’s harder once they are at school in another city.

  33. un-ionized says:

    “They would wear a circus tent if it would help.” I love that. What you say in general about pros is true. I’m at the top of my game professionally and to even maintain this performance level, let alone to improve and learn new things, is taking more effort. I am fortunate that it isn’t a job that I have to take home.

  34. robtbrown says:

    un-ionized say s,

    Robtbrown, I know a young lady in ballet school who appears to be on her way to the elite ranks. She had a stress fracture in middle school and dances probably six hours a day. That takes a lot of fuel too. There is also the peer pressure in that field that causes anorexia nervosa. The mothers know about this and are vigilant, though it’s harder once they are at school in another city.

    It’s not just peer pressure, but the need to keep down the weight. Gelsey Kirkland said in “Dancing On My Grave” that Balanchine told her: “It’s not that you don’t eat very much; it’s that you don’t eat at all.” I was surprised when an ex ballerina told me that most of them smoke–it keeps them from eating. And that’s why so many took speed.

  35. Ave Crux says:

    Robtbrown: “If people want super sports or super good computers, there are professionals whose lives were distorted for those things.”

    Precisely…..

    When one considers that we were created by God “to know, love and serve Him” by seeking His glory in this life and the next, and yet we spend billions of dollars on a sports industry that is essentially the perpetuation of pagan Roman culture glorifying the body in pursuit of gold medals and/or the Hall of Fame, one has to ask if this is truly the Will of God for “those whose lives are distorted” to feed the appetite the public has for these things.

    We glorify physical prowess while spiritual prowess is met with disdain and outright persecution.

    Our Lord taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven….”

    Does our modern sports-obsessed culture fit that criteria?

    Sports displace so much time that could be ordered to higher things.

    Even the sanctity of Sundays is being pre-empted by sports. Worship is relegated to secondary or even non-importance – when in fact it is the purpose for which we were created.

    Sports and physical fitness are necessary past times – but as with all natural goods, they ought to be subordinated to higher goods. And that includes womanly dignity and due moderation in the time and resources allocated to it.

    We need to reclaim our culture for God and raise our own ideals to the level He expects from us.

  36. robtbrown says:

    Ave Crux,

    Mother Teresa was hardly met with disdain.

    How much time do you spend every day in prayer?

  37. robtbrown says:

    Ave Crux says:

    Robtbrown: “If people want super sports or super good computers, there are professionals whose lives were distorted for those things.”

    Precisely…..

    You’re using one of those computers, so aren’t you encouraging those people to continue to distort their lives?

  38. robtbrown says:

    Also:

    In fact, sports can be great family activities. I have had tennis friends whose entire family played tennis–they all showed at tennis tournaments. The same is true for golf. In fact, I have a friend who now works in the SCDF–he and his father used to play golf tournaments together.

    Although I think we Americans are too much spectators of sport rather than participants, nevertheless, families assembling to watch an important game, complete with pizza, wings, etc. easily qualifies for your requirement of being a good ordered to higher goods.

  39. Ave Crux says:

    I’ll answer your two questions: [If you are talking to someone use the persons “handle”! ALL: If you are addressing yourselves to specific commentator, the first thing you type into your comment should be that person’s “handle”.]

    1) I can’t say I agree that simply developing super computers requires people to “distort” their lives. This can easily be done within the context of normal professional boundaries. Not so with Olympic champions who eat, sleep, drink their pursuit. I only left that part of your quote out of respect for your perspective.

    2) I am a lay person with private vows, so I try to make my whole life a prayer.

  40. Ave Crux says:

    Absolutely, I don’t disagree.

    Recreational sports with family and friends are extremely healthy. They just shouldn’t commandeer a Sunday to the detriment of the Commandment to “Keep holy the Sabbath”. Which of the two receives greater emphasis, focus and solicitude? That’s the question….

  41. un-ionized says:

    Wow, holier than thou much? [That seems like a personal attack rather than a point concerning the issue.]

  42. un-ionized says:

    robtbrown, what you have said is very good. I would add that in my experience, high performance individuals are high performance in all areas so I know some people who put in a 60 hour work week in business and then serve as catechists, visiting nursing home patients, etc. And also praying a LOT, which is what drives the rest of it. The business I am in supports the ethical drug industry so even though some of us are working a little too hard sometimes we are doing what is required of us according to our talents. I don’t see many buried talents around my workplace.

  43. un-ionized says:

    Sometimes “normal professional boundaries” include a 60 hour work week.

  44. The Masked Chicken says:

    I don’t watch tv, so I have not been following the Olympics, but I did want to say something about performance and modesty issues in dedicated sports and other areas. As far a jobs in the work-a-day world, certain jobs, like IT can put tremendous pressure on coders, software engineers, and the like. They can work 80 hour weeks, with no overtime. They might prefer otherwise, but greed and corporations demand this. Is it immoral? Probably, but jobs in white collar areas are shrinking due to the advancement of AI, stupid H1-B laws, etc. Often times, workers are exposed to economic blackmail just to survive in the field and it will only get worse.

