The Olympics

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    In all honesty, I will probably watch very little if any of the Olympic games this year. I have some very fundamental problems with China, not the least of which are lead paint in our childrens' toys and poison in our pet food. I remember the cultural revolution, or what we knew of it here. I recently read a book called "Mao - The Untold Story", which was a very comprehensive history of Mao from his young adulthood to his death. It was written by a woman who was exiled to the Himalaya's when she was 14, and whose parents were paraded for months through the streets and made to crawl on glass during the cultural revolution. She interviewed over 150 of his inner circle, those who have lived this long. He was a monster who still shapes their every world move. He starved over 35 million people to death during peace time in his country, and sold the food they grew to Russia to obtain the bomb. When his advisors pled for his mercy for them, Mao said "The people must learn how to not be hungry" and tortured the advisor. He is still presented to the people and the world as a near god in China. I feel the Olympic games in Beijing are to Mao's vision what the '36 Berlin games were to Hitler, and I can't in good conscience support them by watching.

    That being said, I saw this photo today of Yao Ming carrying the Chinese Flag into Olympic Stadium. I actually like Yao Ming quite a bit. He seems to be a very funny, humble and talented young man. I thought it was hilarious to see him in front of the rest of his team. They come to his beltline, I swear!

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-08/08/xinsrc_2020805082322031242993.jpg
     
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    He sure does look like the cartoon image of one guy standing on the other guy's shoulders, and wearing a trench coat to appear taller...
     
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a lot of problems with several aspects of China too but I hope that can all be put aside for the sake of the athletes. I love the Olympics and have watched them since I was a little girl. I will probably watch every sport I can, especially the gymnastics of course.

    We went to the Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta and we loved every minute of it. My dream is to go to another Olympics before I'm too old to enjoy it.

    Nancy
     
  4. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I tend to not think of the country that the Olympics is in but the athletes that are participating. They put a lot of work in to be able to go. I am sitting watching all the athletes come into the stadium on tv now. I understand the feelings for the country it is in but I guess I am not looking at it as much as the athletes.

    beth
     
  5. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    One of our dear friends is a diver, Thomas Finchum, and I am supporting him all the way. He is awesome, and his dream is coming true. While I'll keep my comments to myself about China, I still think it is awesome he's come this far.
     
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Beth...thats the way I tend to see it too.

    I am sitting here feeling very irritated. My dish network doesnt give me a NBC channel because of some weird stupid thing that I still dont understand. I pay for locals and I get abc and cbs and fox but nbc isnt in there. I have argued to no end. Now for some reason they did stick it in for the olympics but halfway through the parade of nations the satellite went dead! I was livid. I didnt even get to see the US come in.

    My thinking is that if they can manage to give it to me for the olympics they can include it for the rest of the time. Heck...nbc is the channel that was harder for me to get on antenna than the other two channels! It barely came in at all and was much farther away.
     
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    How about that little boy walking with Yow Ming? Nine years old, and helped some of his classmates escape the rubble of their school from the earthquake after he got himself out. What a cutie!
     
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I missed the opening ceremonies, I guess. I haven't really been paying much attention to when it was. I've been crazy busy this week. Tonight, we took the kids to the county fair and didn't get home until 10:40. By the time we got the kids in bed and I had a chance to sit down it's was 11:30.

    I will probably watch a little of the Olympics....I generally don't watch all that much anyway, except for some of the main events, which are usually on during primetime.

    I have big issues with China, also....especially with the lead and poisoning.
     
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Two Americans, family of the volleyball coach in the Olympics, were just shot, and the Chinese shooter killed himself.
    I am worried about having the Olympics in such unsettled times.
     
  10. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Not a big fan, but did watch the men's gymnastics today. These guys are amazing.

    I don't get into the politics. I just don't understand why people can't get along.

    Abbey
     
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I love the sporting aspect of the games. I love when we as Americans win but I also enjoy it when an underdog comes out from nowhere to win. I loved watching the Parade of Nations and saw Iraq walk in with smiles on their faces and the women not in head gear. Everyone was clapping so loudly for them. All I could think of was...we helped make that happen. Made me feel good.

    I loved seeing both President Bush's in attendance at the games. To see Bush 41 in tears when the women won the medals for fencing just touched me. I also thought it was neat to see the current Bush with the womens volley ball team and then again in the stands for Micheal Phelps.

    I guess Im just an Olympics fan.
     
  12. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member


    The mother in law & father in law of the coach ~ the father in law was stabbed and died, mother in law had surgery for her stab wounds. They are from Minnesota and have ties to Iowa so it's been big news here.

    We've been watching several events: swimming and mens gymnastics that were on last night, rowing and cycling this morning.

    I tend to agree that it's about the athletes! We have Shawn Johnson from Iowa ~ currently the world gymnastic champion. I know there's a couple other Iowans, one is a runner.
     
  13. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I like seeing the level of women's athletics rising around the world. Yeah, it was nice when we took most of the women's team sports gold but I think it's better now that other countries field competitive teams.

    Last week I was waking up to women's soccer on MSNBC. Loved it.
     
