Thank you for all the congratulations for our 60th wedding anniversary. Our celebration was dampened by the movement of my brother into hospice care. Please keep him and our family in your thoughts and prayers.
Great Track Meet. Recently the World Track and Field meet was held in Eugene, Oregon. If you missed the event, you missed some great performances.
Mondo Duplantis looked like he will go even higher in the pole vault. He seemed to easily clear the bar at his world record height.
The pole vault has come a long way since the days of bamboo, aluminum and steel of my childhood. Fiberglass provides a slingshot effect that was not possible when I was young. I am in awe of the skill and courage it takes to be on that pole when it bends backwards.
Another big development since my youth is the landing foam. In days gone by, the pits were piles of sand and sawdust. Those pits were tough enough for those of us in the high jump. I can’t imagine landing on sand and sawdust from the modern pole vault heights.
Women’s World Records. Tobi Amusan set the world record for women in the 100-meter hurdles. I have tried to run the hurdles. In addition to my lack of speed, I was missing the athleticism it takes to clear the hurdles while running. She is a talented athlete.
In another women’s hurdling event, Sidney McLaughlin broke the world’s record for the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Her time of 50.68 seconds is faster than most people can run 400 meters without hurdles and certainly faster than I ever ran.
She then ran a 47.91 split in the 4 X 400 relay. Her time is just off the women’s world record held by Marita Koch. The record has been questioned because of some evidence of doping at the time.
I hope McLaughlin runs the 400. I believe she will set the world record. She has no history of doping.
The women were amazing testaments to women’s athletic ability. The skill and grace were beautiful to watch. I am in awe of the talent.
A Clarification. I looked up the 400-meter record for men at my university. The school record is 46.48 by one of my former students. His time is faster than the world record for women. A fact that takes nothing away from McLaughlin’s accomplishments, but it does demonstrate the need to have women’s sports separate from men. Women would be underrepresented if we just had one team with open tryouts without regard to gender.
I was talking about the reason for women having separate sports on my trip. One of the men told me he disagreed with the idea that women are inferior.
I hope I clarified with him that I am not claiming women are inferior athletes. I have claimed the best men are better than all women at track and field events. The evidence is clear. All of the men’s records are better than the women’s records.
But—very clearly — many women athletes are better than most men. Sidney McLaughlin would outrun most of the men in the world. She and other women are not inferior just because a few men are faster than they are. To say women are inferior would be to say all women are behind all men. That is not true. The distinction is very important.
The reason we have women’s sports is they would be underrepresented if schools just had one team and the team was open to everyone without regard for gender.
Closing Note. Our pastor is on sabbatical. I have the privilege of preaching the next two Sundays, August 7 and 14. You can watch the services live at 9:15am. They will be broadcast on Facebook under Providence Presbyterian Church, Mobile, Alabama. You can also watch the video at a later time at the same site.
Kindness of strangers