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Re: [cerebus] [OT] Hockey Today

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  • Ryan Dunne
    ... Quasi-cheating is probably too strong, but I agree with the following on Canada s poor sportsmanship:
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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      On 1 March 2010 02:57, Dominick Grace <dgrace2@...> wrote:
       




      >
      >
      >  Dave still leaves the house sometimes, surely. He could be in a coffee shop or similar that would have the game on the big screen. I'm watching it as we speak! Don't know the rules but, needless to say, am rooting for the Canadians.Is this sport really as ultraviolent as rumoured? That's pretty cool. Although Canada's behaviour in the olympics - with their quasi-cheating
       
      "Quasi-cheating"? say what?
       
      Dom
       
      "Helpless" - Neil Young


      Quasi-cheating is probably too strong, but I agree with the following on Canada's poor sportsmanship:
       

      From The Times
      February 26, 2010

      Well done, Canada, you Own The Odium

      Maelle Ricker

      One small step for Maelle Ricker, one giant leap for crass campaigns: Canada's medals tally is boosted by gold in the women's snowboard cross, but at a cost of a reputation for sportsmanship

      Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writer

      It is hard to say whether Canada’s Own The Podium programme has been a bigger disaster in terms of sport or public relations. Gold medal in both categories, I think.

      The idea was for Canada to emerge as gracious hosts of the Winter Olympics and glorious winners as well. Alas, the Canadians have come across as a bunch of mean-spirited, chippy, unsporting losers.

      Things have come to a pretty pass when you find yourself rooting for the United States. But I really have been cheering for stars and stripes rather than maple leaves. The Canadian shenanigans in Vancouver have alienated the entire world.

      But before I get stuck in, I would like to say that I don’t have a single anti-Canadian molecule in my body. I just hate their Own The Podium campaign. I went to British Columbia 18 months back. I saw sensational countryside, had close-up encounters with two species of bear and one species of whale and met great people. Can’t wait to go back.

      But that Own The Podium stuff has been a calamity. For a start, it hasn’t delivered. The stated aim was to put Canada on top of the table in terms of total medals won. As I write, they have just struggled into third. The secondary aim, not stated, was to show those arrogant bastards the other side of the border how much they don’t know. The United States are way ahead, disputing the lead with Germany.

      The pressure of expectation on home athletes at any Olympic Games is colossal: ask Cathy Freeman, ask Konstantinos Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, ask Liu Xiang. Canada’s campaign simply added to the pressure. Hardly surprising that so many of them choked.

      Mellisa Hollingsworth had a shocker in the skeleton, Charles Hamelin struggled in short-track, Manuel Osborne-Paradis blew his chances in the alpine skiing, Chris Del Bosco failed in ski cross. There have been successes, but not enough to put Canada on top. Ashleigh McIvor was stunning in the women’s ski cross and the ice-dance pair, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, put together a skate of real beauty. The women bobbers were brilliant. No one with sporting blood could resent these gold medals: just reward for sumptuous performances.

      But Own The Podium, a campaign put together with C$117 million (about £72 million) from federal, provincial, territorial and corporate money, has been a failure in terms of medals. In short, it got what it deserved. It deserved to fail because it was conceived in bad sportsmanship and simple envy.

      The title has always been the biggest problem, for the athletes it funded and for the message it gave to the world. It told us: we are holding the world’s biggest party. Please come. But we intend to eat all the jelly.

      The campaign has been strident, derisive and insulting. Normally, the world takes joy in the success of the home athletes. Freeman’s run in Sydney was as lovely a bit of sport as I’ve seen, and Guo Jingjing, the diver diva, was wonderful in Beijing. But the world has found it hard to enjoy Canada’s successes.

      That phrase. Own it. It’s not a Canadianism. It’s an Americanism. It’s a reasonably modern bit of jargon and expresses a highly American mixture of positive thinking and borderline arrogance. By using this phrase, Canada was unambiguously taking on the big neighbour.

      America is not a subject Canadians are wholly rational about. Just as you can have a splendid and thoughtful conversation with a certain type of Scot until you mention England, the same is true with certain Canadians and the US. In such events, it’s the chippy one who ends up looking silly in every eye save his own.

      That is one of the fundamental flaws with Own The Podium: it makes the would-be podium owners look small-minded. In Melbourne the other week, where I was watching the Andy Murray-Roger Federer final, I overhead two Scots talking about an Englishwoman who had the gall to cheer for Federer: “She is everything I’ve been brought up to hate.” I’m happy to say that I was not brought up to hate the Scots. Or the Canadians, or anyone else. The idea of being brought up in resentment is foreign to English nature. No doubt we have faults in the opposite direction, but we have a very low tolerance of chippiness.