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Mariel Zegunis, who won the Gold in Fencing is a home town girl. I still won't watch it. I'll read the results, but I won't give a pair of eyes to the games or the advertising that enriches the Chinese government.
     
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Witz, I have felt similarly although I didn't let that stop me from watching it (too much). I did try to watch the Opening Ceremony but couldn't stop thinking about the people and politics, it was distracting me.
    Later I did watch the athletes coming into the stadium and I watched the cauldron lighting. That little boy - what a hero! But I do hope he's not just being set up for attention now, without some good counselling being put in place. That earthquake was horrible, I really felt for the people of China and especially Szechuan Province.

    We've been watching the competitions a fair bit - I do enjoy it, wherever it is. Politics tends to intrude always; if anything, there is less political intrusion these Games because it's just not permitted.

    I do feel more comfortable watching the competition, because that is about the athletes and not about China. And the Chinese people objecting to demonstrators - I can't be critical of them, they have no access to balanced information. Life is tough in China, has been for a very long time. We have good friends living here who are Chinese-born (some are still very much Chinese, will never be naturalised) and I have to respect that their world view HAS to be different, if only because of their own life experiences. One friend speaks no English (too old to learn) but is a Tibetan sympathiser. He wants me to see a Tibetan doctor he knows... but I haven't a hope of ever travelling to China!

    husband & I went to the final day of the three day equestrian in 2000. We watched Australia win over the US and NZ. Then husband took difficult child 1 to the fencing, which they enjoyed. Later I took difficult child 1 and easy child 2/difficult child 2 to the Paralympics. The basketball was amazing!

    Michael Phelps - WOW! and the Korean bloke Park who won the 200 metres, I think it was - how wonderful for Korea. OK, he beat our bloke (who came in sixth) but that's alright, it was an amazing swim well deserving of gold. Libby Trickett won gold this morning in Butterfly. She's good at that.

    I was watching the beach volleyball yesterday between the US and Japan. I was admiring both teams, both playing very well indeed and seemed to be evenly matched from what I could see.

    We're getting a lot of the action live here, plus highlights in replays in peak viewing time. mother in law is really getting into it, it would be really easy for us to be glued to the TV and wrapped in blankets because it's DARNED COLD here. It snowed again today in the Blue Mountains, roads are closed.

    What I like about the Olympics, wherever and whenever it happens to be - no matter what the politics of the host country, it all boils down to competition between individuals. Even though we talk about medal tally, etc - we are seeing individuals from around the world, the sporting elite, getting together in friendship to pit themselves against each other. What each host country can make, or not make, of the Olympics in terms of political capital or subsequent profiteering is a matter for that individual country and its foresight (or lack of).
    Truth will out, in its own time. And political change takes time, unfortunately.

    Marg
     
  16. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Witz,

    while I am personally appalled at the civil rights violations and the closed society that China represents, the Olympics represents a uniting that goes beyond politics. Surely China will gain a financial benefit. But for the thousands of hard working atheletes from around the world who train in conditions that you and I could never imagine, this gives them the opportunity to see beyond the limits of their world. It also gives the average Chinese an opportunity to see and speak with people outside their world.

    That's my 2 cents and I have been enjoying the games since the amazing opening on Friday night.

    Sharon
     
  17. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    husband watched almost all day yesterday, but the one that really caught my attention was a German gymnist, Oksana (sp?) ~ she was originally a Russian gymnist but had moved to Germany when her son was diagnosis'ed with- leukemia. She's been in 5 Olympics and is now 33. But there she was in all her glory doing the vault! It's just unheard of being "so old" and competing in the Olympics .... but very awesome!
     
  18. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I saw her too and it is amazing that she is still in such shape for that kind of sport. He little boy is a cutie, glad he's doing better.

    Politics aside, these are the reasons I love the Olympics. I have my favorite sports and of course I root for the US teams but I love to hear about the different athletes. They each have their own story and you can't help rooting for them after hearing about them. Most of the time anyway....I'm not too fond of a couple of the French women swimmers after hearing their stories but that's just me.

    Speaking of French, did anyone catch the mens 4 X 100 relay in swimming last night? OMG what a finish! I guess the French team had been talking smack about beating our guys and the anchor on our team made one heck of a comeback.

    And our women's gymnastics team at qualifying last night? Ohhhhhhhhhhhh............I hope they get their heads together before the main competitions.
     
  19. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    husband also gushed about the mens relay last night and how the US anchor caught up and more.

    The story about the french swimmer, dating the Italian swimmer and was racing against the Italians current girlfriend? Why does that stuff even need to come up? To me it's more of a stab.

    The US gymnastics team ~ it was quite the upset with- 3 of the girls falling during their routine.
     
  20. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm glad that you all are sharing your stories with me. There was a time that I believed that the Olympics were about free competition in a free world. I just can't see it any more. Maybe it was when they started letting pro ball players play basketball "just once" that I started to get a bit jaded to it. No one who makes 20 million dollars a year to play their sport should be competing in what is supposed to be an amateur athletic competition. It put things in a different perspective, I think.

    And, yes, I know that the Russians did that with their hockey teams for years, but that doesn't make it the right thing for us to do.
     
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