For most Olympic athletes, winning a gold medal comes with an immense amount of media and public praise for their skill and athletic prowess. However, for the record-breaking 16-year old swimmer, Ye Shiwen, her gold medal victories have left her the target of vicious doping allegations.
The rumors first began after Shiwen won the 400-meter individual medley, smashing her competition. What made the feat more incredible was that she swam faster in her last 50 meters than USA gold medal winner Ryan Lochte. Undoubtedly, her win garnered attention, but rather than be applauded for what she accomplished, the American Swimming Coaches Association Director John Leonard accused Shiwen of using performance-enhancing drugs.
The accusations are completely unfounded; there has been no evidence that Shiwen has ever used steroids nor is there any real reason to accuse of such thing except the fact the she swims really fast. What these accusations do prove, however, is America’s inherent distrust and dislike of China.
As an emerging superpower, China is primed to make a real impact on the future of America and the global world. If the Olympic games are any indication, China will use its perfectionistic tendencies and relentless drive to be a success.
America has always believed itself to be the greatest superpower; dominant in everything from culture to business, and of course, sports; America has set the standard of what it takes to be the best. Yet, as the economy continues to suffer and the world becomes increasingly interconnected and globalized, that belief is getting harder to back up. Slowly but surely, countries that America previously considered third-world nonfactors are flexing their muscle and that scares the crap out of us. Slowly but surely, America is realizing that they may not be able to stay ahead of a countries that contain a significant portion of the world’s population, let alone keep up with them. So what else can they do? Put on a brave face and use a country’s foreignness and communist past as an excuse to make them seem more threatening than they are.
Immediately after the rumors surfaced, Shiwen vehemently denied the claims. FINA also jumped to her defense, saying: “FINA would like to clearly state that there is no factual basis to support this kind of insinuations related to the performances of the Chinese swimmer Shiwen Ye…This athlete has fulfilled all of the FINA doping control obligations, having been tested on four occasions in the last 12 months, including twice before the Chinese Olympic trials in 2012."
If FINA –– the one organization that would know without a doubt if Shiwen was doping her way to success –– believes the young swimmer, then it’s about time the rest of us do to.