      If the campaign had been called, say, Canadian Excellence, it would have been better for all concerned. But as things are, it might just as well have been called Up Yours America.

      And then we come to the question of sportsmanship. Own The Podium didn’t stop at helping Canadians. It also tried to hinder everyone else. Access to practice sites was strictly limited. These Games are for Canadians, not the world.

      In some cases this has been counter-productive. Non-Canadian training partners were forbidden to train with Canadians. This didn’t harm Aksel Lund Svindal, of Norway, who usually trains in Canada but couldn’t. He won the super giant slalom anyway; his Canadian training partners might have benefited from his presence and advice.

      But really, what a way to run a global event. A host shouldn’t treat his guests as gate-crashers. This grudging and inhospitable spirit has been an ugly aspect of Vancouver. The ultimate aim of these Games, any Games, is global excellence and global joy, not provincial victory and local bragging rights.

      The Canadians have taken an aggressive line towards any criticism. This kneejerk reaction is both small-minded and small-nation. It is not hostile to point out an error, particularly when the error is rudely thrust in your face.

      It is customary at the Olympics to say that the nation holding them has “come of age”. China “came of age” in 2008; Australia “came of age” with the Sydney Games of 2000. In fact, Australia also “came of age” with the Melbourne Games of 1956; that’s because this observation has become an Olympic custom.

      But Canada has not come of age in Vancouver 2010. Canada has regressed into a sneering but ultimately impotent adolescence. It’s been — well, rather unattractive on the whole.

      There’s a lesson for everyone in sport here. Particularly, it’s a lesson for the next country to hold the Olympics. This happens to be Britain. As you may have heard, they take place in London in 2012. Like every host country, Britain wants to win lots of lovely medals and millions of pounds are being invested in their pursuit.

      So here, in summary, are the lessons Britain and London must learn from the Winter Games of 2010.

      Seek victory, yes, but do so with graciousness, sportsmanship and, if possible, a little self-deprecating humour. Be hospitable. Know that excellence is what counts in sport. Remember that this is the world’s party that happens to take place in London, not London’s party that the world has the privilege of attending.

      The lessons must be learnt, in great humility, by everyone involved, from now until the last athlete and the last spectator have caught the plane home.

      And here’s another lesson: at all costs, avoid cheap American catchphrases. Own The Podium? Own bloody goal, more like.




    • Lord Julius
      ... Well, there s this: http://tinyurl.com/yfza5me Canadian curling fans leave Danish player in tears By Chris Chase A Danish curler was brought to tears after
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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        --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, Dominick Grace <dgrace2@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > > Dave still leaves the house sometimes, surely. He could be in a
        > > coffee shop or similar that would have the game on the big screen.
        > > I'm watching it as we speak! Don't know the rules but, needless to
        > > say, am rooting for the Canadians.Is this sport really as
        > > ultraviolent as rumoured? That's pretty cool. Although Canada's
        > > behaviour in the olympics - with their quasi-cheating
        >
        > "Quasi-cheating"? say what?

        Well, there's this:

        http://tinyurl.com/yfza5me

        Canadian curling fans leave Danish player in tears

        By Chris Chase

        A Danish curler was brought to tears after a boisterous Canadian crowd intentionally distracted her during crucial shots in her team's match against the home nation. With the crowd stomping and making deafening noise, Denmark skip Madeleine Dupont missed two potentially game-winning shots and tearfully blamed the fans for it afterward. Canada won the match 5-4 in an extra end.

        ---

        Not *exactly* cheating, but I think "quasi-cheating" is probably an apt term for it. Certainly surprisingly boorish behavior from a crowd at an Olympics.

        Steve Bolhafner
      • LarryTheIllini
        ... I d have bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that the answer was no . - Larry Hart
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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          --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, Rick Sharer <rlsharer@...> wrote:
          >
          > I wonder if Dave is watching the hockey game on the holy day...heh.
          >
          > TTM
          >

          I'd have bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that the answer was "no".

          - Larry Hart
        • rlsharer
          ... Canada s Game of the Century? You re on! :) TTM
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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            --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, "LarryTheIllini" <larrytheillini@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, Rick Sharer <rlsharer@> wrote:
            > >
            > > I wonder if Dave is watching the hockey game on the holy day...heh.
            > >
            > > TTM
            > >
            >
            > I'd have bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in
            > your pockets that the answer was "no".

