Cycling is as diverse a sport as they come

“A race for white guys” is how Travis Paterson described the Tour de France in a recent sports column. I hope that’s not what others see.

Re: Time to lose the ‘isms’ (Sports, Aug. 7)

“A race for white guys” is how Travis Paterson described the Tour de France in a recent sports column. I hope that’s not what others see.

A quick look at the entry list shows the incredible diversity in the peloton. Thirty-four nations were represented in 2013. Is there another single sporting event that’s even close?

Even accepting your very narrow view of human diversity, sporting events are cultural.

The person you interviewed remarked: “In Asia and South Asia bikes are a dominant mode of transportation, yet you’re not seeing many Asians on the tour.” Did it occur to her (or you) that Asians might not want to spend three weeks racing around France? Perhaps their childhood heroes did something else.

Next, you emphasize the racism point by calling the Tour de France ‘Euro-centric.’ You know where France is right? “Some sort of long-term plan for equality” is a recommendation made.

Here you’ve missed the point of professional sports. Fractions of a second separate winners from losers. We add over-time and then ‘sudden death.’ Equality isn’t the goal.

Professional cycling, hockey, football, badminton, etc., are not ‘inclusive’ clubs. Members are often very similar, culturally and physically. Lots of people over 40 cycle, yet you’re not seeing many on the tour. It seems you should add ageism (to sexism and racism) in this criticism of the Tour de France.

The column ends with the hope that queer and transgendered athletes might one day be able to participate. Is that because there aren’t any gay professional cyclists now?

John Taylor, Oak Bay

 

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