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    James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

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    by jamesrl ·

    Somehow the whole world has lost the ideas of sportsmanship, fair play and the idea that the Olympics is about competition, not just winning.

    The emphasis on medal count is just one example of this. I think its great that Micheal Phelps can win in the pool. Does that mean the US is better than everyone else? If so, then what about Jamaica, which dominated womens and mens sprints?

    The athletes are individuals, and once upon a time, we honored them, instead of what happens today which is essentially making them pariahs if they don’t perform as expected.

    The nation of China is in shock because a hurdler had an injury – do we wonder why some athletes suffer from nerves when they feel the weight of the whole nations expectations on them?

    Canada was laughed at earlier this week when it had zero medals and even Togo had earned one. Does anyone seriously think that Togo has better athletics than Canada? Of course not, but somehow the Olympic fever has turned into an ugly sickness.

    Getting to the Olympics is a crap shoot. Its not enough to want to win. Genetics plays a factor, coaching, and even now science – US swimmers had scientists analyze their strokes on custom tweaked them to be more efficient.

    But in the end of course, all the genetics, coaching and science can’t give someone the drive to win, it can only put them in position. And outside pressure can undo years of training and hard work.

    We shouldn’t judge our countries and our atheletes solely on medal counts. Canadian swimmers only won one medal in the pool, but a very young team scored a number of personal bests – can we ask for more?

    When the Olympics were revived, it was hoped that they would be a place for young people from around the world to gather, meet, compete against each other, learn about each other, and dissolve some of the barriers between them.

    It seems to have turned into just another competition for gold.

    James

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    • #2919386

      Hmm

      by ben “iron” damper ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Sounds like your only complaining because your country hasn’t won a medal yet.
      If your not there to win the gold medals you shouldn’t be there in the first place.

      • #2919364

        Innaccurate and incorrect

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Hmm

        For the record, Canada is currently standing at 8 medals, including some golds.

        So I suppose you suggest that if you can’t win gold, you shouldn’t be there? If thats the case, then dozens of countries should just skip it, as well as hundreds of athletes. But to be honest, without that participation, you might as well skip the Olympics altogether and just have world championships instead.

        This should be about athletes and competition. Not puffed up national pride. I like to see good performances from athletes of many nations.

        I’ve seen some touching moments, when competitors congratulate and console each other, and some ugly ones.

        But its more the behaviour of the “fans” who don’t give a damn about the competitors for three and a half years, and suddenly have expectations of them at Olympics time.

        James

        • #2919282

          Hmm, again.

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to Innaccurate and incorrect

          “But its more the behavior of the “fans” who don’t give a damn about the competitors for three and a half years, and suddenly have expectations of them at Olympics time.”

          How can the “Fans” of any given Nation follow EVERY competitor, in every sport, in EVERY town, state, fellowship, common wealth, territory, etc.?

          The process of training and the whittling down of the “players” who make it to the Olympics is WAY more than any one person much less a Nation can keep up with. Your expectations are higher for the fans than the athletes????

        • #2919207

          I don’t think he expects one to follow every last athlete

          by seanferd ·

          In reply to Hmm, again.

          He’s saying that the “fans” show no interest whatsoever until the games, and are then only interested in seeing their country’s athletes win. They don’t care about the actual sport or the competition itself, just who walks away with the most medals.

          This doesn’t square with the purported reason for Olympic games.

        • #2931026

          #1

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to I don’t think he expects one to follow every last athlete

          “He’s saying that the “fans” show no interest whatsoever until the games, so and are then only interested in seeing their country’s athletes win. They don’t care about the actual sport or the competition itself, just who walks away with the most medals.”

          Responded to this already. But for the slower among us. You are right, for 3.5 to 4 years I don’t spend my time looking for bad mitten matches or synchronized diving, or sadly enough not even women’s beach volleyball. However, the athletes do, as do their families and coaches and friends and perhaps even whole communities and/or countries. This plays out in countless ways for countless people all over the world and when the cream has risen to the top, I care a great deal about the Olympic spirit that each and everyone of them has worked so hard and cared so much for. Those who have put so much in to what, for most, will end up with nothing more than memories of making it to the Olympics. Which, in case you did not know is the epitome of any athlete of any flavor of any “game” in the Olympics. (so long as it is allowed. I can’t believe they are dropping Base/softball!)

          I DO care, as do millions of others around the world. Just because some have cheated and some have shown bad sportsmanship does not devalue or negate others efforts, hopes, and dreams.

          “This doesn’t square with the purported reason for Olympic games.”

          I disagree. What’s the big deal? Do you always ride in on your white horse to speak for JamesRL?

        • #2931007

          He is far to busy for that….

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to #1

          No one is riding out to defend me, they just happen to agree with my position.

          My point, and you can be sure that in a rant, I must have one, is pretty much what Sean describes.

          People who care not a whit for the sports for three and a half years all of a sudden have huge expectations of their country’s athletes, based on patriotism and “competitiveness”. But those values contrast with those of the founders of the modern olympics.

          In other words, its great that Mr. Phelps wins 12 gold, and while I’m sure that government money helped him along the way, it was HIS accomplishment, not the accomplishment of every patriotic American.

          And lest you think I am picking on my friends from south of the border, in the OP, I was calling out Canadians who were dissapointed in the fact that we went days without a medal. Canada the country is no richer or poorer before or after the medal drought. The atheletes who did not win but tried their best and exceeded their previous personal bests are still valued Canadian citizens, not failures to be mocked or shamed, yet the newspapers were full of dire headlines, and some US reporter called Canada the “Ugly Betty” of the Olympics. I would bet that reporter never competed in anything athletic in his life.

          One of the other things that set me off, is one of the Chinese female divers calling a Canadian competitor fat.

          It is an honour to compete in the Olympics, and the atheletes in turn honour us when they display the Olympic ideals of fair play and honest competition.

          And I’d like to borrow that white horse some time.

          James

        • #2930985

          Far to busy for that

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to He is far to busy for that….

          but not so busy as to only respond to every one of MY comments yesterday? Whatever, no skin from me.

