Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Darrel Manson

Games of the XXIX Olympiad

Recommended Posts

[offtopic]

Great Britain are third at the moment - THIRD!!! I know the US are always better than that, but for us this is mahusive!

"Great Britain are..."?

Really???

See, I said it was a UK thing.

I could almost get "the US are..." since "US" = "United States." And now of course I'm reminded of Benjamin Gates's monologue in National Treasure about how before the Civil War we said "the United States are" (i.e., "all of the states are"), and after it we said "the United States is" (i.e., "the nation is"). His point was that Lincoln moved us (US) from a looser federal pluralism to a more cohesive national unity. (Of course Gates meant it as a good thing, and others see it as a bad thing, but that's another issue.)

Matt's usage, though, blows the whole distinction out of the water. And when I Google it I find sentences like "In the women's pursuit Great Britain are guaranteed gold and silver..." So there you go.

I assume it would also be "England are"?

(P.S.: "mahusive"...?)

[/offtopic]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some of those high scores are due to the Chinese strategy: Pursue extremely high difficulty, even with errors, while pursuing flawless form. If you look at their difficulty levels, they are significantly higher than most others. The Chinese also have a huge advantage: Chinese gymnasts are picked (and coerced) by the state, with their family's future security (houses, etc.) linked to their achievements. As much as U.S. gymnasts sacrifice for their sport, the Chinese sacrifice family from an early age, etc.

I read the lips of the Chinese coach to the falling down girl:

"Tough luck, kid--now your parents will make bricks with no straw!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Great Britain are..."?

Really???

What's the matter, Steve, didn't you ever read any 1980s heavy metal magazines?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is anyone else bothered that the Chinese - far from actually initiating any real human rights abuse reformation - isn't even going beyond the thinnest, most transparent displays of song and dance for the world on these issues..... and no one seems to care?

Are we showing so much deference out of pure economic reality considerations? Does NBC not want to risk turning away viewers just looking for a relaxing night of entertainment in front of the tube? Do we all just feel better not thinking about it and enjoying the games? And has the IOC proven itself to be just another toothless "UN" despite the many assurances that China gave them in order to win the games?

Should we even care, or is it fine that we let it slide off the radar for a while in order to facilitate a few weeks of pleasantness for the international psyche (as long as you don't live in Georgia).

FWIW, this article is what brings it all to mind at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is anyone else bothered that the Chinese - far from actually initiating any real human rights abuse reformation - isn't even going beyond the thinnest, most transparent displays of song and dance for the world on these issues..... and no one seems to care?

Why punish the athletes for the idiocy of the politicians?

Except for that Jamaican Bolt guy..he deserves to be punished.

regards,

-Lance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
During the opening ceremonies, NBC did bring these issues up.

And NBC has raised them at other times, such as Costas' interview with Bush.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

: "Great Britain are..."?

I'm really not very good at grammar, but it's the only formation that sounds correct to my ears in this context. The only justification I can think of is that it's short for "The Great British OLympics team are third".

But I can think of examples where the singular would be used when it addresses either the physical land - "Great Britain is a beautiful island", or the nation as a whole "The UK has the worst rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe".

But I could well be wrong on either, or both.

But we are still third, ::3rd:: ::bicycle::

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
: "Great Britain are..."?

I'm really not very good at grammar, but it's the only formation that sounds correct to my ears in this context. The only justification I can think of is that it's short for "The Great British OLympics team are third".

Ah, there is the problem. In UK team is a collective noun treated as a plural since it's a collection of people. In US the word is singular. Here a team is in third place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
During the opening ceremonies, NBC did bring these issues up.

And NBC has raised them at other times, such as Costas' interview with Bush.

Yeah, I saw that. Am I the only one who felt like W basically tiptoed as politely as he could during the interview? He made his agressive comments on the plane on the way over, then seemed to hem and haw way more than normal when it came to the NBC interview. And NBC brought it up, but only superficially. It was all couched in a sort of "old way vs. new way" storyline about China that seemed more akin to "Those stubborn old-worlders... wonder how quickly they'll get up to speed with the rest of us?" As opposed to, you know, talking about the many people who are beaten or in jail for their dissent even now (not just 30+ years ago during all the "flashback" images that made it feel like that's just what things used to be like), or the walled-off areas of Beijing that they're keeping hidden from tourists. Aren't those the places you'd think a journalist would especially want to go for a good story?

