Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Shaming His Cuntry In the Process

Sad, but Belarussian nordic skier Sergei Dolidovich has been banned from the Turin Olympics. He should bury his head in a moist, wet hole in shame.

Olympic Spirit

Yes, every two years, I go looking for the little things that make the Olympics different from other big sporting events. Gaudy ceremonies? Nope, halftime shows pretty much do the same thing. Playing "for the love of the game"? The frozen four and the final four (with the odd exception of "playing for the love of a shoe contract") pretty much do that. How about giving your primary competition on-the-fly equipment assistance in the middle of the finals? Uhhh, something tells me that if someone broke a stick in a Minnesota vs Harvard hockey game that the only opposing piece of lumber they could hope to get is one across the back of the neck. However, in this morning's nordic team sprint event final, when Canada's Sarah Renner broke a pole - dropping 2.4 seconds and from first to forth - from the sidelines one of the Norwegian coaches threw her a replacement. The Canadian team of Renner and Beckie Scott then proceeded to climb back through the ranks, passing those same Norwegians en route - thereby knocking them off the podium - to take silver.

Sappy? Yes. Representative of everything that goes on at the Olympics? Ahhh, no. Olympian? Undoubtedly. Of course, here in Canada, not a single press outlet has mentioned or quoted the Norwegian coach.

PS - Beckie Scott in and of herself is a great story. At Salt Lake (and for two years afterwards) two doping bans took her from 3rd to 1st in the individual pursuit. She received her gold medal in Vancouver in 2004. Too bad she didn't get to hear the anthem here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Olympic Anthems

Yes, Olympic Mascots are very strange. They all seem to be some sort of country cousin to Youppi. However, they all seem fairly innocuous. From stuffed cat-like things to stuffed Nicorettes, they are all firmly in the "Children! Future!" category.

Olympic anthems on the other hand... The latest effort for Turin, can only be described as fascist. Now, I'm not really surprised, given that this is the place where fascism was born and it follows that since fascists every after have copied their architecture, tailoring and fodness for strangely etherial quasi-martial music that the anthem for this games would sound not out of place at a night rally. However, I would think that something by John Tesh would be no less awful and much less frightening. Then again, I remember having the Tesh-composed Calgary '88 theme (which, I believe was called "Love In The Air", which makes me think it could very well have done double duty drawing tourists back to Toronto after the SARS scare) pounded into my head and I'll be damned if I still confuse it and "Roundball Rock". Tesh, fighting fascism.