Tag: Olympics

Twenty Two

Oh, where to begin.  Perhaps with the fact that Sochi is a sub-tropical beach resort and all the snow is manufactured.  In it’s own way that’s the perfect metaphor for the Potempkin Village that is the XXII Winter Olympiad.

It’s long been known that the International Olympic Committee is the most corrupt governing body in sports, eclipsing Bernie Ecclestone, FIFA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, and the World Wrestling Federation aggregated in a package.  Indeed this 18 day spectacle will cost more than all the previous Games put together, $51 BILLION, most of which is going into the pockets of Putin’s toadies, sycophants, and cronies because it sure isn’t going into the half finished hotels and venues or the stinky yellow water or the two toilet ‘lover’s stall’ bathrooms.

Then of course there’s the Phineas and Ferb edge-of-insanity, kiss-your-butt-goodbye, gravity’s-a-stone-cold-sucker nightmare rail skate track obstacle course of doom athletic safety issues that have competitors standing at the top of the hill debating whether a shot at what is basically just another Gold Medal that will gather dust in your trophy case until you blow it off to show your Grandkids (assuming you live that long) is worth a career and endorsement ending injury, and some are already saying- no.

There is the threat of terrorism delivered by the #1 sponsor of State terrorism, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar “Bush”, who’s pissed off that because John Kerry’s an idiot who should never have been let near the State Department stupidly told the truth instead of lying the way the House of Saud instructed him and his boss Barack to and has made it impossible (so far) for Saudi backed Al-Queda elements to take over the Syrian government and maintain Saudi (and Wahabi Sunni) dominance in the oil trade under increasing pressure from Shia Iran to be the “swing” producer who can cover shortfalls in periods of high demand and dial back production to jack up the prices when necessary.  That’s why it’s soooo important we bomb, bomb, bomb Iran too.

Oh, and for the record I think Mohammed’s nephew had at least as good a claim to be his spiritual heir as any of the regional warlords they called Caliphs, not that as an atheist I believe in anything except the historical (but non-Western) record of 600 or so C.E.

Anyway, http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=levitra-affects-in-women this threat has led Budwieser ( http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=cialis-generico-bogota Budwieser!) to scale back it’s sponsorship (though they’re contractually obligated for some things) and keep it’s executives away from Sochi where they had expected to do the usual round of boozing and schmoozing favored and potential clients.  Coca Cola on the other hand has no problem with private security guards prominently sporting the ‘Coke’ logo while they beat up protesters for LGBT rights and turn them over to the real cops for a nice Siberian vacation in the Gulag.

And let me state once again for the record that I think Mr. “Perky Nipples” Putin has some issues with his own fantasies.  Big game hunting?  Treasure diving?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s damn hypocritical which is I suppose the best you can say about a Lt. Colonel in the KGB who spent 16 years torturing and murdering people as a profession.

They are also killing dogs.

You may ask yourself, and I have, why I’ll be covering this at all.  My only answer does me no credit, which is that at the Olympics, every 4 years, you get to see some sports that you never see anyplace else.  For me it’s Curling and Women’s Hockey, you might be into Figure Skating or Biathalon.  Women’s Ski Jumping is making its debut and I’m looking forward to that, there are several technical reasons Women might (in time) come to dominate Ski Jumping just as they dominate long distance swimming today.

Here’s how it will work- every day at about 6 pm I’ll put up the schedule for the next 24 hours.  This will be at some disconnect with actual events because acquistare cialis generico online italia NBC is broadcasting most things on an at least 11 hour time delayed basis so if you have an ignorant friend you want to sucker into a bet you can play the ‘Wire’ scam from source site The Sting.  

I’ll try to include some suggested alternatives if you are boycotting.  I respect your convictions.

Events of interest that deserve live blogging will be live blogged.  If you’re following something and don’t wish to diary yourself, well, that’s what the comments section is for.