            Canada's Game of the Century? You're on! :)

            TTM
          • Dom
            ... Well, certainly boorish and not in keeping with the Olympic spirit, but it hardly qualifies as even the most quasi of quasi-cheating. I mean, really? An
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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              --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, "Lord Julius" <sbolhafner@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, Dominick Grace <dgrace2@> wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > > Dave still leaves the house sometimes, surely. He could be in a
              > > > coffee shop or similar that would have the game on the big screen.
              > > > I'm watching it as we speak! Don't know the rules but, needless to
              > > > say, am rooting for the Canadians.Is this sport really as
              > > > ultraviolent as rumoured? That's pretty cool. Although Canada's
              > > > behaviour in the olympics - with their quasi-cheating
              > >
              > > "Quasi-cheating"? say what?
              >
              > Well, there's this:
              >
              > http://tinyurl.com/yfza5me
              >
              > Canadian curling fans leave Danish player in tears
              >
              > By Chris Chase
              >
              > A Danish curler was brought to tears after a boisterous Canadian crowd intentionally distracted her during crucial shots in her team's match against the home nation. With the crowd stomping and making deafening noise, Denmark skip Madeleine Dupont missed two potentially game-winning shots and tearfully blamed the fans for it afterward. Canada won the match 5-4 in an extra end.
              >
              > ---
              >
              > Not *exactly* cheating, but I think "quasi-cheating" is probably an apt term for it. Certainly surprisingly boorish behavior from a crowd at an Olympics.
              >
              > Steve Bolhafner

              Well, certainly boorish and not in keeping with the Olympic spirit, but it hardly qualifies as even the most quasi of quasi-cheating. I mean, really? An obnoxious crowd constitutes "quasi-cheating"? Sounds kinda weak to me. And it's not like sports fans (even curling fans) are among the most highly evolved of human beings. . . .

              Dom
            • John L
              ... Not only that! This is the Cerebus group, right? It was a GIRL curler. Everybody here knows girls can t be good curlers! They WEAR curlers. Girls aren t
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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                On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 1:19 PM, Dom <dgrace2@...> wrote:


                --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, "Lord Julius" <sbolhafner@...> wrote:
                >
                > --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, Dominick Grace <dgrace2@> wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > >  Dave still leaves the house sometimes, surely. He could be in a
                > > > coffee shop or similar that would have the game on the big screen.
                > > > I'm watching it as we speak! Don't know the rules but, needless to
                > > > say, am rooting for the Canadians.Is this sport really as
                > > > ultraviolent as rumoured? That's pretty cool. Although Canada's
                > > > behaviour in the olympics - with their quasi-cheating
                > >
                > > "Quasi-cheating"? say what?
                >
                > Well, there's this:
                >
                > http://tinyurl.com/yfza5me
                >
                > Canadian curling fans leave Danish player in tears
                >
                > By Chris Chase
                >
                > A Danish curler was brought to tears after a boisterous Canadian crowd intentionally distracted her during crucial shots in her team's match against the home nation. With the crowd stomping and making deafening noise, Denmark skip Madeleine Dupont missed two potentially game-winning shots and tearfully blamed the fans for it afterward. Canada won the match 5-4 in an extra end.
                >
                > ---
                >
                > Not *exactly* cheating, but I think "quasi-cheating" is probably an apt term for it. Certainly surprisingly boorish behavior from a crowd at an Olympics.
                >
                > Steve Bolhafner

                Well, certainly boorish and not in keeping with the Olympic spirit, but it hardly qualifies as even the most quasi of quasi-cheating. I mean, really? An obnoxious crowd constitutes "quasi-cheating"? Sounds kinda weak to me. And it's not like sports fans (even curling fans) are among the most highly evolved of human beings. . . .

                Dom

                Not only that! This is the Cerebus group, right? It was a GIRL curler. Everybody here knows girls can't be good curlers! They WEAR curlers. Girls aren't good at anything!

                John L
              • Dom
                ... Ya think? ... Lol! Talk about sour grapes! OK, I ll grant you that Own the podium is lame. I actually don t know anyone who doesn t cringe at it. But
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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                  >> > cool. Although Canada's behaviour in the olympics - with their
                  > > quasi-cheating
                  > >
                  > > "Quasi-cheating"? say what?
                  > >
                  > > Dom
                  > >
                  > > "Helpless" - Neil Young
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  > Quasi-cheating is probably too strong,

                  Ya think?

