Posts Tagged ‘London Olympics’

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become completely pissed off about the coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Nothing against you, London, you’re brilliant! On this beautiful morning, Americans are waking up to the Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings “Third Gold Medal Story.” The funny thing is, in our inter-connected world, there is absolutely no way NOT to hear about their victory, so staying up past your bedtime to watch the inevitable just seems well, to me, pointless. Which is why I’m so pointlessly tired this morning. Hooray for them http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/kerri-walsh-misty-may-tre_n_1757636.html and kudos to these California goddess’ who were lucky to have been born into stable, “normal” homes, graduated from college (Long Beach State and Stanford) and still manage to dominate their sport while looking good playing volleyball semi-naked in the sand in their mid-30s.

Now, let’s take off our sunglasses and cut to some of our other athletes. The not so lucky ones, like Lolo Jones. First of all, what a name and what a babe! I caught an interview where she mentioned “all the hate,” right after Rachel Maddow did a PSA about how Lolo was homeless for awhile as a kid…with the Salvation Army in the background. Now remember I love the Salvation Army, they were the only charity to show up after the Flapper’s car crash. It seems the “hate” Lolo was getting in the media came from, of all places, the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/sports/olympics/olympian-lolo-jones-draws-attention-to-beauty-not-achievement.html?_r=4&adxnnl=1&smid=tw-share&adxnnlx=1344524444-dC2lqwNIBMdznmbDmYzc1g
“Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign.”

I looked at the nude picture she was criticized for, sitting backwards on a chair looking over her shoulder; I thought we saw more skin in beach volleyball. It was like a modern VerMeer painting. I felt so bad for Lolo coming in 4th in the hurdles, but imagine she was 4th in the WORLD. Who is the NYTimes to say she’s all looks and no substance?

Now we have Gabby Douglas, the golden girl gymnast with a megawatt smile. And instead of focusing on her achievements, the media follows the trail of yellow/twitter/journalism about her “Flying Squirrel” nickname and Gabby’s family dealing with bankruptcy, and her hair…??

So Serena Williams is standing on the winner’s podium, her Afro flying gloriously around her face, getting her Gold Medal when the American flag flies off in the wind just as the words in our anthem begin, “…and our flag was still there.” And everybody smiles and congratulates each other, and gets the irony. But it’s all good, until she does a little Crip walk on the sidelines. OK so her extemporaneous dance is what you highlight? All those male peacocks, preening and posing and dancing at the Olympics and this offends?

A word to the wise young, female athlete. Don’t be too pretty. Do have a professional do your hair, and Don’t dance as if no one is watching. OR just ignore the blogosphere, the twitter feed and the main and not-so-main stream media. They haven’t caught up to you yet. This is the year of the woman at the Olympics – every country has been represented by our gender. For some reason, that fact doesn’t really make me rejoice.

But this does: a young Jewish gymnast , Aly Raisman from MA, dedicated her Gold Medal to the Munich 11. Thank you ALy, for doing the right and proper thing. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2185361/Olympics-2012-U-S-gymnast-Aly-Raisman-reveals-gold-medal-winning-routine-tribute-1972-Munch-Games-massacre.html

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With my daughter entering her last month of pregnancy, and the London Olympics dominating the airwaves, I am reminded of the birth of my son. The Rocker was born on August 1st during the summer Olympics in LA. From our nest on the edge of a bird sanctuary in Pittsfield, MA, we got to know each other to the background of diving, swimming and gymnastic events. Without PCs or cable channels, the Olympic coverage was our only form of entertainment between nursing and napping. At his Bris, we had 2 Rabbis – the new one who had a portrait of Bob Dylan hanging in his office, and the elderly Rabbi Emeritus who has served the congregation for 60 years.

The Rocker was doubly blessed.

To be honest, I don’t remember much about the Munich 11. Twelve years before my son’s Berkshire birthday, a group of Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes in cold blood in the Munich Olympic Village. And this year, while I was visiting with the Bride and later attending my brother the Viking’s funeral, I became vaguely aware of a petition that was signed by presidents and dignitaries around the world. The petition asked for a “moment of silence” during the opening ceremony, a pause to remember those athletes who had been slain in Munich because they were Jews. The IOC denied the petition. Instead they had a moment of silence for those who have died in war before the televised opening ceremony, before the Queen and her Corgis made their spectacular entrance.

Sportscaster Bob Costas said, “For many, tonight, with the world watching, is the true time and place to remember those who were lost, and how and why they died.” Then I began to hear more about this petition. It was nothing new, in fact 2 widows of the Munich 11, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, have been asking the Olympic Committee for a moment of silence since the massacre happened in 1972.

“This is something the I.O.C. ought to do,” NY Rep Elliot Engel said. “Those in the I.O.C. said this is political, and they don’t want to have politics in the Olympic Games. It’s the opposite. It’s political not to have a moment of silence. And if it were any other nation but Israel, there would be a moment of silence long ago. It’s the decent thing to do.” http://london2012.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/munich-widows-to-meet-with-rogge-to-urge-moment-of-silence/

My first thought, after the tragedy in Colorado, upon seeing my beautifully serene Blue Ridge Mountains, was why stir up the pot. I had seen Spielberg’s movie “Munich,” and thought this is madness, a biblical blood feud. But then I thought about those widows, and the mothers of the Israeli athletes, and I thought about how political it was for all the Arab states to threaten a boycott of the games if a moment of silence were observed. http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/07/24/olympic-committee-vp-fear-of-arab-boycott-led-to-minute-of-silence-rejection/ “Moments of silence have been held at previous Olympic ceremonies, including one remembering the victims of the 9/11 attack at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.” And then I thought…never agin. We must keep remembering; it’s politics that placed the Black athlete’s fists in the air in 1968, and it was politics that thrust thousands of Nazi arms out in salute to Hitler on August 1, 1936 at the Berlin games. Politics is interwoven in everything we do, but a moment of silence is testament to our humanity.

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