Posts Tagged ‘Rio Olympics’

and lo, the EU led all the rest ….

August 19, 2016

The EU lives in false glories. Excluding Brexit, of course.

Table by Euro Informationen

EU at the Olympics

It reminds me of the Soviet Union

euccp image nccg-org


 

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This Brazilian public does not deserve the Olympics

August 17, 2016

The Brazilian public is failing. It has no apparent understanding of the celebration of endeavour that the Olympics is supposed to be. They have little concept of “fair play”. The booing of competitors by the Brazilian public is a real stain on the Rio Olympics. They booed some teams at the opening ceremony. They booed the Swedish women’s football team last night when they beat Brazil on penalties. They booed Matt Kuchar in the golf tournament.

They booed at every event. They booed athletes, cyclists, boxers, swimmers – and any opponent of a Brazilian competitor in any sport.

Maybe the Olympics have cost too much. Maybe the handling of the green diving pool was proof of incompetence. No doubt the Olympics as an organisation is endemically corrupt. Retroactive penalties for alleged doping in the 2008 games is childish. Russian doping may be widespread but there is no justification for collective punishment. But the audience also has standards to meet.

The Olympics should be about endeavour and not just results.

But the Brazilian public have been contemptuous about endeavour. Booing a runner who came last in her heat as she struggled across the finish line after achieving the best time of her career was beyond the pale.

I have been to Brazil many times and the hospitality and friendliness is out of this world. Notwithstanding the street crime in Rio and Sao Paolo which is nasty and brutish. But this Brazilian public has proven to be immature, with little appreciation of “fair play” and have not lived up to my expectations. Every Russian participant was booed. They even booed the French pole vaulter because he was beaten to gold by a Brazilian. The Brazilian public shamed themselves.

They have not been an audience deserving of  the Olympics.


 

“Bigger, faster, stronger” tarnished by Zika, doping, corruption

August 4, 2016

The Olympic games (summer and winter) have been a high point in my sporting interests for some 50 years. But this year my usual enthusiasm is heavily subdued and my viewing will be accompanied by a very high level of cynicism. The dominating themes are Zika, doping and corruption and could completely overshadow any feats of speed or strength or skill.

Tomorrow is the official opening of the Rio Olympics. The torch arrived yesterday accompanied by demonstrations against the high cost of the games and against the rampant political corruption in Brazil. The military broke up the peaceful demonstrations with an exercise of – apparently – excessive violence. No doubt they are all on edge. Some preliminary women’s football matches were played in empty stadiums (and why on earth is football an Olympic sport?).

Some other peripheral sports, which should not be part of the Olympics (golf, tennis), have seen many of their stars pull out citing a variety of injuries and other engagements. But they are all dead scared of the Zika virus and can’t jeopardise their normal earnings. In any case there is little glory or credit in an Olympic medal for golf or tennis.

The closed shop that is the IOC, to my perception, is more corrupt than FIFA ever was. Every venue for the last 50 years has been “bought”. Corruption is endemic in the administration and in many of the sports. The boxing and wrestling and weightlifting tournaments are so “fixed” that the results are meaningless. The gymnastics championships are beset first by subjective judging and – always it seems – by politically influenced judging. Today the IOC announced that another batch of strange sports would be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Softball and skateboarding among others. Skateboarding? No doubt many thousands, if not millions, has changed hands.

It is swimming and track and field which – for me – are the essence of the Olympics. I would be quite happy to see diving and water-polo be dropped. Rowing and canoeing and sailing are probably valid disciplines but the equestrian sports are not. Trampoline gymnastics and synchronised swimming and beach volleyball are other ridiculous disciplines which have no place in the Olympics.

The sports at the Rio Olympics are:

Rio Olympic sports

Rio Olympic sports

I hope there are no catastrophes and I wish the Brazilians well. Brazil now really needs a successful games to feel good about.

No doubt I will spend many hours watching on Television. But I will not be as engaged and enthusiastic as I usually am.


 


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