Posts tagged "Olympics"
Of Cold War Hate and Miracles on Ice

Of Cold War Hate and Miracles on Ice

Here’s another (timely) sports piece from Howie Espenshied.

Any time the US faces Russia in Olympic men’s ice hockey, as they did on February 15th, the “Miracle on Ice” game in Lake Placid, NY in 1980 is brought to mind. This one ended much the way that one did, with the US securing a dramatic 1 goal victory. However, noticeably absent was the Cold War setting that helped the ending of that legendary game become arguably the greatest sports moment of all-time.

Much has changed in the last 34 years. In 1980, the US only sent amateur athletes to the Olympics, while Russia…

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The Scaled Law of Oscar Pistorius

The Scaled Law of Oscar Pistorius

The inspirational story of Oscar Pistorius has taken an interesting turn. For years, it seemed that “inspirational” was a legal part of Pistorius’ name, included as a required element of every sentence in which he was mentioned. Pistorius is a double-amputee sprinter who runs on carbon-fiber “blades” that replace the lower half of both of his legs. For the first time, last month, such a competitor was allowed to compete at the Olympic Games. This didn’t occur with no fuss; there was at least some question about whether or not the blades gave Pistorius a competitive advantage over runners forced…

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Olympic Stars — They’re Just Like Us! (In That They Usually Lose)

Olympic Stars — They’re Just Like Us! (In That They Usually Lose)

It has been noted that there are 302 gold medals up for grabs at this year’s London Olympic Games (or, as Bob Costas insists on calling them, The Games of the Thirtieth Olympiad), which might sound like a lot until you account for the 10,490 athletes bent on attaining them. What this means, of course, is that most competitors come away from the Olympics as losers. Now, before you stop me and say, “Hey, silver medals aren’t too shabby, and certainly those who win them aren’t losers!”, I submit exhibit A: the glowering Russian gymnastics team. Nary a smile cracked…

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Another Week Ends: F. Scott FitzDylan, Dormroom Surrender, Self-Fulfilling Paranoia, Caveman Vulnerability, Campaign Boredom, More Olympics and Air Conditioning

Another Week Ends: F. Scott FitzDylan, Dormroom Surrender, Self-Fulfilling Paranoia, Caveman Vulnerability, Campaign Boredom, More Olympics and Air Conditioning

1) The New Yorker recently released a very good (and very short) story from none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald, called “Thank You for the Light.” A “pretty, somewhat faded woman of forty,” a midwestern corset saleswoman, she cannot find a place to smoke a cigarette away from judgmental eyes. She is becoming desperate and in her desperation she finds, yes, a church. A small sampling here, but be sure to take the extra five minutes and read the whole thing here.

And to herself she was thinking, If I could just get three puffs I could sell old-fashioned whalebone.

She had…

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NBC Cut the Best Part of the Opening Ceremonies

NBC Cut the Best Part of the Opening Ceremonies

Like most of you (I’m guessing), I’m a huge fan of the Olympics. I’m a total sucker for hour after hour of swimming, diving, gymnastics, handball, whatever, and have spent the last few days stuck to the couch alongside my wife and kids. Unlike most of you (I’m guessing), I’m also a huge fan of opening ceremonies (at least since Beijing). Maybe it’s my inner chick (is it wrong that two of my fave flicks are Pride and Prejudice and Moulin Rouge?), but there’s something that moves me about any attempt to capture a nation’s history, culture and aesthetic sensibility…

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But How Does Your Embarrassing and Excruciating Loss Make You FEEL? The Pros and Cons of Olympic Sideline “Reporting”

But How Does Your Embarrassing and Excruciating Loss Make You FEEL? The Pros and Cons of Olympic Sideline “Reporting”

Sideline reporting is a touchy art. Long the province (or ghetto) of beautiful female reporters frozen out of more high-profile jobs, the sidelines of sporting events can (and should) offer closer access to the immediate stories of the contest than that offered by the broadcast booth. Too often, however, sideline reporters satisfy themselves with “human interest” stories about the “feelings” of the athletes either before or after they compete. This is especially true of the Olympics.

The best examples of sideline reporting are usually in basketball and football (the American kind) wherein reporters can often be privy to exchanges between players…

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Amanda Beard on Olympic Expectations, Failure, and Freedom

Amanda Beard on Olympic Expectations, Failure, and Freedom

Athletics are really only one part of the Olympic Games. At least when it comes to American television, the parade of human interest stories has slowly taken on equal importance as the events themselves, sometimes even overshadowing them. The stories are usually familiar: the long hard road to excellence, the valiant overcoming of obstacles, the preternatural talent, the indispensable coach/father figure, etc. They can be inspiring, exasperating, humbling, amazing, and sometimes alienating. The X factor, of course, is how they end. When things go as planned, a la Michael Phelps, it’s pure magic. When they don’t, well, there’s inevitably another…

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