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Thread: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

  1. #571
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    Quote Originally Posted by dberk;3174036;
    Nothing much on tonight. I already saw the USA/Russia v-ball game. I used to love watching diving, but it doesn't hold my interest anymore. One running race is blurring into the next. I just can't tell them apart.

    I'm really concerned about the repercussions that will come down if/when the underage gymnasts are exposed. I don't see anyway to punish the Chinese gov't, the likely guilty party, without also punishing the gymnasts who are only pawns in this soap opera.
    One of the commentators mentioned that the IOC is still investigating track and field allegations from the Syndey Olympics 8 yrs later and they still have not been resolved. So I don't think much will come about the "age" scandal. What is funny is that in both men's and women's diving you can compete at the Olympics at age 14 and there is a male diver from Britain who is 14. The Chinese female divers are 15 and 16 and yes they do look older than some of the gymnasts. Still I wonder why at age 14 its OK to do "gymnastics in the air" off a diving platform that is basically as tall as a 3 story building and hit the water at 35 mph and yet its not OK to do tumbling on a spring loaded mat, or a 4 in beam???? because it is too hard on the body. Big mmmmmm..... moment here.
    Last edited by Bearcata; 08-23-2008 at 03:45 PM.
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  2. #572
    FORT Fogey mindy384's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionan;3171204;
    I think that there are way too many sports in the olympics that shouldn't be there at all. I believe that they should get rid of all Equestrian events, especially Dressage

    If anything, the horses should get the medal and the people riding them maybe a pat on the back, because the horses do all the work. If the Ioc doesn't allow any sports using cars, I don't know why horses are allowed, because they're pretty much a step down from them.
    Yeah, I had to fast forward during the segments with the horses bc I thought the wrong people were getting credit for the horses' hard work-- also, unlike an athlete, anyone can train the horses --not just the person riding the horse. If an individual athlete doesn't train--he/she loses.

    And then there are silly events like air pistol...seriously--lets just think about that--air pistol? I'm not one to compare apples to oranges, I know there are various degrees of athletes represented at the games, such as the marginally heavier/different shot-put thrower and the sprinter..but seriously--air pistol?

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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    NBC was just airing some of the sports whose inclusions some people question. Among the sports that I was just watching are sychronized swimming, ping-pong, and rhythmic gymnastics (the one with the ribbon and hula-hoop).

    They're not the greatest sports to watch, but they're not bad. I found them quite enjoyable actually. After watching sychronized swimming, I definitely appreciate the athletes a lot more. What they do is very hard work, and I know I could never do that. Ping-pong isn't as enjoyable as tennis, but like I said, it's not bad. And rhythmic gymnastics was actually very beautiful, especially the ribbon part.

    So I'm sure many of you have done so, but maybe before we question a sport's inclusion, we can try to watch them first if they do air on TV. I'm not saying that you guys don't take time to watch them first, but I've never seen a post that said, "I've watched before, and I seriously do not get why (name of the sport) is included in the Olympics," other than with equestrian (which I agree, it is kinda boring, but still not bad IMO).

    Tomorrow is the day I get my life back. And while I'm happy that I won't be devoting my life to watching the Olympics 24/7, I'm still a little sad these games are almost over. Although it has dealt with countless controversial events, I've still enjoyed them.

    ETA: I also watched women's indoor volleyball final. USA lost to Brazil, but I'm still smiling about the outcome. Silver isn't gold, but it's still great and the girls should be proud of themselves. Anyway, Brazil is the #1 team in the world, so I expected them to win.
    Last edited by CrossingGuard; 08-23-2008 at 09:33 PM.
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  4. #574
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    I've watched synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics and I HATE THEM. I also hate watching ice dancing in the winter and wouldn't cry if they got rid of any of those sports. UGH!