          “In other words, its great that Mr. Phelps wins 12 gold, and while I’m sure that government money helped him along the way, it was HIS accomplishment, not the accomplishment of every patriotic American.”

          This confuses me. Are we, as Americans, to just leave that medal winning punk Phelps to ‘waller’ in his own misery of accomplishing something no one has ever done before? To not give a hoot that one of “our boys” did it? Just because we do not watch swimming competitions on a weekly basis??? Said it before and I’ll say it again, it is a COMPETITION. You would not be as proud had he been a Canadian? Do you follow Hockey (or any sport)? Are there players and or teams that you oppose? It’s the same thing, really. Sportsmanship, honor, pride (be it performer or observer) … It’s all the same thing except on a Global scale.

          Again, the Chinese, brainwashed drones. One made a Fat remark aboot another Canadian and it inspires such vigor from you? Hmm, seeing a pattern here…

          As far as the Media, it’s the Media. If you have a problem or rant about what the MEDIA is saying, then by all means, have at it. When you say the “WHOLE WORLD” that is something completely different.

        • #2930941

          Well since you asked…

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to He is far to busy for that….

          I did compete in sports in High School, watched sports at both the amateur and professional levels and I was a judge in Ski racing for ten years, accredited by the international skiing body (FIS). Some of those I judged went on to national teams. Some of the coachs at the club I worked at were former Olympians.

          I have no problems with Americans feeling pride for Phelps. But recognize he won primarily because the guy worked hard, not because he happened to be born in the same country. I recognize the guys greatness, even though I have no skin in the game, not being American. I also recognize some great Chinese athletes, despite the fact I’m not the biggest fan of the government that sponsors them.

          I will grant you that “world wide” was a bit of hyperbole. Do look up the meaning of the word rant, one of the reasons I enjoy the odd rant is that I normally am somewhat reserved – ask my peers here.

          But I do see a disturbing trend growing, and there is no harm in pointing that out. I was aghast when I saw Chinese referees fail to discipline a Russian boxer who gave his Ukranian opponent a cheap shot after the bell on almost every round – as the walked away to opposite corners, not right after a clinch. The same Russian refused the gift of a flag at the start of the round, refused to shake hands when he lost.

          James

        • #2930940

          Well since you asked…

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to He is far to busy for that….

          I did compete in sports in High School, watched sports at both the amateur and professional levels and I was a judge in Ski racing for ten years, accredited by the international skiing body (FIS). Some of those I judged went on to national teams. Some of the coachs at the club I worked at were former Olympians.

          I have no problems with Americans feeling pride for Phelps. But recognize he won primarily because the guy worked hard, not because he happened to be born in the same country. I recognize the guys greatness, even though I have no skin in the game, not being American. I also recognize some great Chinese athletes, despite the fact I’m not the biggest fan of the government that sponsors them.

          I will grant you that “world wide” was a bit of hyperbole. Do look up the meaning of the word rant, one of the reasons I enjoy the odd rant is that I normally am somewhat reserved – ask my peers here.

          But I do see a disturbing trend growing, and there is no harm in pointing that out. I was aghast when I saw Chinese referees fail to discipline a Russian boxer who gave his Ukranian opponent a cheap shot after the bell on almost every round – as the walked away to opposite corners, not right after a clinch. The same Russian refused the gift of a flag at the start of the round, refused to shake hands when he lost.

          James

        • #2928210

          I did ask and thank you for your response.

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to He is far to busy for that….

          For the record, I am on the same page as far as appreciating the individual not the Country. I have cheered for and am in awe of SO many athletes (actually all of them for reasons I will not disclose) I have seen perform this year. Many have brought me to my feet and made me swell up upon the victory they have worked so long and hard for, from everywhere not just America, not just Phelps or Nastia or Shawn or Misty May. Hell, even the under age Chinese Gymnasts impressed the heck out of me! However, just because I was impressed by them does not excuse their participation. But I’ll digress on that issue …

          If you don’t mind (if I have not been to much of a pain in the arse), with your credentials as a judge in sporting competitions. Do you have any insight as to why the judging and or scoring in so many events this Olympics have been changed? I have heard commentator after commentator TRY and explain how the new scoring works but what was wrong with the old ways? Why now, in Beijing?

          I never claimed to be an expert on the Olympics and I’ve long since lost my taste for American Professional sports. But I do follow local, College, and amateur sports for many reasons. I guess that is why I am having such a hard time seeing things that you seem to be seeing. That which you describe to be (the lack of) “sportsmanship for the sake of sportsmanship”. Most of the athletes I watch will NEVER be millionaires for playing a freaking game! And THAT is where I see those touching moments of hard work, victory, and defeat.

          Edit: for “The lack of”, did not make sense otherwise.

        • #2928201

          Ski race judging is comparatively easy

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to He is far to busy for that….

          The races were ran, including provincial championships and the odd national meet, were all Giant Slalom. All the judges have to do is make sure the skiier doesn’t miss a gate, and usually if they do, there are telltale tracks to help the judge. I know how to set up electronic timing equipment and keep it running in all conditions, maintain the race course, record the results etc. It wasn’t glamourous but it was fun, and that work allowed us to ski at a private club for free for the year, and they usually held a thank you party.

          Ski judging is rather unlike say, diving, where the judges must assess the performances based on sometimes subjective factors.

          The big changes came about due to scandals in figure skating, where bribes were paid and votes traded. So now in many judged sports, they throw out the highest and lowest marks, and multiple by a degree of difficulty (in diving for example). That makes it more difficult to cheat, because you would have to involve all the judges not just a select few.

          One of the things that multiple replays has pointed out to me is the fact that the judges don’t get all the perspectives the cameras do. I noticed in diving that some teams had flaws overlooked, but it seemed to be only visible from a different angle than the judge had (or slo mo).

          Bad calls also exist outside of the Olympics, I see them in world cup soccer and other big events. Its one of the reasons I prefer not to watch figure skating or gymnastics.

          James

        • #2928193

          Ah well,

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to He is far to busy for that….

