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Question?(21 posts)

Jan 23, 2002 10:45 AM
Every year prior to the summer Olympiad a question is asked of all competing athletes "If you could take something that would guarantee a Gold medal, if the downside was that you would die in five years, would you do it? The overwhelming response is yes! How do you feel?
Youngsters may say yes, we oldsters know better!MB1
Jan 23, 2002 10:50 AM
No way would I do that!

BTW are there 2 people using your sign-on?
Youngsters may say yes, we oldsters know better!morey
Jan 23, 2002 10:58 AM
I probably would have answered yes in my 20's because I though DEATH was something that happened to other people. Now there is no way I would take anything that would enhance my demise, nature will do that.
As far as I know, no one else is using my sign-on!
Youngsters may say yes, we oldsters know better!morey
Jan 23, 2002 11:49 AM
Changed my screen name to netso! Your not the only one that said if two people were using my name.
attitude, not literalDog
Jan 23, 2002 10:58 AM
I think it means that they have a "give 110%" sort of attitude, and the question is not meant literally.

I someone came forward and told them convicingly, with proof, that they had a drug that would do that, the answers might be different.

I imagine that most Olympic athletes are young and feel imortal. They probably don't take the dying in 5 years part seriously.

I've felt the same way, when I thought I would do anything for certain athletic achievements. When it comes down a real life decision, though, things could change quite a bit.

Many people say they "would do anything" or "would give anything" to get whatever. They don't really mean it, or they likely would already have done it. Similarly, but this is off topic a bit, when I'm involved in an employment dispute following a termination, denial of promotion, or something like that, I'll ask the employee if there is anything they would to differently or additionally if they were given their job back. Of course, the next question is, "why haven't you already done it?"

Anyway, I understand the sentiment. I just don't think most would mean it literally.

Asked another way...Elefantino
Jan 23, 2002 11:15 AM
A while back, "the magazine that shall not be named for fear of flaming" ran on online poll in which it asked the following poll question:

What would you rather do, finish last in the Olympics or first in your local club race?

The results were evenly split. But what if the question had been this:

Would you take a magic pill that would allow you to win the 2002 TdF but kill you in five years?

Hmm? Tempted? Just a little?
As in all things, who are you asking?...Djudd
Jan 23, 2002 12:14 PM
Ask a person with children and the answer has to be no. (Unless your Hitler or Stalin's parent). Ask a 19 year-old athlete with nothing but their sport meaningful in their life maybe the answer is different.
Good point--my answer's different than 20 years agocory
Jan 23, 2002 12:26 PM
When you ask Olympians, you're asking people who have ALREADY devoted their lives to their sport. When you ask the population at large, that's people who for one reason or another have spent their time on other things.
Personally, when I was a 25-year-old marathoner, I'd have said "Gimme that trophy." Now that I'm a 57-year-old cyclist, husband, father etc., there are three or four things I'd die for before I'd get around to that, and then I'd change my mind.
re: Question?netso
Jan 23, 2002 12:40 PM
I think that when you dangle money (an Olympic Gold is worth at least 1 Million) to an already compulsive obsessive individual that many athletes are (besides being young) the answer would be a resounding yes. I remember answering this question in the affirmative when I was young. I just wanted to win! Now I am an old fart, I would emphatically say no! It is really hard to judge a young person because they are so impressionable, and money is a form of respectability to many!
re: Question?KSC
Jan 23, 2002 3:29 PM
I say no because it would be a hollow victory knowing a pill won it for you and not hard work & innate athletic ability.
I think Ned Overend said it bestpeloton
Jan 23, 2002 4:47 PM
I don't know about the reliability of those surveys. I was asked that when I was 18, and said yes. At the same time though, I didn't want anything to do with steroids and the other BS that was readily availible to myself. There is something about performance enhancing substances that leave a hollow air to any victory achieved by those means.

I really think Ned Overend said it best in the context of banned substances. I read an interview with Ned last year in which he stated that using banned substances to win a competition is simpy theft. Using the substance to win a competition, and the laurels and financial retribution that comes with it is just stealing that competition from a clean athlete. He further compared it to breaking into someone's house and taking their possesions. Really it is no different. It's stealling a commodity from someone who rightfully deserved it.