Tonight is fairly simple, Opening Ceremony (broadcast) is scheduled for tomorrow.  This evening we have footage of some sports that start early because of the short schedule of the Games.

8 pm http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=accutane-lawyer-columbus NBC Figure Skating, Snowboarding, Freestyle Skiing

From Sochi, Russia. Figure skating team events: men’s short program, pairs’ short program; snowboarding: men’s and women’s slopestyle; freestyle skiing: women’s moguls.

(Slopestyle == Phineas and Ferb edge-of-insanity, kiss-your-butt-goodbye, gravity’s-a-stone-cold-sucker nightmare rail skate track obstacle course of doom)

Repeats at 1:30 am and 3 am.

The Stray Dogs of Sochi

This will break your heart

Thank you, Keith

Racing to Save the Stray Dogs of Sochi

By David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times

SOCHI, Russia – A dog shelter backed by a Russian billionaire is engaged in a frantic last-ditch effort to save hundreds of strays facing a death sentence before the Winter Olympics begin here. [..]

“We were told, ‘Either you take all the dogs from the Olympic Village or we will shoot them,’ ” said Olga Melnikova, who is coordinating the rescue effort on behalf of a charity called Good Will, which is financed by Oleg V. Deripaska, one of Russia’s billionaire oligarchs.

“On Monday we were told we have until Thursday,” Ms. Melnikova said.

A “dog rescue” golf cart is now scouring the Olympic campus, picking up the animals and delivering them to the shelter, which is really an outdoor shantytown of doghouses on a hill on the outskirts of the city. It is being called PovoDog, a play on the Russian word povodok, which means leash. [..]

Mr. Deripaska, an industrialist who largely made his fortune in aluminum, provided $15,000 to get the shelter started on land donated by the local government. He has also pledged about $50,000 a year for operations. He was also one of the major investors in the Sochi Games and paid for several huge projects, including an overhaul of the airport, a new seaport and the Olympic Village along the coast.

With the Olympics fast approaching, however, there was simply no time to build an indoor space for the shelter, especially because so much work remained to be done on hotels and other buildings for the Games. [..]

All of the dogs entering the shelter receive medical treatment, including vaccinations. All of them will be eligible for adoption, even to fans attending the Olympics. Spared execution – at least for the moment – the animals at the PovoDog shelter barked in a loud chorus as the sun slowly dropped into the Black Sea, which could be viewed in the distance.

According to the article, this is tarnishing the warm and cuddly image of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

click The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. viagra 25mg Mahatma Gandhi (Indian Statesman and Philosopher)

Overcoming The Odds

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Age, heart conditions, and traumatic events were no deterrents to achieving their goals of reaching this Summer’s Olympics games in London and for some it has earned them gold.

Swimmer Dana Vollmer overcame a heart condition to win Olympic Gold and set a couple of world records

Dana Vollmer, 2012 OlympicsAt the age of 15, already an elite swimmer, Ms. Vollmer, from Granbury, Tex., was taken to a local doctor after experiencing dizzy spells while training. Doctors discovered she had an abnormal heartbeat and set up a procedure to correct it. But they then discovered she had a genetic cardiac electrical disorder called long QT syndrome, which could lead at any moment to sudden cardiac arrest.

The diagnosis was sobering. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, each year about 2,000 people under the age of 25 die of sudden cardiac arrest in the United States, most because of long QT syndrome and other electrical and structural defects in the heart. While sudden cardiac arrest can strike those who are sedentary, the risk is up to three times as great in competitive athletes.

Such diagnoses have derailed the ambitions of many young athletes. But Ms. Vollmer and her family decided against what may have been a career-ending decision to implant a defibrillator in her heart, and instead chose – with the approval of her doctors – to allow her to continue training as long as an external defibrillator was always within reach.

