Yep, this is the real spirit of the Games all right

That’s such a nice thought that I almost wish it were true. How come the athletes are organized into “teams” by country instead of favorite genre of music or by trainer or by lot or whatever[sup]1[/sup]? Why not have them march in the opening ceremonies by height, shortest to tallest, and do away with the flags entirely?

[sup]1[/sup]: Or to be really cynical, by sponsor. :wink:

The Ancient Greek city-states fielded Olympians and rooted for the hometown boys. But the point was, despite their rivalries, they came together for the games because they were all Greek. They were Spartans, Athenians, Dorians, but they were all Greek first. The modern Olympic ideal is an extrapolation of all that. We have our differences, we speak different languages, worship different gods, go to different fast food restaurants, but we’re all human. It’s an ideal which means its not always lived up to, as in this case.

I’m not a big sports fan, but I like the Olympics for this reason.

I agree completely, vibrotronica. I think that only good can come of athletic competition between citizens of countries who are political enemies, particularly when the whole world is watching. It makes it very clear and very real that on both sides of any international dispute there are human beings who ultimately have similar dreams and aspirations. What would be the downside of an Iranian athlete wrestling an Israeli? That each side might recognize the humanity of the other? I still remember how strongly I opposed the 1980 boycott, knowing that it would lead to the 1984 boycott and fearing (fortunately incorrectly) that it would permanently derail the Olympic movement.

Every invited country (pretty much every country in the world) is at this year’s Olympics. They all marched into the stadium together, and stood under the world map together. Refusing to compete after that makes no sense at all. The Olympics is the one opportunity we have to put aside all the politics and come together as a world community.

That said, these kind of individual incidents are almost certainly the faults of the NOC’s and governments rather than the athletes. I just wish the governments and officials could see that there is so much more to be gained by embracing the Olympics than by treating it as just another political arena.

why are so many people ready to bring in the whole “Jew hating” angle? You can be assured that the athlete would have pulled out if it had been an Israeli Christian or any other denomination you could think of.

What really troubles me about this story is this:

Unfer 66 kilograms? Who weighs less than 66 kilograms? And they were supposed to be fighting?

I’m just glad the kids didn’t get a chance to hurt each other on national TV - that can really stay on their minds, even into adulthood.

Did you see the 56kg weightlifter!

Oh, come on Kiwi, i used to work stacking boxes heavier than that! Try and make it probable, at least.


I agree, and El Cid’s post makes it that much more clear that this is probably what happened.

No bollocks! I watched him this morning, teensy little chap he was!

That doesn’t sound like America to me. I don’t disagree that voters were disenfranchised in the last election, but I would hardly describe it as “widespread” (unless you meant to say voter apathy). I don’t think America has this “burgeoning, secular student movement” you think exists. Young people are actually more conservative than than in the past. Are there some other similarities you left out, or is that all?

More conservatice compared to what?

Also, boycotting the Olympics (or certain events) seems to be the biggest political statement one can make (short of declaring war).

Previous generations of young people in this country.

Yeah Americans have religious police. Women can’t walk down the street without being assaulted for not wearing enough clothing even in 90 degree heat. Bush has imposed a Christian state on the rest of us.


Ask the Baha’is where they’d rather live. Or any sane woman.

The Iranians can’t even mount that high horse, let alone ride it.

Marley23 answered the question (correctly), and here is a cite if you’re interested:

UC study finds younger people more conservative

Gee, thanks for that evenhanded summury of all of the twiated plots the evil Isralies are up to :wally . :rolleyes:

Not that I care either way, but uh, UC Berkley doing a study (or informal street poll) on conservative values is like asking Hu Jintao about American Democracy, you’re bound to get a bias, it’s an almost inescapable truth.

Regarding the OP; I’d have to take up with Miller on this one. The olympics are nice and all, but they’re the stuff of precocious idealists and money hungry TV networks. Sure, they can instill hometown pride, and put a shine on nationalism for a few weeks, but their purpose is all but lost in the stifling wake of their own corruption, scandal and bureaucracy. Blood doping, drug use, bribe scandals, political boycotts… :rolleyes: It’s not a competition anymore, it’s a vehicle for sponsoring companies and athletes looking, not to win, but to garner sweet endorsement deals (which there’s nothing wrong with, btw, but it’s hardly ‘olympic’).

Personally, I could not care less about Iran refusing to compete with Israel, but i think, if one athlete drops out of one event for political reasons, then the rest of the team ought to be forced from the games as well.

It was a nationwide poll conducted by the university. If there was a bias, don’t you think it would slant the other way to make it look like younger people are less conservative/more liberal?

Didja read the rest of the article, though?

That makes the “young people today are more conservative” generalization look kind of arbitrary. What the study actually found is that they’re more conservative about some things, more liberal about some things, and not much different on the rest of the issues. Big whoop.

Unless the Iranian is wearing a vest made of explosives? :dubious: :rolleyes:

What are you talking about? You DO know that 66 kg is 146 pounds, right? You do realize that that’s the average weight for men under 5’8", and that 25% of ALL 20-year-old men are under 66 kg?

You really had a job stacking 123-pound boxes? All day? Tough work.