I've personally enjoyed watching much of the games a great deal, but can't help sensing this gnawing feeling in the back of my mind that somewhere in all this was a big opportunity to apply some pressure, and that my ambivalence is helping to waste that opportunity.

Why punish the athletes for the idiocy of the politicians?

How would the athletes be punished? I'm not talking about boycotting or anything here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By and large, regardless of the medal count, the *direct* influence of the USA is practically immeasurable, and in an overwhelmingly positive sense, in this case. In an age of a ruined US international reputation, squandered goodwill, and global militarism, I find this greatly encouraging.

Agreed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to figure out the "watch online" thing for the first time, trying to see the finals of the men's 200m (which starts in 15 minutes). It doesn't show up at all on the online viewing schedule. Are they intentionally not showing certain higher profile events online in order to make you watch it on NBC when they show it delayed at night? I've got like 5 channels showing olympics, but none of them appear to be showing the track and field right now, and no way I can find to watch it online. Feels like even with 5 billion hours of live coverage, or whatever it is this time around, they're still making you watch certain events on their preferred schedule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that Nastia Liukin was robbed in the uneven bar competition - the medals were awarded according to the rules, in a sport where judgment is crazily subjective - but I do think that the rules governing the breaking of ties in gymnastics are strange. First, the idea that you can't have ties is ridiculous. But even given that, with six judges, and having already thrown out the high and low score, in the case of a tie throwing out the next lowest score, leaves you with only three judges deciding the competition. This seems out of whack to me. Ah, well.

Does anyone else think Bob Costas is incredibly rude to Bela Karolyi every time they are onscreen together?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone else think Bob Costas is incredibly rude to Bela Karolyi every time they are onscreen together?

The only portion of this Olympics I've seen has been the final half-hour of the all-around women's gymnastics competition, which Liukin won. NBC went to a couple of commercial breaks promising that the medal ceremony was "coming up." Silas fell asleep while I was waiting for the medal ceremony, so I gave up and took him to his room, looking forward to the sleep I would finally get. However, before I turned off the TV, Costas came on with Karolyi and showed videotape footage of Karolyi's in-studio reaction while watching Liukin's winning performance. It was a riot! Karolyi was jumping out his chair, cheering her on, then embracing Costas with vigor upon the conclusion of the gymnast's routine. The network then cut back to Costas in real time, who made a droll comment about his and Karolyi's "objectivity."

Great line, I thought.

I'm a Costas fan, as you could probably tell.

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone else think Bob Costas is incredibly rude to Bela Karolyi every time they are onscreen together?

The only portion of this Olympics I've seen has been the final half-hour of the all-around women's gymnastics competition, which Liukin won. NBC went to a couple of commercial breaks promising that the medal ceremony was "coming up." Silas fell asleep while I was waiting for the medal ceremony, so I gave up and took him to his room, looking forward to the sleep I would finally get. However, before I turned off the TV, Costas came on with Karolyi and showed videotape footage of Karolyi's in-studio reaction while watching Liukin's winning performance. It was a riot! Karolyi was jumping out his chair, cheering her on, then embracing Costas with vigor upon the conclusion of the gymnast's routine. The network then cut back to Costas in real time, who made a droll comment about his and Karolyi's "objectivity."

Great line, I thought.

I'm a Costas fan, as you could probably tell.

I'd watch Bela Karolyi for several hours per night. I'd watch him buy fried scorpions from the food vendors. I'd watch him dogpaddle in the Water Cube. I love his infectious enthusiasm. I love the way he says "reep off." I love everything about the man.

Bob Costas is too cool and professional for his own good. And he needs to lay off the hair dye. Let it go, Bob. I'd like to see Bela get animated and crush him like a bug.

Edited by Andy Whitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something about Bob look a little different to me these days. I hate to ask but, does anyone know if he's had "work" done? Maybe I just haven't seen him in a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't anyone remember the history of IOC politics? Just about the only nation solidly sanctioned for any significant period of time was South Africa under the old apartheid regime. No one else really got in trouble other than American atheletes running afoul of Avery Brundage from the '50's through the early '70's. He even refused to acknowledge Jim Thorpe by restoring his Pentathalon and Decathalon medals from 1912 (Brundage profitted with a Bronz in the Decath).