In 2004 in Athens at the age of 16, Dana won her first Olympic gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay event. Dana didn’t qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but has since returned, renewed and refreshed overcoming her physical problems and the psychological effects that were holding her back. Monday night, she not only won the gold in the 100 meter butterfly, she did it in won in 55.98 seconds, breaking the world record. Then on Wednesday night at the Olympic Aquatic Centre, Dana Vollmer swam the second leg of the 4×200 freestyle relay, along with Missy Franklin, Shannon Vreeland, and Allison Schmitt on the last leg, the U. S. swim team won the Olympic gold medal and setting an Olympic record. The U. S. women’s team hadn’t won a swimming relay eight years at the Olympics.

Overcoming the psychological trauma of being sexual assaulted by her coach when she was 13 years old, Kayla Harrison won the first gold medal in judo for the United States.

Kayla Harrison, 2012 OlympicsIn November 2007, a man pleaded guilty in a federal court in Dayton, Ohio, to illicit sexual conduct involving a 13-year-old girl. He was a judo coach, and the girl was a student he had trained closely and brought to international tournaments. Her name was given in court papers simply as “K.H.” or “the victim.” [..]

Harrison is simply the best on the team. It helps that she is also good-natured. And that she has a story she is not afraid to tell, a story that is jarring even for a sports press that can be nearly unhinged in its pursuit of the next inspirational tale.

The questions she fielded at the end of her match, about what she was thinking on the podium, about what the medal means to her, about how this compares to her own struggles, could be wince-inducing in their coy inquiries into such a painful topic.

But she answered them all with the same composure she had just used against her opponents on the mat.

“It’s no secret,” she began, after a long pause, when a reporter asked her to name the worst moment she had to face in her career, “that I was sexually abused by my former coach. And that was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to overcome.”

Harrison has told her story before, first to USA Today only days after the indictment of Jerry Sandusky came down and the front pages were full of news about Penn State, sexual abuse and coaches who exploit their authority.

She said she felt it necessary to speak out so that others in her position could take heart.

Kayla is not a “victim”, she is a hero and a champion.

And for us for us seniors, who think that our time is over to be Olympic competitors  there is Equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan the London Olympics oldest athlete:

Hiroshi Hoketsu, 2012 OlympicsThe crowd did not go wild for Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan as he rode Whisper out on to the sand of the Greenwich Park equestrian arena at one o’clock on Thursday afternoon. It wasn’t a question of bad manners; more a question of consideration.

A stadium-sized roar to acknowledge the arrival of the Games’ oldest competitor – a ramrod-straight and dapper man of 71 – would have frightened the mare and probably embarrassed her rider.

Hoketsu, after all, had not travelled from his home in Germany to fly the flag for older athletes, nor had he come to court the sympathy vote.

He had come to London, as he went to his first games in Tokyo in 1964, and to Beijing four years ago, to compete and, hopefully, to win.

And beneath a bright sky that turned Whisper’s brown coat a dark gold, that is what he tried his best to do. [..]

His white-gloved hands keeping her on a tight rein, Whisper executed a neat diagonal cross of the arena before pausing and reversing neatly to one corner. Seven minutes later, after she had appeared to jog on the spot, skip and goose-step her way around the arena, Whisper came to a stop in front of the judges. As the first drops of rain began to fall from a greying sky, the crowd burst into applause and Hoketsu raised his hat in acknowledgement.

And with that, the oldest Olympian rode out of the arena, to finish 17th out of 24.

When he was asked about his performance and  if he would compete in Rio in four years, he blamed any errors on himself and said that competing was in doubt because of his partner Whisper’s age. He also lamented how the Olympics have changed since he started competing 48 years ago:

“The Olympic Games itself has changed a little bit,” he said. “At that time, participation was of more importance to everybody. But now follow site I think medals are much more important, not only for athletes but also even for politics.

We salute all the champions at the Olympics.

Olympic Firsts for a Determined Champion

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

On Thursday night a diminutive 16 year old took the gold medal in Individual Gymnastics and accomplished something unique, not once but twice with the same performance. Gabrielle Christina Victoria “Gabby” Douglas, a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics teama member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, became first African-American and first woman of color in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. She did it with support and encouragement from her family in Virginia Beach and her adopted family in Des Moines, Iowa where she trained under Liang Chow, the former coach of 2008 Summer Olympics gold medal-winner Shawn Johnson.

