Showing posts from August, 2012

Why Lance Armstrong Is Being Unfairly Treated

So you ride for years and are the premier cyclist in the world (even if illegally), you win seven Tour de Frances by the rules at the time, you never fail one of hundreds of drugs and doping blood and urine tests and it seems you about to be condemned and stripped of all your titles on the basis of people saying you did it. Is this just?

On the one hand, it seems fair. The basis for this is a two-year federal investigation begun in February by USADA. They have the testimony of ten former teammates including emails from Floyd Landis (stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title), Tyler Hamilton’s testimony, and people willing to provide data of the cyclist and his teams doping activity. It is claimed that Armstrong used and encouraged others to use EPO, blood transfusion, testosterone and cortisone between 1998 and 2005 and used EPO, testosterone and human growth hormones through 1996. Witnesses also testify that Armstrong encouraged team members to do the same. Further, tests of Armstron…

Evangelical Presbyterians’ Statement On Same Sex Marriage

I am involved in a group called Presbyterian Affirm. It is an evangelical group within the NZ Presbyterian Church which seeks to promote the gospel and the renewal of churches. A group of us under theleadership of Stuart Lange have worked to put together a statement on same-sex marriage. Our hope is that the government will not pass the legislation, believing that the legislation is not necessary and strays from God’s ideals for humanity. Here is the recently released statement. I would appreciate your thoughts on it.

Presbyterian AFFIRM, a widely-supported conservative network within the Presbyterian denomination, is speaking out against the Bill which would allow same-sex couples to marry, declaring its views in a “Statement on Marriage” (see below). Presbyterian AFFIRM believes that “marriage is a unique human institution and treasure” which has “alwaysbeen about the pairing of a man and a woman”, and that re-defining marriage to inc…

One Mans Olympic Reflectons

So the Olympics are over. Here are some reflections.
First, ‘way to go’ Kiwis! Awesome job! As an old man indoor-rower, I especially loved watching Cohen, Sullivan, Bond, Murray, Drysdales and the others smash the world. Lisa Carrington’s win was brilliant. While others were disappointed, Valerie Vili remains a superstar with her silver, beaten on the day by a better thrower. Not to mention our sailors Jo Aley and Polly Powrie, Sarah Walker, etc; and of course Mark Todd—what a legend. He gives hope to my generation, although a come-back is only possible if you have already been there! And Nick Willis will always be a hero for me despite not having his best day in the final. We see in these athletes the best of being Kiwi—humility, guts, resilience, overcoming the odds, determination, courage and beating a much bigger world.
Secondly, I am intrigued that all of our golds were won sitting down either in a boat or on a bike. Does that reflect that NZers like sitting on their buttocks? Is t…

Should Funding be Frozen for High Performance Sport?

So the Olympics are over. This means more sleep for us all, but what are we now going to watch?—same old, same old, I suppose—Coronation Street, yawn. Even more than usual, the Kiwis have excelled, with its equal best-ever medal haul, ending up 16th on the medal table. If we adjust this to population, we came in 4th. While there were ups and downs with a couple of athletes not living up to expectations, most excelled.

In the news today is the headline “Olympic Heroes Face Cash Freeze.” Currently high performance sport receives $60m a year and this will be frozen for the next two years. At one level this is highly understandable as times are tough and the NZ government is flatlining most of its budget. Indeed some would say, $60m is far too much anyway. From a Christian social justice point of view, one can certainly argue that there is far more need out there than for high performance sport. It all makes perfect sense at one level. On the other hand, I am not so sure. The Olympics and…