Seriously, the East German program was a visual scandal that had no evidence until German unification. The health and emotional toll was huge for all atheletes, most of whom had no idea what they were taking and no idea what was happening to them as they aged. However, the female atheletes were jokes to those analyzing Olympic sport at the time and nothing was done about it. Under the Soviet Empire, almost all eastern bloc atheletes were defacto pros and nothing was done about it except to sanction western atheletes who were explicit pros. As to officiating, Basketball at Munich '72 would have been a bigger scandal had it not been for what we all remember Munich for.

In this context, it is just the way things are to allow China to behave as it does this Olympics. It is obvious that the only defense against the judging is flawlessness. Apparantly the judges will grab at any window, any foothold, to downgrade a score. You mention Nastia Listiuk's uneven bars. Even difficulty was not her defense. She routinely presented the most difficult programs for every event. She gave little in this regard to the Chinese competitors. Yet she was downgraded at any opportunity presented. She defended herself better as the Games wore on.

I would say that NBC has behaved as it has in order to continue their uninterrupted feed. The pre-pubescent competitors were part of the price of doing it in Beijing. The sad thing is that China doesn't need this silliness (North Korea has had some advantage as well, coming away with either a Silver or Gold by questionable scoring too). Look how well they do in straight up competition. China was on both semi-final games in women's beach volleyball, one of the few sports where the women were not that far off of the men in ability and skill. China has excellent coaching and solid competitors almost everywhere. Why not? As a nation, it is huge. A miniscule percentage of their population rising to the top would overwhelm almost any nation. Given the lack of interest on the part of American sportsfans for most of the Olympic sports, China could easily overwhelm the U.S. too. Why the special exceptions have to be granted is beyond me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to publicly gloat over the American Beach Volleyball wins. WooHoo!!!!!

Before the Brazilian relatives show up this weekend, I would also like to say WooHoo for the American Womens win in Football!!!!

Just a small dash of salt in the question: Argentina!????

Now that is out of my system... we can return to issues at hand. How old are the Chinese gymnasts? Are they just tiny as their Parents insist or are they to young to compete?

I would like to suggests that the 4x100 relay be changed to a 4x100 badger pass. At least this way there is a reason to drop the baton/badger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to suggests that the 4x100 relay be changed to a 4x100 badger pass. At least this way there is a reason to drop the baton/badger.

This really gets me going. It's not just us. All the medalists from '94 are out. We are the worst though. We turn out speedsters with little effort at all. We leave folks home who are ridiculously fast. Seems to me that we have to start at the coaching level to work with our sprinters to hone passing skills. There is plenty of downtime. Nobody goes full on in workouts every day. Maybe part of the strengthtraining days or light workout days should be devoted to general baton skills. As the big meets approach, maybe assignments should be made for certain heats, semis, and finals so that baton practice can be done with the proper partners. Fundamentals, fundamentals. We have the ability to turn out sprinters effortlessly. The USOC should think of building an ethic of taking relays seriously at all levels of competition if one aspires to elite national team participation.

I will be nautious if anything like this happens in the 4x200.

Edited by Rich Kennedy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ALL HAIL MR. CLAY. ALL HAIL I don't care what sprinters and swimmers do. In the end, I always consider the Gold medalist in the Decathalon to be the constant and true hero of the Olympics.

Can anyone tell me what happened to Roman Sebrle? This guy has been the Decathalon superhero for almost a decade and was the prohibitive favorite coming in. He wasn't top seven. NBC's !#$%&+!#$%&!#$%& coverage of the Decathalon said nothing, raced through all the events from Clay's POV only to show the anticlimactic final event. The Decathalon 1500 is worse than watching high school kids not your offspring run the 1500 unless the race decides the medals (I'll admit that the no names fighting for silver at the end was awe inspiring, but that was at best 50 meters).

Edited by Rich Kennedy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HUGE upset in the men's platform diving, with an Aussie taking the gold and a Chinese diver failing to medal.

And that's why I love the Olympics, to see those upsets that noone could've imagined possible 5 minutes before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...