She’s not done yet. Gabby is scheduled to compete in the finals of uneven bars on August 6 and balance beam on August 7.

Fly, Gabby, fly.

For Your Consideration: NYT Olympic Coverage

Since the television coverage by NBC is so abominable and there is lack of live coverage of the most popular events, like Alpine Skiing, I give you the NYT’s coverage as an alternative that you can customize to your favorite event and/or country. The Multimedia has a very nice Tracker that is interactive that includes information about when a medal event is scheduled and who has won already. There is a blog, interviews and videos of athletes, as well as analysis and “fluff”. The best part is, that unlike watching NBC and Bob “isn’t my hair nice” Costas, you can pick and choose what you want to know.

They even cover Curling in depth, even explaining some of the colorful terms used for those of us who are unfamiliar. Both the Men’s and Women’s Canadian teams are unbeaten and face off today with the Swiss and USA, respectively.

The only way the Olympics would not be watched in this house is for a major power blackout and, even in that event, we would still have power adequate to turn on a TV, damn solar panels.

Overnight Caption Contest

Olympic gold for LGBT athletes

Though the Olympics aren’t quite over, I thought it’d be good to bring people’s attention to the openly queer athletes who’ve succeeded in Beijing, despite the stigma often attached whenever sports and sexuality cross paths.  

Stories like theirs often slip between the cracks, despite 24/7 coverage of the games.  But as long as stereotypes exist about the ability of gay, lesbian, bi, and trans athletes to perform at the same level as their peers, we need their stories to remind us that they can and do succeed.  

Here’s a quick roundup of athletes who are not only at the top of their game, but also open members of the LGBT community.

Olympic Protesters Punished Without Trials

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Evidently, it’s not a really good idea to assert free speech rights in China or to protest the policies of the Chinese government.  If you’re Chinese, as I previously wrote, you can be sent to “re-education through labor” if you apply five times to get a permit to protest legally. And what if you’re a US Citizen and you protest?  You are summarily punished without trial.  Or deported.  After all, protests about freedom for Tibet, or anything else that might offend you about the Chinese Government’s policies, might tarnish the luster of the perfect, mechanistic Olympics.

The New York Times reports:

Six Americans who were taken into custody on Tuesday as they tried to protest against China’s rule in Tibet have been given 10-day detentions, the Chinese police said Friday.

But members of their organization, the New York-based Students for a Free Tibet, said that they had no information about four other protesters – two Americans, a German and a British citizen – who were detained early Thursday during a protest near the National Stadium. http://community2community.info/?search=cat-dosage-for-lasix Extrajudicial detentions are a common form of punishment for Chinese dissidents, but are rarely handed out to foreigners, who are often deported almost immediately after being taken into custody. Members of Students for a Free Tibet have staged eight protests involving 55 people since the Olympics began on Aug. 8, and human rights advocates said the government might be seeking to deter those contemplating similar activities in the Games’ final days.

/snip

Reached by telephone, Public Security Bureau officials declined to comment, but faxed a two-sentence statement explaining that the six Americans had been “apprehended for upsetting public order.” The statement, which did not include the detainees’ names, said the men were being held at the Dongcheng police station.

You read that right.  Extrajudicial detentions means punishment without trial.  And the offense is “upsetting public order.”

What exactly did these protesters do that so grievously “upset public order”?

Most of the organization’s demonstrations have involved unfurling “Free Tibet” banners or displaying Tibetan flags, which are illegal in China. In the latest action, dove acquistare viagra generico 200 mg a Roma four protesters raised their fists and shouted slogans while waving a Tibetan flag near the National Stadium. As at the other protests, the participants were quickly bundled off by plainclothes police officers.

