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Author Topic: And the olympics have come to a close
500_Apples
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posted 24 August 2008 08:06 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My thoughts:

- Most memorable athletes:
Michael Phelps
Usain Bolt
Nastia Liukin

- Canada is 14th in medals, but 19th in gold medals.
- China wins gold medal race, but not total medal race, comes a very close second though. Russia is still an olympic power, coming in with 73, behind China (100) and USA (110).
- Time zone sucked for me, I missed out on what was likely awesome tennis and basketball. Of what I actually got to watch, I most enjoyed the gymnastics. Those people look scary good.
- Federer continues his slump, losing to James Blake which he's never done before.
- In another sport, the US redeem team in basketball does as well as it can.

If I got put on the rings... I would be good at... just hanging there. I think I could pull that off. For like 60 seconds or something I can't imagine the finger dexterity of the rhythmic gymnastics participant. I looked in awe when the female gymnasts did back flips and front flips on the bar thingy, landing on one foot - wow.

[ 24 August 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 24 August 2008 08:56 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I never saw any tennis or table tennis (which is supposed to be popular in China I hear). I saw a lot of volleyball, basketball, diving, swimming, rowing, running, triathlon, cycling, and gymnastics. I guess I liked the diving most of all, and the basketball least.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
West Coast Greeny
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posted 24 August 2008 07:22 PM      Profile for West Coast Greeny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Favorite moments:

- Togo's Benjamin Boukpeti's shocking bronze in K-1 slalom. After seeing his time on the scoreboard, he smashed the paddle in half in celebration.
- Yao Ming's 3 pointer.
- The Spain vs. USA basketball shootdown.
- Usain Bolt
- Michael Phelps

Favorite sports:
- Basketball (sorry Boom Boom), although Women's basketball isn't competitive enough yet
- Swimming
- Track Relay
- Gymnastics

Sports I wish I saw:
- Table Tennis
- Modern Pentathelon


From: Ewe of eh. | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 25 August 2008 10:11 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I want to see chuckwagon races and midget wrestling at the olympics.

I didn't watch much, except incidentally. The rest of the family were or are competitive swimmers, so the TV was on then while they watched.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 25 August 2008 10:37 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A Cuban Taekwondo athlete, incensed by a ruling that disqualified him, let rip with a boot to the head of one of the officials.

Not very sporting, I'd say. The Cubans, and others, have been mighty upset by what they see as the lousy officiating at the Olympics, and the boxing is even in question because of that. But kicking an official?

It looks like there is an effort to enforce a lifetime ban against Angel Matos.

The issue has got some increasing coverage due to remarks made by retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro about this. If someone can provide a link to Castro's remarks or the article in question then that would be helpful.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 25 August 2008 11:26 AM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wrestling has the tradition of leaving your boots in the ring when you quit the sport. Maybe tae kwan do should start a tradition of kicking the most corrupt official you can find as a sport quitting ceremony.

Might clean up the judging.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 25 August 2008 11:33 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The pre-Olympic predictions that I saw had China winning slightly more medals that the USA.

As it turns out, China made HUGE gains:

■ 51 gold medals in 2008 (versus 32 gold medals in 2004)
■ 21 silver medals in 2008 (versus 17 silver medals in 2004)
■ 28 bronze medals in 2008 (versus 14 bronze medals in 2004)
■ 100 total medals in 2008 (versus only 63 total medals in 2004, nearly a 60% increase).

China’s increasing Olympic prowess is mirroring its ever-increasing economic power.

But, China’s gains were largely at the expense of countries other than the USA, as the USA actually did better in 2008 than in 2004: Same number of gold medals, one less silver medal, and nine more bronze medals (for a total medal count of 110 in 2008).

ETA: I suspect that within the next couple of Olympiads, China will become the premier medal winner and will retain that position for the foreseeable future. Again, that will coincide with China having the world's largest economy in just a few more years.

[ 25 August 2008: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 25 August 2008 12:19 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am surprised by how few African distance runners run for rich nations. Only a matter of time...

I can see a day when there are rules for trading players between countries.


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 25 August 2008 12:24 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The ten countries winning the most medals (USA, China, Russia, UK, Australia, Germany, France, South Korea, Italy and Ukraine) won nearly 60% of all medals (the remaining 40% of the medals were spread out among 77 other countries).

The fifteen countries winning 5 or more gold medals (China, USA, Russia, UK, Germany, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Italy, France, Ukraine, Netherlands, Jamaica, Spain, and Kenya) won about 75% of all of the gold medals.

That aspect of the games makes watching the Olympics somewhat ho-hum.

Biggest team news was China’s dominance in gold medals and Jamaica’s excellent showing.

Individually, Bolt’s performance was stellar (he didn’t even appear to be running at 100%). Phelps’s single-Olympiad performance will likely never be beaten. He’s won 14 gold medals in two Olympiads (the most by any previous Olympic athlete is nine over an entire career) and Phelps will likely win a few more gold medals in London in 2012 (so he’ll probably end up with 16 to 20 gold medals when all is said and done). That being said, someone will eventually win more gold medals than Phelps over an Olympic career—it may not occur for many decades but someone will eventually do it. However, I think it is highly unlikely that any individual will ever win nine gold medals in a single Olympiad to break Phelps’s single-Olympiad record of eight. There are just too many things that have to be done perfectly (Phelps barely won eight—he won the one race by 0.01 seconds and had to rely on team efforts in three other races). Out of over 100,000 athletes who have competed in the modern Olympics, only 2 athletes have won seven gold medals in a single Olympiad (Spitz and Phelps). To win nine gold medals in a single Olympiad is highly unlikely.