I really feel that using a substance to win a competition is just rationalizing the theft of the rewards of that win from a deserving clean athlete. I've got no respect for those who need to cheat to win. It's theft no matter how you rationalize it.
something new?Dog
Jan 23, 2002 5:01 PM
Would it matter if the substance were not banned, but rather something new and never considered before?

something new?peloton
Jan 23, 2002 7:38 PM
There is a lot of new stuff out there right now that isn't talked about. Look at Frigo in the Giro. He had some substances that were only made in a couple places in the world in very limited quantities and were still in preliminary testing for public consumption in cancer situations. My feeling is just because it isn't banned yet, doesn't make it much better. If it's something that you know you are taking for an ergogenic aid to give you an advantage that wouldn't otherwise be physically possible through diet and training then it's just as bad. It's looking for an edge you wouldn't have otherwise, and it's stealing from those who don't take that aid.

I'll get off my soapbox now.... I just don't think much of dopers or drugs.
How about, win the 2002 TdF but take 15 years of your life?...Bruno S
Jan 23, 2002 6:03 PM
That is more realistic. Let say the drug will create a problem in your body and instead of living to 75-80 you live to 60-65. Most young people will choose winning the tour. I am still thinking about it.
Previous response still worksDjudd
Jan 23, 2002 6:44 PM
I think a previous response still applies...what good is it if the drug wins the race and not you, regardless if the drug is banned or not you have won nothing.
The essence of the question...what would you sacrifice for a TdF win? Maybe Lance Armstrong and other pros answer that every time they race. I remember a post cancer interview with Armstrong wherein he wondered if the stress of pro cycling adversely affected his complete recovery. He concluded the possible sacrifice was worth it and he actually didn't want to think about it. Slightly more abstract I concede but within the purview of the question.

OK, forget the drug. God (or the devil) is asking....Bruno S
Jan 23, 2002 8:05 PM
15 years less for 1 TdF win?

About Armstrong, I don't see how he could have not recovered completly and do what he has done and still is doing. I would ask another question. Could the stress of pro-cycling, training and the used by ergogenic substances (not banned) commonly used by athletes caused him to have cancer?
Valid question...Djudd
Jan 23, 2002 8:57 PM
Just like boxers taking to many shots to the head, does the stress of a long season and depleted immune system affect have overall long term effects. How many very old TdF winners are there?
Voodoo sciencemr_spin
Jan 24, 2002 8:34 AM
"How many very old TdF winners are there?"

How many TdF winners are there in the first place? It's such a small sample, you couldn't derive any valid conclusions. If you do, you are using voodoo science.

Maybe Coppi got malaria and died because he won the Tour?
Maybe Lemond got shot because he won the Tour?
Maybe Merckx got fat because he won the Tour?

We can only draw these conclusions if we are incredibly myopic.
no brainermr_spin
Jan 24, 2002 8:29 AM
Who knows how they are going to live? Take an unknown value, subtract 15, and you still have an unknown value. Given that there are no guarantees, you might as well front load the contract!

I could die when the podium collapses and crushes me, but I've still won the Tour!
re: Question?Ian
Jan 23, 2002 7:03 PM
I read the question and my immediate response was "No way!" I then thought, "Please don't tell me anyone answered yes to this question."

I am in my 20's, late 20's but still my 20's. I would not do anything that would shorten my life by one day, life is to precious and short enough as it is.

Anyway, I'll get down off my soapbox. Elefantino posed a good question. But if you think about it, the answer is simple, last in the Olympics. If you finish last in the Olympics you would have already won many club races.

re: Question?Duane Gran
Jan 24, 2002 5:53 AM
As they say (in BladeRunner) "the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long." I think the question is a reflection of values and most people value a long life with moderate peaks and valleys. Others really live for the peaks and no amount of longetivy will fill the void. That is a minority.

The only reason I would decline is because it would be cheating and I couldn't really be happy as a cheater. Otherwise, I think it is perfectly valid to live a short but fantastic life.