          I suppose as long as there are “Humans” judging anything there will be errors, cheaters, etc.

          It just seems to be extremely prevalent in the ’08 Summer Olympics. Hopefully they will manage to work out any ‘bugs’ for future Olympics.

          I’ll check back in 2010 to see what you have to say about the Judging in the skiing events.

          Hey, here’s a thought. During the Winter Olympic skiing events they should leave Country and names out of it until the judging is over with. As much gear as they wear they could just all have the same colors and use a number/draw system that they work up the day of and change daily so the judges (or fans) would not know who was who or where they are from until the Medals are awarded. Just a thought …

          Take care JameRL and I appreciate your level headed responses.

        • #2928047

          No wife, no horse, no moustache

          by seanferd ·

          In reply to #1

          I’m glad you care, whatever it is you care about.
          Just because some have cheated and some have shown bad sportsmanship does not devalue or negate others efforts, hopes, and dreams.

          Who said it did? Who brought cheating into the discussion? I don’t disagree.

          There was no proposed requirement to follow every sport known to Man, in order to cheer you favorites at the Olympics. The point, for the other half of the slow crowd, is that there are some (not all) people more interested in the medal count than the Games. There are those who boo and boo-hoo over the medal count, with very little interest in the sports. That’s all.

          You can disagree all you like, but if you can’t even understand the point, what is your point?

          I read everyone’s posts with interest. I responded to yours because you are so far out in left field. I see now that, difference of opinion aside, there is no communicating with you.

          \/ Later.

        • #2931114

          The only thing I have seen change is the attitude

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Innaccurate and incorrect

          of “Anyone but China”, where it used to be “Anyone but the Commie Rushkies”.

          It is and should be about being the best of the best though, like any competition.

          There are a lot of non-swim fans that are not happy with all the hub-bub being made about it, with a single athlete dominating so many competitions and making so much press. The fact that he set records at almost every event, and DID take Gold every time, does say a lot about him, as a swimmer.

          I was amazed at that 100 meter dash and him slowing down before the race was even over.

      • #2919323

        Having read JamesRL…

        by boxfiddler ·

        In reply to Hmm

        for a few years now, that is extremely unlikely.

        I agree with him, and I’m not from Canada, I’m from the USA.

        It should be about the games, the skill, and overcoming barriers. Big deal on the medals.

    • #2919365

      Canada

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      No medals. LOL!

      Even West Des Moines, Iowa has a medal!

      :p

      • #2919363

        Again out of date

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Canada

        James

      • #2930933

        Why are you posting here Q?

        by jiminpa ·

        In reply to Canada

        By your definition is this not spam?

      • #2930547

        Just a quick question

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Canada

        “Canada

        No medals. LOL!”

        What does that say to you?
        Canada hasn’t got any athletes?
        Canada is a weaker country?

        You make a comment that has no value to it at all and expect it to mean something, so what’s the end result?

        • #2930544

          You must have read it incorrectly, Oz

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Just a quick question

          As he would never have posted something both off-topic and intentionally insulting, would he?

          Is anyone annoyed? B-)

        • #2930531

          I think I’ll start a new thread

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to You must have read it incorrectly, Oz

          He is being an annoying and offensive spammer to say the very least.

          UUUUUUUmmmmmmm, I’m telliiiiiiiiing!

    • #2919354

      Why should the Olympics be immune??

      by notsochiguy ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Ideals (Olympic or otherwise) have been on the express elevator down for the better part of the last 20 years or so (maybe longer, but it just seems most noticeable to me for the last 20 years).

      I won’t go into it much further than that (look at the various threads on this site, and you’d get all the elaboration you’d need); other than to say that when I was younger, a dystopian future seemed absurd. Now, not so much.

    • #2919344

      I agree with you James

      by tonythetiger ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Perhaps instead of admiring the medal count, we should admire (and who knows, maybe emulate) the work ethic of these athletes.

      • #2919342

        The problem with…

        by jellimonsta ·

        In reply to I agree with you James

        emulating their work ethic is that it takes too much work! :p

        I have never really given a rip for the Olympics, but I have found myself watching almost every evening when gymnastics, swimming or sprinting is on. I had nothing but respect for those athletes and their abilities.

      • #2919336

        Exactly….

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to I agree with you James

        Even to qualify means you’ve dedicated yourself, made sacrifices and worked hard to get there.

        When sometimes the margin is thousands of a second between a bronze and the fourth place, can you really be upset with 4th (unless you didn’t try as hard as you could).

        I know an Olympic athlete who almost died in a ski racing crash, but came back, trained hard and competed again in the Olympics. He never won a medal, despite being top 10 in the world for many years, but to me coming back from a near fatal injury and competing is a huge indication of his charecter, dedication and hard work.

        James

        • #2919324

          Sometimes I wonder

          by dumphrey ·

          In reply to Exactly….

          if the Olympics are just a way to sell soda and other products to Americans. Maybe there is a commercial free channel for them, but I don’t have it.
          How much pressure on the Athletes is from the public, and how much from sponsors wanting gold medal reps?

    • #2919321

      Very well said, James…

      by boxfiddler ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Couldn’t have put it any better. Thanks.

    • #2919301

      USA, USA, USA!!!

      by pringles86 ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      It’s not all about the USA, but you would think otherwise if you watched the American programming here in the States. I would like to see more of the sports they aren’t showing because the US isn’t involved. I want to see athletes other than American ones. They did have a mens beach volleyball match that didn’t have the US, Latvia vs Somebody, and it was because Latvia upset the USA.

      I want to see other countries competing in live* events, not a recap of what the USA gymnastics team did, or another in depth profile of Micheal Phelps, it was cool the first time, but not the fifth.

      *The events aren’t even live on the west coast, or in Arizona, there is a 2-3 hour tape delay. However, NBC still says that the event is live.

      I hope something changes, or that a TV network better than NBC gets the Olympics four years from now, or I won’t be watching. Which is a shame because these people have trained so hard to make it, I admire all of them.

      • #2919296

        Sadly

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to USA, USA, USA!!!

