Sports and Risk Decisions

A few quick thoughts from recent sports news...

By now everybody has heard about Michael Phelps and the bong photo-op. What this should teach us is the importance of evaluating risks before making a decision. No matter what your personal opinions are on the legalization/demonization of weed, the bottom line here is that, today, in the US, it's illegal (except in certain states for certain medical reasons), and as such, one should look at the broad spectrum of risks involve in imbibing. For Michael Phelps, it seems clear that he overlooked a few minor details when making his risk decision... details like that he's an internationally recognizable sports star, that he's often looked at as a role model, and that getting caught could (and eventually did) mean losing millions of dollars in endorsements. Of course, after his DUI arrest a few years ago, none of this should surprise us... I do, however, find it amusing that Rosetta Stone chose him for their ads, since he doesn't seem to be the brightest bulb. He should just be glad that he's not a Japanese sumo wrestler, as the consequences for this offense would have been permanent and life-long.

The other story of interest is on American downhill phenom Lindsey Vonn, who had to get her hand stitched up after shredding it on a bottle of champagne. I'd be curious about the details, but one thing here is for sure: there should not be a global ban on champagne bottles. In contrast to the bad risk decision made by Phelps, this sounds like somewhat of a freak accident. Maybe we'll find out that Vonn was engaging in risky behavior, but I'm guessing/hoping it's pretty innocent. Nonetheless, don't be surprised if somebody somewhere institutes some sort of new rules about champagne bottles at post-event celebrations.

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This page contains a single entry by Ben Tomhave published on February 11, 2009 1:17 PM.

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