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Jews rejected Hellenism... The Roman Emperor Theodosius abolished the Olympics after christianity became the official religion of the Empire.
Something I've always found ironic - Herzl wanted to create a "New Jew", a man seemingly a perfect fit for the rigours of Olympic competition. Yet every 4 years Israel do terribly, while diaspora Jews keep winning lots of medals.
The idea of creating a "new Jew" or "new man" was stupid, blank-slate nonsense. We may not be entirely the product of genetic interactions (J thinks we are), but they are too large a player to be ignored. The modern Olympics are artificial with none of the great significance that they had in Antiquity. Some countries, like the U.S., spend lavishly on training and sponsorship. Other countries don't. Not being distracted by military service would also be helpful. Olympic athletes represent the culmination of years of intense practice on top of a structure of genetic ability. Without the time in practice, they can't reach their full potential.
Phelps the last Olympic swimming champion has hands and legs like a paddle, and big and efficient lungs. He was born to swim. But once, not long ago, the Olympics was a rather amaterurish and festive meeting, like the Maccabiads today. Anyone young person with swimming background and paying his fare could represent Argentina! And (symbolically) become a Greek demi-god and immortal!
About the New Jew: We tend to adopt our environment's customs and superstitions.Frequently we go too far and out do them.
Jews have defined modern Americanism
J, you were in the Olympics? Awesome.The average doesn't tell us much. Obviously, super-heavyweight boxers, hockey players, etc. are exposed to lots of factors not conducive to longevity. We need a comparison between events or at least sports, and weight classes. Oh, and cohorts (before mass steroid use, during the brute force 70's, 80's and 90's, and today's refined medical cheating.) And mortality curves compared with non-Olympian controls.
Take into account that to master an Olympic level skill takes the proverbial 10,000 hours. So the 2.8 years you get back at the end of your life (when you probably least enjoy them) are more than spent at the beginning, where you are spending all your spare time working out in the gym.K
I explained that 40 years ago it didnt take much to join a large waterpolo group - there were more non-swimmers than swimmers. Good connections mostly. In Argentina waterpolo was not a popular sport at all, the competition was weak. Argentina won no medals then or ever in that speciality. So I have nothing to brag about.
It's not about bragging-you got the story, though.
And anyway, look at you being all fake-modest, bringing it up in a backhanded and implied way. "Not that, ahem, it matters, you know..." Come on, what percentage of humanity can lay claim to that?
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