    The thing that really annoyed me is that the only time I saw the Lopez siblings (tae kwon do) was in freaking commercials. Though each of the medaled--and have a great story about 3 siblings competing at the same Olympic games and all being coached by the same brother--who was also an Olympian--no coverage. And they're American. I thought NBC would be all over that one. Nada. Zip. What the hell? Plus, I love martial arts and enjoy the matches.

    NBC's coverage SUCKED. I miss the old days when Jim McKay anchored ABC's coverage and they had the "Up Close and Personal" looks at some of the athletes. I know NBC does it to a certain extent, too, but just not as well. I don't think that there was a lot of variety in this Olympics coverage. Even with all the cable channels covering certain events, there just didn't seem to be a lot of variety.

  5. #575
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane;3174859;
    I've watched synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics and I HATE THEM. I also hate watching ice dancing in the winter and wouldn't cry if they got rid of any of those sports. UGH!

    The thing that really annoyed me is that the only time I saw the Lopez siblings (tae kwon do) was in freaking commercials. Though each of the medaled--and have a great story about 3 siblings competing at the same Olympic games and all being coached by the same brother--who was also an Olympian--no coverage. And they're American. I thought NBC would be all over that one. Nada. Zip. What the hell? Plus, I love martial arts and enjoy the matches.

    NBC's coverage SUCKED. I miss the old days when Jim McKay anchored ABC's coverage and they had the "Up Close and Personal" looks at some of the athletes. I know NBC does it to a certain extent, too, but just not as well. I don't think that there was a lot of variety in this Olympics coverage. Even with all the cable channels covering certain events, there just didn't seem to be a lot of variety.

    Being such a big story.. I too was shocked about the fact there was zero coverage! I will say grats to the Lopez Family, 1 silver and 2 bronze, Nice showing!!

    Did you see that Cubas Angel Mantos was banned for life after kicking the ref when he DQed him for taking too much time to tend to a injured foot??
    Last edited by FireWoman; 08-23-2008 at 10:44 PM.
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  6. #576
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    I kind of like the silly sports...was thrilled to catch the rythmic gymnastics. But I agree, I have a hard time watching the horsey stuff...I start feeling sorry for the horses.

    I'm sorry to have missed the syncronized swimming.
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    Quote Originally Posted by FireWoman;3174871;
    Did you see that Cubas Angel Mantos was banned for life after kicking the ref when he DQed him for taking too much time to tend to a injured foot??
    Yeah. I was reading an article (the one below), and I guess he did have a reason to be angry. But to kick a ref? Whoa... that's just taking it way to far.

    Cuban taekwondo athlete banned after kicking ref



    A Cuban taekwondo athlete and his coach were banned for life after Angel Matos kicked the referee in the face following his bronze-medal match disqualification.

    Cuban coach Leudis Gonzalez offered no apology for Matos’ actions during the men’s over-80 kg (176 pounds) match.

    Matos was winning 3-2, with 1:02 in the second round, when he fell to the mat after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan’s Arman Chilmanov. He was sitting there, awaiting medical attention, when he was disqualified for taking too much injury time. Fighters get one minute, and Matos was disqualified when his time ran out.

    Matos angrily questioned the call, pushed a judge, then pushed and kicked referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden. Matos then spat on the floor and was escorted out.

    “He was too strict,” Gonzalez said, referring to the decision to disqualify Matos. Afterward, he charged the match was fixed, accusing the Kazakhs of offering him money.

    “This is a strong violation of the spirit of taekwondo and the Olympic Games. The sanctions are the following and are effective immediately: Lifetime ban of the coach and athlete in all championships sanctioned by the (World Taekwondo Federation) and at the same time, all records of this athlete at the Beijing Games will immediately be erased,” said the announcer, reading a WTF release.

    In his first match, Matos defeated Italy’s Leonardo Basile, then beat China’s Liu Xiaobo 2-1 in the quarterfinals. But he lost to South Korean Cha Dong-min in the semis to land in the bronze-medal match.