    As for athletics, that is a more complicated issue. Music is a type of performance activity, very similar to sports. Musicians, especially orchestra musicians, spend years, often in isolation with very little financial support, to refine their playing to as close to perfection as possible. That becomes immoral when it becomes a form of idolatry, but as long as there is some perspective, it is a form of honoring the gifts God has given the person. Up until about the late sixteenth-century, women performers were frowned upon, especially in Church music. The situation was more relaxed in some types of secular music, but up until the early nineteenth-century castrotti were still used and, except at home, it was considered unseemly for a woman to perform in public. Now, this is despite the fact that for certain types of musical instruments women are far superior to men in performance properties. Is it immoral for women to perform in public? This is a situation where there is no biological impediment under the Natural Law (except in the most rigid interpretation) for women to play musician instruments in public any more than there is an impediment for women doing mathematics in public and, yet, the timetable for integration of women in mathematics mirrors that of music. It was only in the earliest twentieth-century that a place was found for a woman mathematician – but that woman’s insights into conservation laws and symmetry (Emmy Noether who developed Noether’s Theorem) was crucial to the development of modern theoretical physics.

    I am not a feminist. It don’t care what physical attributes enclose the mind and soul. Music is music, math is math. Few can tell the gender by listening to a recording or reading a math paper. It is, largely, irrelevant.

    In athletics, however, the body is on display, so to speak, but even with this, striving for excellence is a property of the mind and soul, so those are not on display, except for the fruits and biology and the body are irrelevant for that. Indeed, there could be exclusively female and male sports, if maintaining the Scriptural separation of the sexes needs to be kept, so women participating in sports, per se, are not prohibited by Nature or decorum. No, there is no Scriptural prohibition (or Church teaching) against public displays of excellence (again, making excellence into an idol is a moral matter, but that applies to persons, not sports), per se, by either sex.

    The problems occur in two areas: women and men competing in the same types of sports and the equipment used (including dress).

    The whole, Title IX mess in the U. S., where women and men are, essentially, equalized in sports is a violation of the Natural Law because it ignores the biological differences between men and women. There could be both male and female American football leagues or boxing leagues, but these look silly on the face of things. Women and men have different physical characteristics that make contact sports for women not only more dangerous, but contrary to their biology. On the other hand, tennis, being a game of small muscle movement and no contact admits either sex. The current U. S. chess champion is a woman. It used to be unseemly for a woman to play chess. Should it be, as a matter of biology?

    This is not a matter of ignoring Scripture or the teachings of the Church, but, rather, refining the boundaries, which is a matter of doctrine, which admits of tighter focus as we learn more.

    Now, on the other hand, modesty in sports has to be judged both from within and without. Simply put, as a matter of public display, many, many costumes and dressing styles for sporting events are extremely immodest, to the point of scandal and possibly mortal sin – on both the male and female side (although more for the female side). From tennis to figure skating to gymnastics, I do not see how temptation can be easily avoided by people beyond puberty. So, from without of the sport, there is no question that there is immodesty.

    Judged from within the culture of a particular sport, however, modesty is more problematic. St. Thomas, when speaking of modesty in the Summa Theologica, mentions that things have to be judged against societal norms. Within the sport, within that particular culture, dress becomes more of an equipment issue than a modesty issue. All body builders dress a certain way, male and female. It is to be expected. This is the same with tennis, figure skating, and gymnastics. Could fashions be changed and made more modest? Actually, in many cases, no, because it would hurt performance. One way around this is if the arena were closed to everyone except the athletes – modesty issues would be greatly reduced because the athletes would see their competitor’s attire in terms of equipment, not accentuationof sexual attributes.

    Similarly, if only women could watch women’s events and men could watch men’s events, modesty issues would be reduced, but this is a matter outside of the sport, itself. I am in favor of this approach, but, again, society, in judging the sport from without, from the outside, has chosen to ignore modesty issues, because it has become unnatural and perverse.

    So, I sympathize with the moral issues that modern sports bring up, but the issues are complicated and can depend on particular contexts.

    The Chicken

  45. Ave Crux says:

    Yes, I was in the 60 hour work week for years. But I offered it to God. Long hours which come from responsibility is not inimical to a holy life. Many a mother works more than a 60 hour work week.

    The key is to be fulfilling the duties of a state of life (even when it means very long hours) pleasing to God, not the world or ego.

  46. Ave Crux says:

    Again, I simply cite a Commandment intended by God to give guidance in the question at hand, and you divert it to focus on (attack) me personally.

    This is an objective discussion. All I did was cite information that pertains. Focus on that.