        Canadian coverage is becoming more like the US, it used to cover more events where Canadians aren’t involved. I did see a good match between US and Japan in women’s beach volleyball. And yesterday a great competition in mens weighlifting where no north Americans were involved.

        But for the most part, our coverage is becoming more like yours.

        James

        • #2919288

          What?!?!?!

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Sadly

          There are events outside of ones the US is competing in? :p ;\

        • #2919248

          I’ll admit it

          by jiminpa ·

          In reply to Sadly

          I don’t care what country they are from if it weren’t for women’s beach volleyball I would give two hoots about the olympics…

          😀

        • #2919244

          My son

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to I’ll admit it

          who is all of 14 years old, would heartily agree with you.

          Even though he would probably have a heart attack if one of them talked to him, his attention was very focussed.

          Some good games though- Japan was obviously at a height disadvantage but still managed to challenge the US. Or did you even pay attention to who won?

          James

        • #2919200

          It would have been better if they all played in the rain..

          by locrian_lyric ·

          In reply to My son

          Or at least hosed down a bit >:)

        • #2931150

          They were keeping score? :^0

          by jiminpa ·

          In reply to My son

          It was a good game. I was glad to see the US win but its nice when the opposing team isnt getting crushed. Not sure how many people would agree but…

      • #2930529

        Same here

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to USA, USA, USA!!!

        Even in Canada, coverage is US dominated (even on Canadian networks). But we do get a bit more variety than what I see from the US networks we get.

        I think it may be a bit mroe important to US media as it gives them something positive and patriotic to focus on rather than the wars.

        I guess they’ll soon tire of that though and focus on starting a new war somewhere to generate media interest again.

        I find it interesting that so many people say how the middle east has been at war for so many years, and yet the US can’t seem to go a day without entering SOME war or another. Sure not all the same people/countries but just different wars all the time to justify military spending, to rally patriotism, to play political games etc.; all at the expense of normal citizens with the country’s best interests in mind, it’s pretty sick how the government takes advantage or brave citizens that way.

        Sorry, rant over now.

    • #2919291

      Hmm

      by mrabevigoda ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      “the idea that the Olympics is about competition”

      What is “competition” without some sort of gauge of success and failure?

      I think you may be over generalizing just a bit. Or do you speak for the “Whole World” often?

      • #2919279

        Don’t take my word

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Hmm

        Why not read the Olympic creed:

        “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

        Or the Olympic Oath:

        In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.

        James

        • #2919278

          Judges…

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Don’t take my word

          Do the judges have any kind of creed to your knowledge?

          If they do, some of them should brush up on it again. ;\

        • #2919274

          For the record

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Judges…

          This is the Judges Oath:

          In the name of all the judges and officials, I promise that we shall officiate in these Olympic Games with complete impartiality, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them in the true spirit of sportsmanship.

          James

        • #2919263

          Okay,

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to Don’t take my word

          to quote another line from your “Rant” ?

          “The athletes are individuals, and once upon a time, we honored them, instead of what happens today which is essentially making them pariahs if they don’t perform as expected.”

          Once upon a time? The athletes received medals then as they do now, we honor the best of the best with Medals. The problem with that is?????

          Winners, losers, it’s a competition.

          If someone does not perform as expected where you work, do you give them a raise or fire them? Just curious.

        • #2919257

          To get to the Olympics, they have to be world class

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Okay,

          Would you fire the fourth best salesman in your company because they didn’t make top three? Even if they beat out thousands of others?

          And of course, sports is not like people who work in a software company.

          I have no problem with honoring the winners, its the attitude towards those who do not win that is the thing I object to. If you did your best, and beat your own personal best times and still didn’t win, that doesn’t make you worthy of shame. It simply means you didn’t win. People seem to want to blame their own countries athletes for losing, when instead, they should look at the winners and appreciate the effort.

          The Chinese hurdler is a good example. He holds the world record, medalled last Olympics and won at the world championships. He had an injury and stopped running before he got to the hurdle. His coach cried his eyes out, because he felt he and his athlete let China down. That kind of pressure is insane.

          If sports were all predictable, we wouldn’t watch. So having expectations of a medal, when you don’t control the other participants, the weather, the field etc. is not the same as coaching employees.

          James

        • #2919253

          Well

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to To get to the Olympics, they have to be world class

          If I only needed three salesmen ? #4 is history. That’s just the way it goes.

          I agree with your analogy of the Chinese hurdler BUT you’re talking about China. They are not exactly the best example to hold the rest of the world to. That athlete and his coach will probably go back to the China none has seen in this Olympics.

          The word ‘oppression’ comes to mind.

        • #2919195

          Why would you have 4 in the first place?

          by seanferd ·

          In reply to Well

          If you only need 3?

          Does this mean that the fourth salesman sucks, or that he just isn’t as good as the other three at this particular moment? What if you have a sales force of hundreds? Do you berate all who are not in the top three, regardless as to how good they are? (These are all world-class salesmen, you’ve already binned the unproductive or bad salesmen.)

          How does the fact that it is China matter for purposes of the example?

        • #2931024

          #2

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to Why would you have 4 in the first place?

          “If you only need 3?

          Does this mean that the fourth salesman sucks, or that he just isn’t as good as the other three at this particular moment? What if you have a sales force of hundreds? Do you berate all who are not in the top three, regardless as to how good they are? (These are all world-class salesmen, you’ve already binned the unproductive or bad salesmen.)”

          Talk about being OBTUSE! We can “what if” all day long. MY point was in the terms of competition. Hypothetically (look it up) if I had 4 salesmen and needed to cut one the lowest in ‘ranking’ #4 is gone. Or, if I need to hire 3 salemen and 4 apply, Duh. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Salesmen have worked the hardest, made more sales, and in turn won their status as “G, S, and B” and as such they deserve the spoils of victory. Sheesh …

          “How does the fact that it is China matter for purposes of the example?”

          Did you see the (example) event and athlete we were referring to? If you had you would not have to ask this question. But I’ll answer it anyway.