So. The protesters are summarily detained and punished without trial.  But it gets more interesting:

Two photographers for The Associated Press were also roughed and taken into custody, according to news agency reports and press freedom advocates. The police questioned them for 30 to 40 minutes and http://cancersupportmontana.org/?search=get-free-viagra-buy-online took the memory cards from their cameras.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of China has received dozens of complaints from foreign journalists who have been detained, trailed or had equipment damaged by the police.

How dare anyone so grievously upset public order during the Olympics!  How dare newspeople and photographers actually do their jobs and record the protests!  Didn’t Chairman Mao write, “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend?”  Well maybe.  But he must not have meant during the Olympics.

KO: Heroes and Speeches

Uggghhh. It is a sad day when people on the Left turn against Keith Olbermann for any reason.

KO is one of the sole voices pissing into the hurricane/tsunami of disinformation and neo-con propaganda from the Murdoch Empire and all Minions Fox and elsewhere… and people ask him to stop his Editorials.

Let Kieth be Kieth.

These are the same People who attacked Reverend Wright for speaking Truths in this country.

If Obama stayed Obama, a man who admired Rev. Wright, he would not be losing ground via handlers and media-whores.

Why is it that people are uncomfortable with Truths? Oh they claim to want Truth, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their TV pleasure viewing the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic games, the grandiose hoopla and the shiny young athletes.

America likes its Public Service Announcements snuggled in minute sound bytes during the breaks of their obsessive American Idol episodes… it makes their guilty pleasure of being brainless hedonists ease up a little to be able to yell “Right On” at a commercial that says “Green Power”.. all while turning up their Air Conditioning and keeping the volume on their TV’s cranked up to Prime Numbers.

http://citiva.com/?search=best-price-viagra-jelly-in-usa But WATCH a whole documentary or turn off the TV and read a book about it?  Too depressing, man. They don’t want a bowl of whole-grain truths, when they can sprinkle a little fiber on their processed Sugar Puffs.

More about real heroes below.

China, Free Wu Dianyuan And Wang Xiuying!

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Photobucket

The Chinese Government is go to site very afraid of these two women.

Seventy-nine-year-old Wu Dianyuan, on the right, and her neighbor Wang Xiuying, 77, followed the law.  They applied for a protest permit.  They wanted to protest inadequate compensation for the taking of their homes in preparation of the Olympics.  They asked for the permit five times.  They didn’t get it.  They ended up instead being sentenced to a year of “re-education through labor.”

According to NY Times:

Two elderly Chinese women have been sentenced to a year of “re-education through labor” after they repeatedly sought a permit to demonstrate in one of the official Olympic protest areas, according to family members and human rights advocates.

The women, Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, had made five visits to the police this month in an effort to get permission to protest what they contended was inadequate compensation for the demolition of their homes in Beijing.

During their final visit on Monday, public security officials informed them that they had been given administrative sentences for “disturbing the public order,” according to Li Xuehui, Ms. Wu’s son.

Mr. Li said his mother and Ms. Wang, who used to be neighbors before their homes were demolished to make way for a redevelopment project, were allowed to return home but were told they could be sent to a detention center at any moment. “Can you imagine two old ladies in their 70s being re-educated through labor?” he asked. He said Ms. Wang was nearly blind.

Join me in Beijing.

One world, one dream, Free Tibet



The report from Students for a Free Tibet.

Video from The Times of London.

“Who can say I’ll even be alive in 2012?”

I was disgusted and disheartened to hear the IOC had banned the Iraq Olympic team for irregularities. It seems back in May the Iraqi government dissolved their 11 member committee, charging they did not have a legal quorum to conduct business and perhaps concern over the fact several of the members were hold overs from Saddam. Never mind the IOC allowing Udai’s teams compete even tho torture was part of his training regimen. In 2008, dozens of Iraqi athletes were expected to compete, their spots have now been given to other countries.  Follow me below the fold for a glimpse the gut wrenching ramifications of the heartless hypocritcal decision by the IOC.  

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