  47. Ave Crux says:

    “…society, in judging the sport from without, from the outside, has chosen to ignore modesty issues, because it has become unnatural and perverse…..”

    And that is the point I have tried to make from the very beginning.

    The exhibitions we see at the Olympics have become “acceptable” only because mankind is so vitiated by sin and concupiscence, so paganized that we can no longer see how it is an inversion (and loss) of Christian values.

    That is all I’ve been trying to say.

  48. robtbrown says:

    Ave Crux,

    1. Having spent some years in software development before I went to Rome study, I can assure you that it often produces a distorted life. I saw people on another team work 7 days a week for more than a month, including Easter Sunday.

    And they weren’t even working to develop products for the marketplace, where there is non stop pressure to stay ahead of (or at least not lag) the market. Things are changing so fast in technology that a product can be obsolete by the time Beta testing is finished. Sometimes read up on what went on at Apple when they were developing their products.

    And it was non uncommon to be called in the middle of the night.

    2. I think most here recognize the current anti-Christian culture, but uniforms for sports competition is not all that big a deal. The two most significant situations are abortion and the celebration of homosexuality, both of which are sins calling to heaven for vengeance.

  49. robtbrown says:

    Ave Crux says:

    Recreational sports with family and friends are extremely healthy. They just shouldn’t commandeer a Sunday to the detriment of the Commandment to “Keep holy the Sabbath”. Which of the two receives greater emphasis, focus and solicitude? That’s the question….

    So how should someone keep the Sabbath holy? Or rather how should someone keep from not keeping the Sabbath holy?

  50. un-ionized says:

    robtbrown, there must be a happy medium between treating Sunday like any other day and doing what the Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem do on their Sabbath, with roped off areas to limit walking a to a certain distance and can’t throw a light switch, or cook, etc.

  51. Ave Crux says:

    robtbrown: RE: The work week you cite for technology teams.

    You cite an example of how technology is yet another “god” that is driving our society. Not to open a can of worms, I decided above not to venture there — but given your example, I shall…

    Essentially what I have said about the Olympics could apply to the ills of our civilization in general. We are driven now by pagan, materialistic, secularist agendas.

    The problem is huge, and — I believe — can now only be remedied by an intervention of catastrophic proportions by God.

    So what was the point I was trying to make?…..that as CATHOLICS, we have to opt out for the sake of our own sanctification and in reparation to God.

    WE have to put on THE MIND OF CHRIST. We have to stop signing on to many things lauded by the world that are actually inimical in principle to a Christian civilization.

    We have to stop craving and snatching up the latest and greatest, to the extent it is not truly helpful and necessary for us (for example, it is our frenetic appetite for new technology that both drives and makes the technology objectives you cite “necessary”).

    We have to stop applauding standards and lifestyles that really have no place in a Christian Civilization — and that includes Olympic events where women are either “masculinized” or nearly naked before the entire world, or where physical excellence is exalted as an end in itself, the measure of a man’s excellence.

    Even professional sports has reached proportions of having become a virtual “god”, commanding billions of dollars and countless hours, weeks and years of time and money which ought to have been put to better use in the plan of salvation….God’s plan for the world.

    This is not to say our existence ought to be bereft of recreational sports — which are necessary and a wonderful source of healthy recreation. Even St. John Bosco considered them indispensable for the spiritual well-being of his boys.

    But the question is due proportion, and what is proper in the context of God’s Will for the human race, men and women in particular.

    The Moslems put Catholics to shame in many respects — setting aside the more horrific aspects of extremists. They pray several times a day, their women practice modesty to an extreme (N.B. I do not endorse or advocate their unnatural standards of modesty), they outlaw sins that Catholics have enabled to become law by voting for individuals like Obama and Hillary Clinton (it was the Catholic vote that put Obama into office, and now some “conservative” Catholic bloggers — even on EWTN! — are saying we should vote for Clinton!).

    I am only advocating that we begin to think like people whom God expects to become saints before we die. That means a radical response to the Gospel, to the Commandments and to the Counsels. It’s not optional. That’s why there is a Purgatory.

    And…it’s real heroism that will reap more than a mere gold medal in the end.

    That’s all I have been trying to say.

  52. Ave Crux says:

    And there is. Catholicism is a joy-filled Faith. “Joy” is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    No one said holiness ought to be dour; keeping the Sabbath holy is intended to be a joyful, refreshing tenet of the Faith.

    Saint Teresa of Avila exclaimed “God save us from sorry saints!” We are not Jansenists.

    Each Sunday is first and foremost about refreshing the soul and drawing closer to God after a busy week of fulfilling one’s temporal duties. This in itself should rejoice the heart….having a little more time for the needs of the soul. If we really love God we look forward as much to that as we do to the physical and mental relaxation and recreation Sunday makes possible.