          Because they (Chinese Government) have lied, cheated, and stolen throughout these games. Because of their history of violating the simplest of human rights. Because they oppress. But mainly, because I believe there is not another coach from any other country that would have let such an injured athlete suit up, much less make him ‘take the field’. His excruciating pain and therefore inability to perform was obvious to all.

          Edit: #4 missing

        • #2928044

          Still obtuse.

          by seanferd ·

          In reply to Why would you have 4 in the first place?

          For purposes of the example, it doesn’t matter if the Chinese government sent an officer to shoot someone in the head. It is irrelevant.
          I would agree that China can be pretty f’d-up, that’s given.

          To keep it simple for you, we’ll stick to four salesmen. They bring in six new sales each, totaling millions in sales for your company. One guy brought in $15.00 less in total sales. Do you badmouth him?

          Maybe you need to drop one man, but do you appreciate his efforts, give him good references, or do you just give him the boot and tell everyone in the office that he should have done better?

          That is the attitude I see in the medal-watchers. If you don’t see that attitude out there, then that’s great. I see enough of it myself, and wish that I did not.

        • #2931068

          That is what backups are for

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to To get to the Olympics, they have to be world class

          they always take “runner-ups” to fill in for an injured athlete along the way. An alternate.

          If he was injured, why did he not pull himself sooner and let an uninjured athlete put in an honest effort? Something we will probably never found out.

          Speaking of which, first cross-country match this weekend. B-)

        • #2931054

          Backups in the Olympics

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to That is what backups are for

          The only time there can be backups is in the team events, like swimming relays or rowing, soccer, basketball etc.

          For individual events, every individual must qualify according to the standard. There would be no sibsitutions for the Chinese Hurdler.

          It was interesting, last night I watched the Men’s triathalon, and Canada had an athelete who was there to help another, even though it wasn’t a team sport. He obviously had to qualify, but his role was to ride with the Canadian leader, help him tactically if he could, and pace him. He was a strong swimmer and cyclist and not so great a runner. He came dead last, but he still celebrated cause he helped his teammate win silver. It was a great race by the way, dramatic sprints to the finish.

          James

        • #2931009

          Awesome!

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to Backups in the Olympics

          Inspirational, eh? Almost seems as if you “cared” more for that competition than you did who won what medals.

          Good on ya!

        • #2930994

          In fact

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Backups in the Olympics

          I enjoyed the drama of that race far more than if the Canadian had the lead and held it for the last 1000 metres and won. The Canadian contender, who won gold in 2000 and nothing in Athens, was desparately trying to keep with the leaders. The Spaniards who set the pace were failing, and eventually dropped.

          The Canadian, Simon Whitfield, trailed the leaders by 15 metres at about the 800 metre point but by 400 metres, he caught them and passed them. But one of the men he passed, a young first time Olympian from Germany, battled back in the last 100 yards.

          Was I dissapointed Canada didn’t win gold – not at all. The German who won truly earned his gold. The competitors congratulated each other, mugged for the cameras, arms around each other – that was the spirit of the games personified.

          James

        • #2930957

          Outstanding

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to Backups in the Olympics

          James!

          “The competitors congratulated each other, mugged for the cameras, arms around each other – that was the spirit of the games personified.”

          I have seen this type of “seen” over and over again in these as well as other Olympics.

          I am sorry you feel “The Whole World” does not feel as you have just described. Again my contention all along is that that may be the impression you are getting (for whatever reason) but from your words, my words, the words of others, the countless untold stories of awe and inspiration DO matter. We, as a species may not see every single one of these moments but just knowing these moments exist, and most definitely the ones we do observe should give us all hope.

          After all, we are ALL one race … Human.

      • #2919204

        But “success” is the only thing to which some pay attention

        by seanferd ·

        In reply to Hmm

        They aren’t really interested in the competition at all. This is the issue, not that there are winners and medals.

        Obtuse.

        • #2931081

          Good point!

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to But “success” is the only thing to which some pay attention

          [i]But “success” is the only thing to which some pay attention[/i]

          and that’s [b]not[/b] where most lessons are learned!

        • #2931023

          #3

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to But “success” is the only thing to which some pay attention

          “They aren’t really interested in the competition at all. This is the issue, not that there are winners and medals.

          Obtuse.”

          By “they” do you mean YOU? Because, again, I do believe there are millions around the world that ARE “interested”. Over 91,000 in the birdsnest alone, highest TV ratings around the world. Sports bars, restaurants, Internet feeds, “Jumbo-trons” before during and after sporting events here in the states. This has been my point from the beginning … This was one man’s opinion/rant about what and how the “Whole World” feels or sees or thinks about the Olympics.

          Do try and keep up.

    • #2919267

      Yes James, the atheletes should have the focus

      by tink! ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Not just medal counts. It is an amazing feat just to make it to the Olympics let alone be in contention for a medal. We humans have such a hunger for the thrill of victory that we lose sight of the true spirit of it all. Sometimes we are reminded of it when we see our favorite athletes congratulate the losers. But more often then not (and due alot to how the media focuses on things) we are more interested in how many medals, especially Gold, our country has won.

      My husband and I have also discussed how using pro athletes (like in basketball and baseball) has taken away some of the thrill and true spirit of the Olympics. Sure our pro athletes kick butt and win medals, but what happened to the young athletes’ opportunities to compete for the chance to be in the Olympics? I understand we may have started using pros when it was realized that other countries were already, but shouldn’t we still offer the opportunity to the younger up and coming athletes as well? After all, that made it more exciting to see fresh new faces, full of potential, “fighting” for our country.

      Alot of the true spirit of the Olympics has been lost. Hopefully we can begin to recover it in the future.

      • #2919260

        What killed amateurism…

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Yes James, the atheletes should have the focus

        …in my mind was the communist countries.

        In many sports (like basketball) you had true amateurs from the west competing against full time athletes from the communist countries, and the results were inevitable. Until they allowed pros and things shifted the other way.

        James

      • #2919258

        Games

        by mrabevigoda ·

        In reply to Yes James, the atheletes should have the focus

        I disagree with the assertion that the “True spirit of the Olympics has been lost”. Maybe some countries (Ahem, China for one) governments puts more value on medal counts, enough to cheat even. But you said it yourself “”fighting” for our country”, that sounds like someone who is hoping their countries athletes do better (win more medals) than others.