    “To me it was obvious he was unable to continue,” Chilmanov said. “His toe on his left foot was broken.”

    Matos won the gold medal in this division at the 2000 Sydney Games, dedicating the victory to his mother, who died on the day of the opening ceremony. At the 2004 Athens Games, he finished 11th.

    Matos’ tantrum followed a day of confusion on the mats.

    Earlier Saturday, China’s double gold medalist Chen Zhong crashed out in the quarterfinals after initially being declared the winner. It was the first time a match result had been overturned since taekwondo became an official Olympic sport in 1990.
    Link

    But on a funnier note, I have to laugh at the acronym "WTF".
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  8. #578
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    That guy could've killed that ref, who didn't have the benefit of padding or a helmet. What an idiot!

    You know, the more I think about it, teenagers (Shawn and Nastia) handled themselves with more maturity and grace than a lot of those so-called adults. They didn't whine and complain about getting something many consider should've been theirs.

    Speaking of Shawn and Nastia, I read something cute about them in Sports Illustrated. Even though they compete against each other often for the top spot, they are best of friends and chose to be roommates at the Games. Shawn said they're both neat, quiet and like to go to bed early. They ate in the cafeteria and would ogle Michael Phelps from afar and talk about whether they should ask if they could have their picture taken with him. They decided not to bother him. I doubt he would've felt bothered that fellow American Olympians wanted their picture with him.

    CNN had a nice story about about a reunion at the Olympics for a bunch of American champions who had competed at the Games in 1948 and 1952. It's really sweet--there're accompanying videos and it's really touching....these guys were awesome!

    After 60 years, Olympians are fast friends again - CNN.com

    By Steve Almasy
    CNN

    BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Thousands of miles from his life in California, Mal Whitfield is feeling at home again.
    Mal Whitfield, left, recalls the 1948 Olympics with Herb Douglas, center, Sammy Lee and Harrison Dillard, right.

    In a garden setting on a beautiful Beijing evening, Whitfield is being reunited with Olympic teammates from the days when he flew around the cinder track, winning five medals for the United States in 1948 and 1952.

    Whitfield has trouble walking these days, and he spends most of his time in a wheelchair. It doesn't make him slow, just slower. He's still got plenty of energy in his 83-year-old body.

    On the drive over to the Olympians Reunion Center, all he wants to talk about is how much Beijing has changed for the better since his State Department assignment here in the early 1980s.

    Just inside the gate to the Prince Jun Palace, he pauses to take in the scenery, wanting to get some photos.

    "It's so beautiful," he keeps saying. "Beijing is so beautiful now."

    He's soon surrounded by friends from the 1948 Olympics of London, England, and some from more recent times.

    Whitfield has been worried that no one would recognize him. He wears his blue jacket with the red "USA" on the back from his track days to help the others remember. It turns out to be unneeded.

    His bright eyes keep taking it all in, each new face that of an old friend, someone he shared a bond with six decades ago. There is Harrison Dillard, who like Whitfield was a track hero when track was still a huge sport in the United States.

    "You look vaguely familiar," the four-time gold medalist says.

    Dillard leans over to hug his friend gently, and Whitfield starts to choke up.

    "Come on, crybaby," Dillard says.


    There is Herb Douglas, who leapt to bronze in the long jump at the 1948 Olympics. And there's Sammy Lee, another teammate from '48 and the first Asian-American to win a gold medal for the United States.

    The four '48ers can't stop talking, can't stop laughing. The newly reunited friends don't want to move either, and a small crowd gathers around these legends.

    The group includes its own set of legends such as Tommie Smith, he of one of the most iconic Olympic moments ever, when he raised his fist in a black power salute at the 1968 Mexico City Games with teammate John Carlos. Smith is happy just to watch and listen.

    The men act like they just saw each other yesterday. In fact, it's been a few years. They joke about their time at the Olympics.