[ 25 August 2008: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 25 August 2008 12:36 PM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There are 2 issues with that analysis. One is how long the Olympics will last, given enough time even very unlikely events tend to occur. The other is stability in the structure of the Olympics, for example, if more swimming races were added, the chances for high numbers of medals would increase.

Both of those things are longshots, so it is indeed unlkely that Phelps will be surpassed.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
A_J
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posted 25 August 2008 12:50 PM      Profile for A_J     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
The Cubans, and others, have been mighty upset by what they see as the lousy officiating at the Olympics, and the boxing is even in question because of that.

It wasn't exactly a controversial call. When a competitor goes down, they have one minute to get back up or be disqualified. Matos' minute had expired.

quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
The issue has got some increasing coverage due to remarks made by retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro about this. If someone can provide a link to Castro's remarks or the article in question then that would be helpful.

quote:
AP - Castro: Corrupt judges hurt Cuban Olympians

HAVANA - Fidel Castro on Monday defended the Cuban taekwondo athlete who kicked a judge in the face at the Beijing Olympics, saying Angel Matos was rightfully indignant over his disqualification from the bronze-medal match.

Taekwondo officials want Matos and his coach banned for life from the sport. But Castro expressed "our total solidarity" for both Matos and his coach Leudis Gonzalez. He also said, without providing details, that the coach had been offered a bribe.



From: * | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 25 August 2008 01:16 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Pogo:I am surprised by how few African distance runners run for rich nations. Only a matter of time...

I can see a day when there are rules for trading players between countries.


You might be interested to know that there are rules, or should I say FEES, in regard to players moving from one country to another in other sporting activities. For a chess player to change the country s/he plays for it costs around 1600 EURO for an International Master (IM) and around 2000 EURO for a Grand Master (GM). The fee becomes less over time. I suspect other sports also have such fees, payable either to the sporting regulatory body or to the original country.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
kropotkin1951
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posted 25 August 2008 02:03 PM      Profile for kropotkin1951   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had never seen a tae-kwon do match until I watched a Canadian woman near the beginning of the tournament. I was convinced that the judging was biased and absurdly so. The Canadians protested the match but lost the protest. If this was the case in other matches I will bet there were more than a few pissed of competitors. Imagine yourself being in that situation, that after many years of training you arrive at a rigged event and there is nothing you can do about it. Quite the end to an Olympic dream.
From: North of Manifest Destiny | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 25 August 2008 03:23 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Boxing at the Olympics has been much the same. I must give credit to the Canadian boxing commentator, Russ Anber, whose open-hearted fondness for real boxing led him to express his undisguised admiration for the style of the Latino (Cuban and other Caribbean) fighters and his wish that the officials of international boxing were actually watching to see what it looked like. I hope Russ doesn't get punished for calling it the way he sees it. His giddy enthusiasm for old-fashioned boxing and honesty in sports is to be admired.

Amateur boxing will always be different from the pros ... but it has its own charm and, properly officiated, it's fun to watch.

[ 25 August 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 25 August 2008 04:23 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Anber's a guru for sure. Hey I just found Tommy Hearns v Aaron Pryor 1976 Golden Gloves

[ 25 August 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 25 August 2008 04:31 PM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I understand the Olympics began their modern life as largely open to well-to-do or sponsored athletes, and was outdone in popularity beginning in "workers Olympics" in the 1920s.

Last workers Olympics took place in Spain in about 1936 - interrupted by Franco's attack ...

Can anyone confirm this outline of a dual Olympics...?


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 25 August 2008 05:24 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I understand the Olympics began their modern life as largely open to well-to-do or sponsored athletes...

Maybe, but the greatest athlete in history, Jim Thorpe, participated in those early games, and he wasn't well-to-do.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 25 August 2008 05:41 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There is an excellent history radio series by Serge bouchard and Rachel Verdon on Radio-Canada called "Des remarquables oubliés", that features "forgotten Canadians", many of them First Nations. During the recent Olympic games, the series focussed on the first Canadians to do well in these events.
In 1904, the Olympics were held in St.Louis and drew a more popular crowd than Pierre de Coubertin's attempts at aristocratic renewal in Europe.
Étienne Desmarteau, a Montreal policeman, took the gold in shot-putting, but he had to pay his own way and was fired for taking a disputed leave of absence for this trip. He was the first Canadian to ever win a gold medal in Olympic games.
Full roster of De remarquables oubliés past programs. A great way to learn French... (also available in book and DVD form)

From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
bekayne
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posted 25 August 2008 08:34 PM      Profile for bekayne        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am surprised by how few African distance runners run for rich nations. Only a matter of time...

It's already started.

http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/July-August-2004/scene_mulhauser_julaug04.html

The men's 1500 was won by an runner representing Bahrain who was from Morocco

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_Ramzi

The final also included 2 Kenyan runners running for Bahrain & Qatar. The 800 metre final had a Kenyan running for Bahrain, the 5000 final had a Kenyan running for Qatar, the 10 000 final had 3 Kenyans running for Qatar & 1 for Bahrain,& there was a Kenyan running for Bahrain in the Steeplechase. The current Steeplechase world record holder, a Kenyan running for Saudi Arabia (mentioned in the Legal Affairs article in the link) was injured & didn't compete.


From: Kelowna, BC | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
George Victor
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posted 26 August 2008 06:58 AM      Profile for George Victor        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I understand the Olympics began their modern life as largely open to well-to-do or sponsored athletes, and was outdone in popularity only by "workers Olympics", beginning in the 1920s.
-----------------------------------------------


Not to be critical of some exceptional athletes who were not well-to-do , or maybe didn't, somehow, need sponsorship, I just thought that this FACT of history, whereby the world's working classes (particularly European) sponsored their own parallel Olympics was significant, both in its appearance (and now disappearance from view).


From: Cambridge, ON | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged

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