        I have swelled up watching athletes swell up for other athletes while their families and fellow country men swell up at whatever moving Olympic moment just happened. Whether it was a “thrill of victory or agony of defeat” moment. Watch the games for yourself and tell me you don’t get emotional when something great or something heartbreaking happens.

        It is okay to want your country(men or women) to beat the living snot out of every other. It’s also okay to feel for the loss of others, be it your “team” or not.

        • #2919240

          True, the emotions are felt when watching

          by tink! ·

          In reply to Games

          but it is limited to what the media will show. Of course they show the GREAT wins and the DEVASTATING defeats and we all feel the emotions of whomever it may be, whichever country, but what of everything in between? The media likes to show the hugely emotional scenes. But there are many touching and thrilling moments that don’t warrant the media’s attention, but catch the eye of those bearing the true spirit of the Olympics.

          And when your country’s athletes are not in contention for a medal, do you still watch the event? Not if you watch TV. They primarily focus on the events that involve your country. And that’s because they know the majority of viewers only wish to see their country’s athletes (hopefully winning of course.)

          But many of us do like to root for another country when our own is not involved. Thanks to the internet, we can follow the events that aren’t televised. It is a grand feeling to see whomever you’re rooting for reach the end and win – no matter what country they may be representing. For us, the spirit is not completely lost. But for those reliant mainly on the non-internet media, they are strung along the “our country is the best” line.

        • #2919234

          True, enough …. true enough

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to True, the emotions are felt when watching

          Okay, I am a little confused. Is it the “Media”, the “Olympics”, or the “Medals” that seem to be an issue???

          I do agree that “Prime Time” in U.S.A. is mainly filled with red, white, and blue. However, does kind of make sense from the perspective of any given Country to showcase their own.

          I also agree with your basic sentiments but will add that with Cable TV and a DVR I have watched NOTHING else sense the Games began. As a matter of fact I am running out of space on the moments I have missed. I have tried not to dwell on the Politics of any given nation (even my own) while enjoying the games and what a nice change/relief that has been! : )

        • #2919192

          Medals never were the issue

          by seanferd ·

          In reply to True, enough …. true enough

          Just those people who only care if their country’s athletes win medals, and that there seems to be too many of these people.

          Root for your country: great.

          Be happy your country took the gold: Great.

          Talk $#!+ about the athletes when they didn’t win a medal: Not in the traditional Olympic spirit. Not very sportsman-like at all, really, whether it is the athletes or observers.

        • #2931204

          Or the Olympics…

          by boxfiddler ·

          In reply to Medals never were the issue

          [i]Talk $#!+ about the athletes when they didn’t win a medal: Not in the traditional Olympic spirit. Not very sportsman-like at all, really, whether it is the athletes or observers.[/i]

          Medals, cups, rings, games, points.

        • #2931021

          #4

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to Medals never were the issue

          “Talk $#!+ about the athletes when they didn’t win a medal: Not in the traditional Olympic spirit. Not very sportsman-like at all, really, whether it is the athletes or observers.”

          Examples?

          BTW: This does not include “blogs”. I mean reputible sources, please?

        • #2928053

          Source? The public.

          by seanferd ·

          In reply to #4

          Not the news, TV, blogs, or what have you, just people making comments. It’s nothing new, but people talk down about athletes and teams because they didn’t place.

      • #2930532

        Once lost, some things can never be regained

        by the maverick phantom wanderer (formerly macoza, nodice, kp, etc.) ·

        In reply to Yes James, the atheletes should have the focus

        I hope that it is not true for the spirit of the Olympics

    • #2919250

      The problem has always been top down

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      corruption from the top of the Olympics, followed by corruption of national officials that will do anything to get in a win.

      The judging has been biased for a long time, and is not a fair competition anymore.

      There are the underage girls for the Chinese, and nothing is going to be done about it.

      As I said in my rant about the olympics, it is all political BS now, and should never have been allowed into China.

      • #2919239

        Yes

        by mrabevigoda ·

        In reply to The problem has always been top down

        “should never have been allowed into China.”

        Now THAT, I agree with!

        That whole thing should be handled just as if it were a “drug” issue. Proof comes in many forms but not from a statement like “this issue is over because we said so and will no longer discuss it” (something like that was their last response)

        Again, China, as honorable as their people seem to be, is NOT the Country to gauge other Counties or Olympians to. ‘They’ treat the athletes (from very young ages) as commodaties NOT Humans. And once they (Imperialistic regiegm) are through with them or if they are not good enough, they are as expendable as everyone else over there seems to be.

      • #2919238

        Side note…

        by jellimonsta ·

        In reply to The problem has always been top down

        JD, did you see my post with the link to the Imeem page I created for the band?

        • #2931205

          why, yes I did

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Side note…

          didn’t get to hear them all, but I even put an off-topic note in the 60’s discussion to boxie would see.

          will be in it later this week to check things out, but sounded good so far, if a little mellow… 😀

    • #2919193

      I guess it may be in what you look for.

      by ontheropes ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      I believe that I saw biased judging in favor of the Chinese athletes but that could be just me. Other than that I’m not seeing the medal counts as being a huge issue. They might be selling it that way, I’m not sure, but I’m not buying it.

      I’m really disappointed in the coverage. I don’t care to see heat after heat, quarterfinals etc. It would be nicer to see more of the games instead even if you can’t see the final of everything. It’s not over yet, maybe the coverage will improve or maybe the rest of it is just on while I’m sleeping or otherwise occupied.

      It would be cool to hear follow-up stories about the athletes who did have to drop out of an event, especially the one Chinese hurdler. I’d like to know. Doubt if I’ll ever find out.

    • #2931206

      Volleyball – Why is it

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Why can the men play in baggy shorts and T-Shirts, but the women have to play almost in the nude? Not that I mind, but does it facilitate better play?

