Cameron van der Burgh celebrates winning
the men’s 100 breaststroke at the
2012 London Olympics.
Swimmer Mr. van der Burgh won, but later admitted that he’d cheated by using a series of kicks at the beginning of his race that were illegal and would have disqualified him if he’d been caught.
Chances of detection were slim, however, since there were no underwater cameras to catch him.
Why did he cheat?
He did make what we might call the "little kid’s excuse" by saying that he did it because everyone was doing it, but there’s more to it than that. I think we should remember his words whenever we hear of any competitive athlete who cheats:
"It’s got to the sort of point where if you’re not doing it you’re falling behind or you’re giving yourself a disadvantage so everyone’s pushing the rules and pushing the boundaries, so if you’re not doing it, you’re not trying hard enough…
If you’re not doing it, you’re falling behind. It’s not obviously – shall we say – the moral thing to do, but I’m not willing to sacrifice my personal performance and four years of hard work for someone that is willing to do it and get away with it." (Emphasis mine)
He says that he supports a system that would allow the judges to use underwater filming to stop cheating:
"I’m really for it. If they can bring it, it will better the sport. But I’m not willing to lose to someone that is doing it."
Cameron van der Burgh Admits to Cheating in Winning 100 Breast Olympic Title, Swimming World>>