    More time for prayer and the Faith as a family does not mean no time for recreation.

    Catholicism is the quintessence of balance. That is why our liturgical calender is filled with “Feasts”, and why each Sunday renews our celebration of Easter.

    It is for each family to find the balance that works for them in refreshing both soul and spirit so that by the end of Sunday our friendship with God is deepened and our bodies are likewise refreshed.

  53. pannw says:

    Well, since swimming events are my favorite of all Olympic sports, I’ll throw in my 2 cents on modesty and uniforms. Yes, some of the sports uniforms are completely immodest, and I would say unnecessarily so, like women’s Beach Volleyball. Clearly, they could wear much more modest uniforms and still be effective, since the men do. I don’t even like watching it because they are unnecessarily skimpy. The same can be said for regular volleyball. That was a problem all the way down to my daughter’s parochial middle school volleyball team. It is not necessary and so comes across as intentional exhibitionism. Likewise, the gymnastic uniforms don’t need to come up halfway over the backside, etc…

    Which brings me to swimming. I don’t see how anyone can say that those suits are made to be immodest or promote lust or whatever might be the problem. They are down to their knees and come up well above the cleavage. Not only that, but the effect is to completely downplay the cleavage/flatten them out, rather than accentuate it. Add in the fact that they are makeup free, wearing a swim cap, which isn’t flattering on anyone, and clearly they are simply wearing a uniform meant for performance. They also come into the arena covered from head to toe in warmup suits and big coats. On the medal ceremony dais, they are wearing full coverage warmup suits. I wish the divers would adopt the same degree of modesty, both male and female.

    I’m not going to get into the argument about whether they should be allowed to swim in public or not. I hope God will forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m not ready to concede the need for burkinis, and while I generally hate the argument that men should be able to control their lust if a woman is dressed provocatively, in the case of athletic performance, unless unnecessarily revealing as those examples above, I think people need to turn the tv off if they can’t appreciate the athletic performance without it being a near occasion of sin, rather than force the women into a closet. I’ll add that women should do the same, as those men’s suits are actually more revealing and flattering than the women’s any day of the week.

    Modesty or the lack thereof is a huge problem, but I do think context is important. If a swimmer wore even the unflattering racing suits to walk around the Olympic village, say, then that would be a problem as it is unnecessarily revealing for the activity, but not to swim 800 meters like a machine!

    Go Katie!

    /my 2 cents

  54. un-ionized says:

    pannw, those suits aren’t even stretchy, they fit like a power lifting suit.

  55. robtbrown says:

    Ave Crux says:

    And there is. Catholicism is a joy-filled Faith. “Joy” is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    1. Actually, it’s one of the Fruits.

    2. Re the various comments of various people about Sundays: That it is not a work day makes it unique, but what else besides Sunday mass and family dinner? At one time in the Church there were Cathedral canons along with religious houses with public Divine Office, which made Sundays Vespers available for the laity. Unfortunately the US has no history of Cathedral canons, and the religious life here has been dominated by the Jesuits. My understanding is that parishes at one time would have Benediction on Sunday evenings, but now that’s uncommon.

    Fontgombault used to fill up the Church for Sunday Vespers w/Benediction. My guess is that once the same was true with the Benedictine abbeys in the US before the liturgy was vernacularized and zithers and guitars made their appearance.

  56. Ave Crux says:

    @robtbrown: “1. Actually, it’s one of the Fruits. “

    Yes, you’re exactly right. I realized after posting I said “gifts” instead of “fruits” but had no way to correct it once posted.

    2. Yes, Sung Vespers in our parish is actually one of the ways our Traditional pastor encouraged us to sanctify Sunday. He said in Europe this was the custom for centuries; people would attend Mass in the morning and return to Church in the evening for Vespers. Our parish also has Adoration during the afternoon following the last morning Mass.

    At the encouragement of our pastor, our family began to return to Church on Sundays later in the day for either one or the other, or even a second Mass, and I have to tell you we loved it! Even though one of my brother at first thought it would be daunting, he commented afterward what tremendous graces he received from this, as we all did.

    Each family can discern with prayer what may be possible. This will vary according to number and ages of children, but the idea being that Sunday should not be simply a quick Mass to fulfill a standing obligation and then the rest of day given over to everything else without any remembrance of or something extra for God.

  57. robtbrown says:

    Ave Crux says,

    Yes, Sung Vespers in our parish is actually one of the ways our Traditional pastor encouraged us to sanctify Sunday. He said in Europe this was the custom for centuries; people would attend Mass in the morning and return to Church in the evening for Vespers.

    You have sung Vespers in Latin?

  58. Ave Crux says:

    @robtbrown: “You have sung Vespers in Latin?”

    Yes! Every Sunday! According to the 1962 Rubrics. Deo Gratias!