      • #2931190

        yes and yes

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Volleyball – Why is it

        sex sells, and it is one of the few womens sports men will watch. real men do not watch the wnba.

        they claim it gives them more freedom of movement as well.

        • #2931067

          I wonder…

          by jiminpa ·

          In reply to yes and yes

          do they HAVE to dress like that? Is there a uniform code?

          Just curious.

        • #2928024

          What else would you wear

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I wonder…

          on the beach?

          Many runners and volleyball players wear similar, so there must be something to the “freedom of movement”. I even see high school girls volleyball dress in the tights/bottoms like that.

    • #2931188

      The Olympics

      by half9 ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      So the big country’s get most of the medals. They have the population base to raise the skill level of their competitors. Our whole country would be swallowed up in one U.S city, so really we are a suburban team Ok we have 4-5 medals at this stage. 3 gold but there is only 4 million of us Kiwis, and I hate to think how many people are in the U.S and or China. Plus our people don,t have the big dollars supporting them. Our athletes would die for the money and facility’s that the big country,s have at their disposal.
      Most of ours are amateurs, trained at the local club until they get up to the big time and can compete on the world circuits.
      When you put it in context,I dont have any problems with the bigger country,s getting most of the medals.
      We perform to the best we can, and if we win one the country goes mad with support and joy
      GO.KIWI

    • #2931186

      The Olympics

      by half9 ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Watching the Olympics on T.V. There seems to be a problem with the lights. Most of the spectators seem to be squinting

    • #2931154

      Does anyone seriously think that Togo has better athletics than Canada?

      by the ‘g-man.’ ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      What is the measure used to decide?

      In terms of the Olympics for Example…..

      http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/INF/GL/95A/GL0000000.shtml

      3rd Great Britain
      G13 S7 B8 T28

      Population- Approx 60587000

      17th Canada

      G2 S4 B4 T10

      Population- Approx 31612897

      67th Togo

      B1 T1

      Population – 4909000

      Looks about right based on population / medal ratio.

    • #2931125

      Gold indeed

      by highlander718 ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      not only the one around the athletes neck though.

      I agree completely with you on the decline of the Olympic spirit and agree with a previous poster, that this was partially caused when professional athletes were let in. On the other hand I personally felt some sort of joy when professional basketball players were allowed to compete, and (probably also related to the “other” gold) it definitely didn’t hurt raising the interest of the audience.

      It is very noble and nice to think of the competition as bringing nations together, as a celebration of peace and fair play. But unfortunately, other than the opening ceremony one will never hear of some small countries, and most of the athletes will remain completely unknown.

      Other than a few really outstanding athletes, ( I count less than 10 – for example who can quickly tell me who won gold in the Track & Field – Men’s Shot Put event – track and field being even one of the most watched events?) this is becoming a game of the sponsors as it already was a political game long time ago.

      • #2931123

        So what is the point of the games exactly?

        by the ‘g-man.’ ·

        In reply to Gold indeed

        If it is not wo win medals?

        Why are there medals then?

        Sport needs a purpose, the purpose is to normally win. Look at any other sport.

        What makes the games so different?

        What about the World Cup, Super Bowl and so on…

        • #2931110

          not only one point

          by highlander718 ·

          In reply to So what is the point of the games exactly?

          what I am trying to say, is that the original “point” – to celebrate performance, fair play, friendship – got really low on the priority scale. It seems to me that “the point” became for the televisions and sponsors to make lots of cash (see how swimming was moved much earlier in the day just because NBC wanted so) and not at last to showcase a country’s (political in the end) system that is able to come up with so many top athletes per capita. The athletes themselfes are very rarely aknowledged.

          I honestly also think that the competition is much diluted these days, there are too many disciplines and they want to bring in even more (heard about rugby and golf). They are too many athletes too if you ask me, but OK, that would be part of the “including all nations of the world message”.

          World Cup, Super Bowl and so, are what they are, they were never intended to be or to represent something else : the best professionals in the field compete in ONE discipline, it is much more focused if you want, with less politics. Of course there are sponsors making loads of cash aside and owners crunching numbers in the backoffice.

    • #2931091

      DNA

      by ed woychowsky ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Personally, I wonder how long before athletes will have to undergo genetic testing because the metal count is the only thing that matters. Imagine a headline saying, ?US high jumper disqualified due to frog DNA?. It?s only a matter of time.

      • #2931015

        Whaaa…???

        by mrabevigoda ·

        In reply to DNA

        Gene splicing or ‘cloning’ frogs with humans for better “jumping” performance??? Please tell me that was a joke?!?! If not, you win the prize for the most asinine conclusion drawn from this “discussion”!

        Congrats!

      • #2928038

        You know it.

        by seanferd ·

        In reply to DNA

        More likely to show up in professional sports or the athletes in totalitarian (former or current) regimes first.

        I think the transfusions and motion-capture tech are unfair enough as it is. Some competitive edge is based too much on funding and technology available to some athletes.

        It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see code for certain proteins being engineered into children or introduced into adults through one of the various insertion methods, such as retrovirii.

    • #2930966

      Olympic gold for whining !

      by gate keeper ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      is it just me or has the U.S been making excuses and complaining since the start of the Olympics.

      off the top of my head i can recall:

      1- when beaten in gymnastics they complained that one of them was distracted by not announcing her name on time.

      2- again for gymnastics one of the Chinese athletes was underage

      3- now for the woman’s 100 which they came in last .. one of their runners had a false start (which was rejected)

      and this is just the U.S , the U.K where whining about a boxing match not being fair …. there is probably more that I’m missing.

      when they could not beat Chinese in the arena they started manufacturing all these mini-dramas like the little girl who was replaced … but kept silent on a real offensive scandal i.e the racist Spanish basketball teams antics.

      where is the spirit of sportsmanship ? what happened to losing gracefully ?

      if you were beaten you were beaten because the other side is more skilled and better prepared… they worked their *** off to get to that level … only to have their hard earned win blamed on a referee or some nonsensical sh!t … talk about sore losers !

      • #2930943

        Oye …

        by mrabevigoda ·

        In reply to Olympic gold for whining !