    "I saw you win your 800 gold medal; you never came to the diving meet," Lee yells at Whitfield.

    "I was busy, man," he retorts.


    Lee jokes that he is thankful that he is looking at the right side of the grass. They try to figure out how old everyone is.

    "You're the baby," one octogenarian says to another.


    They swap stories and tall tales and memories of the difficulties minorities had, even as war heroes. Whitfield served 27 missions in the Air Force, training for the 400 and 800 meters at night, often running on the runways after he returned from a mission.

    Dillard and Douglas say the eight African-Americans on the 1948 team had a special togetherness.

    "We were all trying to prove something," Dillard says.

    They all helped each other, Douglas says. "And 60 years later, we're still helping each other."

    The stories keep coming. Whitfield says he wants to tell a "real" story.

    "They all told good stories, can't be topped, but ..." Whitfield says, recalling how a British official asked him if he were of British heritage. Whitfield says he told the man no, but still the guy offered to introduce him to King George VI.

    When they greeted each other, Whitfield reached out to shake hands and just grabbed the king's glove. There were no fingers inside.

    "So I ask him, 'King, are you all right?' " Whitfield says, breaking his audience up into laughter before the outcome of the tale is even clear.

    It was a different time then, the '48ers recount. There were no Michael Phelps-like bonuses, no million-dollar paydays for winning medals. There were no sponsors buying endless pairs of running shoes. Whitfield says there was a daily stipend of $5.

    "You didn't compete for the material things," he says.

    Whitfield ran because he loved to learn and he loved to travel. Track and field took him to more than 180 countries, whether it was as an athlete or as a State Department official who helped training programs in underdeveloped countries. He was an explorer, and Stanley Livingstone was one of his idols, he says.

    Legendary high jumper Dick Fosbury, president of the World Olympians Association, said he looked up to heroes such as the medal winners in London. He said he hoped to introduce the legends to the current U.S. team members at their training center so they could learn as he did from those who helped build the U.S. track program.

    "They are models to me, and hopefully we will be able to impart that on a new class of Olympians and show them the way," Fosbury says.

    After the reception and despite the late hour, Whitfield and his daughter, CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield, head over to the National Stadium to watch the evening's track program. The stadium is the most modern he's ever seen, but the 91,000 enthusiastic fans remind him of the crowds in 1948.

    It was an important Olympics, he says, the first such gathering of athletes after World War II. The Olympics helped the world get back to some semblance of civil order, he says, and the fans rooted for all the athletes. They cheered for the performance.

    Whitfield is now the fan, his eyes transfixed on the track. He goes unnoticed by the people around him, none aware that there is a legend among them.
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    It's been a long, exhausting day for Whitfield, but there is one treat left in store. Jamaica's Usain Bolt flies away from his rivals to win the 200 meters in the fastest time ever.

    It's the perfect ending to a beautiful day.
    Last edited by Lois Lane; 08-23-2008 at 11:18 PM.

  9. #579
    FORT Fogey MsDiva2007's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    I tried to watch the race walking without laughing and I couldn't. The rythmic Gymnastics I like. The syncronized swimming not so much or as my boyfriend calls it water dancing.lol

  10. #580
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Olympics: Beijing, China

    Quote Originally Posted by MsDiva2007;3174928;
    I tried to watch the race walking without laughing and I couldn't. The rythmic Gymnastics I like. The syncronized swimming not so much or as my boyfriend calls it water dancing.lol
    Your boyfriend's funny!

    Mr. Lane came to bed the other night and did the funniest impersonation of one of the women speed walkers...he said the commentator was even shocked...'cause the competitor was walking along and sticking her fingers down her throat as if to induce vomiting. The camera cut to another angle...and not that bulimia is funny...but to see my 6-foot-3 husband "speed walking" as he tried to show me what this woman looked like...

    And my hats off to anyone who can walk that far and that fast. I just don't want to watch it. Ironically, I really enjoy watching marathons though.

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