Friday, August 08, 2008

Beijing 2008 wrap-up: The let's get this puppy going edition

Day 0

Your daily Olympic wrap-up.

Notable Canadian performance: Adam van Koeverden. He waved that flag real good.

Notable international performance: Those crazy dudes that did the thing symbolizing the printing press. The drummers were cool too. Oh, and the fireworks. Great fireworks.

The Maple Leaf Gold: Let’s go sappy...all the Canuck athletes. There are 16-days to be cynical.

Maple Leaf silver: The four members of the field hockey team that wore turbans as a subtle protest/celebration about the lack of freedom of religion in China and the freedoms Canada provides. I really like the Canadian field hockey guys. They’re Olympians in all the good ways. Hopefully they can get a result in the tournament.

Maple Leaf bronze: Alex Despatie. He gave a classy interview outside the village early in the Ceeb’s broadcast. Despatie seems to have really evolved into his role of veteran leader among Canadian athletes. Early on in his career he didn’t seem like the leader type, so the evolution is refreshing. If he medals he would be a great choice to carry the flag at the closing ceremony.

Maple Leaf tin medal: The CBC – for cutting to commercial several times during the march of nations. As regular reader Krister pointed out in the comments section below, Canada is a multicultural society. There are a lot of ex-pats that want to see both Canada and the country of their origin come into the stadium.

Honourary Canadian award: Li Ning – He’s now part of a very select group of people that have competed in an Olympics and have lit the Olympic flame (none are Canadian, because we in Canada like to get all cutsie with our flame lighting. (DON’T GET ANY IDEAS VANCOUVER ORGANIZERS – MAKE IT AN ATHLETE. SYMBOLISM HAS BEEN DONE. TO DEATH.)

Canadian highlights for day 1: The women’s soccer team takes on China at 7:45 a.m. EDT Saturday. Chances of a Canadian medal on day 1 are slim.

International highlight for day 1: Swimming gets going with Michael Phelps qualifying in the 400m IM at 6:33 a.m.


sager said...

That is bush by the CBC -- that's something you expect from FOX Sports. In this day and age it would be very easy to have ads onscreen or just show the ceremony in its entirety and take a small hit on revenues (of course, granted, we could find it online and watch it).

I'm one-quarter ticked off that they didn't show the Sweden team.

Meantime, a few irons to stick in the fire.

Seriously, Gregg Doyel of You're going to begrudge American middle-distance man Bernard Lagat because he came to America from Kenya a 12-year-old refugee?

Even someone who sharpened his skills on a blog would have a lick of sense to leave that one alone -- at least be self-aware enough to realize his/her own prejudices.

Even Mike Toth would know better than to play devil's advocate.

Call this one Stuff White People Like #124 -- expecting rich black folks to be social activists. Sports On My Mind has issued a preemptive rebuttal against those who believe Kobe Bryant and LeBron James should be taking a stand on Darfur -- at the same time they're walking around in clothing made in the third world, in jewelry made from minerals mined in Africa, and are ignoring some of the real atrocities at home and abroad.

(Dan Wetzel's column is a pretty good example of what SOMM is mad about.

Last but not least, while it's true we're awfully selective about our indignation, you gotta read this:

"I had heard from a friend that a highly regarded documentary – 'China Blue' about young migrant Chinese women working in sweat shops – was to be screened in a bar normally better known for its live music.

"The film has never been shown in China, and its director, Israeli-born Micha Peled, is no longer allowed into the country. This sounded like a rare opportunity for me, so I went along.

"There were about 30 people at the screening, and the place was comfortable enough that we didn’t mind waiting half an hour beyond the advertised starting time. The friend of the director who introduced the movie said the screening 'fits in the spirit of the Olympic Games of international meeting, mutual respect and human dignity.'

"Ha ha ha.

"Twenty minutes into the film, which followed one girl’s struggle in a blue-jeans factory that obliged employees to work ludicrous amounts of overtime, there was a loud “PHUT,” the screen went blank, the computerized projector shut down, and all the ceiling fans slowed to a halt."


"A couple of European activists invited a handful of journalists to a hotel room at noon, to show them a Tibetan protest film on a laptop. Somehow it didn’t take long for the hotel manager to find out what was happening, burst into the room and order everyone to leave; whereupon the police showed up and the organizers fled.

"One of them decided to take the next flight home. 'He didn’t feel safe any more,' a friend said."

China is a wonderful place, most of the time.

sager said...

That Doyel column is even more nauseating when you consider that the witless wonder completely omitted runner Joseph "Lopez" Lomong, "one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who was voted to be the United States' flagbearer.

Come on, Gregg. Don't equivocate. Stick to your guns, so what if Lemong, as you can read here, was "separated from his parents at gunpoint at age 6 when government soldiers tried to recruit him and other boys to join the army."

Details, shmetails, right? Like you say, "If you're representing the United States, but you're from another country, you're a traitor to that country."

This is reactionary by a factor of 10, but I just went from not giving a damn who wins the 1,500 metres to hoping Lopez Lemong wins a medal.

Anonymous said...

For fuck's sake, Sagar, shut the fuck already, there's a reason no one cares what you think ... those guys on the OHL message board are laughing their asses of at you and I can't blame them.

Duane Rollins said...

Is anonymous your first or last name?