        A whining post about whining!

        I am growing a bit tired of trying to ‘justify’ (for lack of a better word) the Olympics.

        However, for the record, there are three of the Female Chinese Gymnasts that have been documented in the past as being a particular age, which would put them BELOW the age limit for competition in this year’s Olympics. That’s NOT whining because we lost in any given event. It’s protesting about the fact that the Chinese have falsified documents to enter “ringers” into the games. It’s called cheating, and yes, I have a problem with that.

        • #2928026

          set that aside for a second

          by gate keeper ·

          In reply to Oye …

          how about the other cases i brought up … do you not find it hypocritical that the racist antics of the Spanish basketball teams was given a cursory glance .. while the super imposed images of fireworks was treated like sacrilege.

          I’m sick of seeing bigger nations acting as if the medals belong to them and whining when they get beaten (not to paint everyone with the same brush they are some true athletes who know how to handle defeat)

          you can criticize china for a lot of things .. but give the devil his due … they organized a world class event and pulled it off without a hitch … and are the reigning gold count champs !

      • #2930936

        I agree there is too much whining

        by pringles86 ·

        In reply to Olympic gold for whining !

        But…

        “2- again for gymnastics one of the Chinese athletes was underage”

        How about three of them being underage? There are rules for a reason, shouldn’t every country abide by them?

        It is not just the UK complaining about boxing, the judging in that sport is pretty messed up.

        • #2930922

          Yep

          by mrabevigoda ·

          In reply to I agree there is too much whining

          The “Judging and or Scoring” of different events this year is beyond me and I think is what should be at the root of this discussion. (I know it’s a ‘rant’ but a little misguided as I see it)

          After all, that’s why we are seeing some of the bad sportsmanship and hearing the commentators ramble on about how unfair any given event is at any given time.

          And NO, I am NOT just saying that all of the bad calls are against my country men and women. I have seen bad calls all around! Now THAT would be an interesting contest … “The Judges Over-all Scoring competition” … Low scores for all in that event!

    • #2928205

      Not to worry, James

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      2010 soon and we will have the better country once again MUWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! ]:)

      Its funny though, while in Whistler over the weekend, there was hardly a mention of teh 2010 games, besides a few odd posters and some souveniers etc.

      They had the Crankworx finals, which seemed to generate just as much hype as the winter games and I bet THREE TIMES as many women !!! WOWSERS!!!! AND THEN WOWSWERS SOME MORE!!. A-oooooooooga!!

      I think it must be hard for people from tiny countries when they compete with China or teh USA, simply due to the size of the available pools of athletes China and the USA have to draw from.

      But it is great to see Jamaica dominate on the track, I don’t care if Canada wins medals or not, I’d rather see someone with what is little to no expectations go and turn it all upside down.

      • #2928042

        Too true.

        by seanferd ·

        In reply to Not to worry, James

        Not a medal-watcher, are ya?

        I love watching these folks giving it their all, and there is just something fantastic about seeing the under-dog or the unthought-of kicking serious a$$ unexpectedly. Go team whoever!

    • #2928027

      Bringing shame to the olympics and themselves

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/boxing/news?slug=ap-box-roundeleven&prov=ap&type=lgns

      Channeling the spirit of Mike Tyson?

      Boxer gets DQ’s after biting. He would have lost anyways, but to lose like that…..

      • #2930536

        Coward’s Way Out

        by notsochiguy ·

        In reply to Bringing shame to the olympics and themselves

        That guy will forever be able to say “he didn’t beat me, I got DQ’d”.

        Murder, optical illusions, underage athletes, repression, disinformation, and some certified nutjobs (this guy, the one wrestler)—can I get three cheers for the Olympic spirit in Beijing???

        Is it too late to get Pyongyang and Tehran into the running for the 2016 summer games??

    • #2927926

      Good News….

      by the ‘g-man.’ ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      The single best Olympian from the (cough) UK (cough) in the last 100-odd years, with a stunning 3 gold medals, happens to be from good old Scotland.

    • #2930609

      Found myself watching equestrian events at lunch today

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      Saw the replay of the individual jumping; that was something. Also caught a few other sports’ medal ceremonies as NBC wrapped up their coverage.

      For me, the story of Olympic competition could be Eric Lamaze, who came back from drug addiction to help win silver in the team competition and win the individual gold.

      My least favorite scene from this year’s Olympics? That wrestler.

      My favorite scene? Every time a competitor from one country congratulated or comforted a competitor from a different country. And I saw quite a few.

      • #2930606

        My favorites…

        by boxfiddler ·

        In reply to Found myself watching equestrian events at lunch today

        Justin Spring (USA) on the highbar.
        Chen Yibing (China) on the still rings.

        Holy moly. Awesome. Goosebumps.

        Didn’t catch the full Olympic card, and didn’t see anything awful.

        oops – add parentheticals

    • #2929578

      Women’s taekwondo

      by neilb@uk ·

      In reply to James’ Rant of the Week “The Olympics”

      10:00am Uk time. An absolutely unprecedented bit of Olympics has just happened. The Brit, Sarah Stevenson, was against a Chinese double Olympic gold medallist. Just before the end of the match, trailing by a point, Sarah planted a kick on the Chinese girl’s jaw that came close to taking her head off. The judges chose not to score the two points and Sarah lost. Another of many home-slanted judgements. We protested, but without much hope.

      Suddenly, an Olympic Committee representative appears and Sarah is in the semi-final. “Justice comes first,” says the announcer, and apologises to the Chinese fans (in English and French!).

      Extraordinary and unprecedented. And not before time!

      Anyway, kick some more ass (or do I mean face), Sarah!

      Neil 😀

      Addn: Weird, though, that there has so far (10:40) not been an announcement in Chinese. Zhong Chen is an absolute Chinese hero and I wonder how the crowd will react if she doesn’t appear.

      Well, not very well. Anyway, Sarah lost to a Mexican that she has beaten twice previously. Now has a chance of the bronze – Britain’s first Olympics medal in Taekwondo – but she’s not a happy girl.

      Enough! Stop watching this and go out!

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