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Breaking Records or Breaking Athletes: What Do the Enhanced Games Mean for Athletes?

Enhanced Games Promotional Image

Peter Thiel, Co-founder of PayPal, announced in late January that he would be investing in President Aron D’Souza’s drug testing free version of the Olympics, known as the Enhanced Games. As stated by the Enhanced Games website, these games aim to “Incorporate the technological and social advances of the 21st Century.”

The Enhanced Games will allow professional athletes to use performance enhancing drugs at the international level, to compete in track and field, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics, and combat sports.

The Enhanced Games plan for current world records to be broken by these enhanced athletes, even going so far to claim that they have an athlete who has already broken the 100m dash record set by Usain Bolt in 2009. This claim comes from the promotional video on the Enhanced Games website. Mr. Muth, anatomy physiology teacher, explained his thoughts on records set by athletes competing in the Enhanced Games: “All new records set by ‘Enhanced’ athletes should be identified as such. They should not replace old records that were established enhancement-free.”

The anonymous athlete that the Enhanced Games claims to be the fastest man alive

The founding of these games has garnered some backlash: organizations such as TrueSport, a branch of the U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), commented “While those behind the Enhanced Games might be looking to make a quick buck, that profit would come at the expense of kids across the world thinking they need to dope to chase their dreams.” On the other hand, opinions about these games differ: “Athletes entering into this new era of enhanced athletics are aware of the risks and choose this path of their own volition.” Mr. Muth claimed.

The first Enhanced Games is planned to take place in the summer of 2025 and set to be held on a university campus or similar facility in the southern US. As seen at the Chicago Marathon last october, the late Kelvin Kiptum was crowned the new world record holder in the marathon, running a time of 2:00:35. This record was set through the vigorous training of 250 to over 300 kilometers per week with no off days of training. Doping may help athletes  “break” world records, but these enhancements don’t come close to the sheer determination held by clean athletes.

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