                  > but I agree with the following on
                  > Canada's poor sportsmanship:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/simon_barnes/article7041547.ece
                  > From The Times
                  > February 26, 2010
                  > Well done, Canada, you Own The Odium
                  > [image: Maelle Ricker]
                  >
                  > One small step for Maelle Ricker, one giant leap for crass campaigns:
                  > Canada's medals tally is boosted by gold in the women's snowboard cross, but
                  > at a cost of a reputation for sportsmanship
                  > Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writer
                  >
                  > - 303 COMMENTS<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/simon_barnes/article7041547.ece#comment-have-your-say>
                  >
                  > RECOMMEND? (53)<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/simon_barnes/article7041547.ece#none>
                  >
                  > It is hard to say whether Canada's Own The Podium programme has been a
                  > bigger disaster in terms of sport or public relations. Gold medal in both
                  > categories, I think.
                  >
                  > The idea was for Canada to emerge as gracious hosts of the Winter Olympics
                  > and glorious winners as well. Alas, the Canadians have come across as a
                  > bunch of mean-spirited, chippy, unsporting losers.
                  >
                  > Things have come to a pretty pass when you find yourself rooting for the
                  > United States. But I really have been cheering for stars and stripes rather
                  > than maple leaves. The Canadian shenanigans in Vancouver have alienated the
                  > entire world.
                  >
                  > But before I get stuck in, I would like to say that I don't have a single
                  > anti-Canadian molecule in my body. I just hate their Own The Podium
                  > campaign. I went to British Columbia 18 months back. I saw sensational
                  > countryside, had close-up encounters with two species of bear and one
                  > species of whale and met great people. Can't wait to go back.
                  > RELATED LINKS
                  >
                  > - Canada buckles under heavy
                  > expectations<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article7037055.ece>
                  >
                  >
                  > - The Olympics are only ever about
                  > winning<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article7029631.ece>
                  >
                  >
                  > - Agony as Canada is made to wait for
                  > gold<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article7026975.ece>
                  >
                  > But that Own The Podium stuff has been a calamity. For a start, it hasn't
                  > delivered. The stated aim was to put Canada on top of the table in terms of
                  > total medals won. As I write, they have just struggled into third. The
                  > secondary aim, not stated, was to show those arrogant bastards the other
                  > side of the border how much they don't know. The United States are way
                  > ahead, disputing the lead with Germany.
                  >
                  > The pressure of expectation on home athletes at any Olympic Games is
                  > colossal: ask Cathy Freeman, ask Konstantinos Kenteris and Katerina Thanou,
                  > ask Liu Xiang. Canada's campaign simply added to the pressure. Hardly
                  > surprising that so many of them choked.
                  >
                  > Mellisa Hollingsworth had a shocker in the skeleton, Charles Hamelin
                  > struggled in short-track, Manuel Osborne-Paradis blew his chances in the
                  > alpine skiing, Chris Del Bosco failed in ski cross. There have been
                  > successes, but not enough to put Canada on top. Ashleigh McIvor was stunning
                  > in the women's ski cross and the ice-dance pair, Tessa Virtue and Scott
                  > Moir, put together a skate of real beauty. The women bobbers were brilliant.
                  > No one with sporting blood could resent these gold medals: just reward for
                  > sumptuous performances.
                  >
                  > But Own The Podium, a campaign put together with C$117 million (about £72
                  > million) from federal, provincial, territorial and corporate money, has been
                  > a failure in terms of medals. In short, it got what it deserved. It deserved
                  > to fail because it was conceived in bad sportsmanship and simple envy.
                  >
                  > The title has always been the biggest problem, for the athletes it funded
                  > and for the message it gave to the world. It told us: we are holding the
                  > world's biggest party. Please come. But we intend to eat all the jelly.
                  >
                  > The campaign has been strident, derisive and insulting. Normally, the world
                  > takes joy in the success of the home athletes. Freeman's run in Sydney was
                  > as lovely a bit of sport as I've seen, and Guo Jingjing, the diver diva, was
                  > wonderful in Beijing. But the world has found it hard to enjoy Canada's
                  > successes.
                  >
                  > That phrase. Own it. It's not a Canadianism. It's an Americanism. It's a
                  > reasonably modern bit of jargon and expresses a highly American mixture of
                  > positive thinking and borderline arrogance. By using this phrase, Canada was
                  > unambiguously taking on the big neighbour.
                  >
                  > America is not a subject Canadians are wholly rational about. Just as you
                  > can have a splendid and thoughtful conversation with a certain type of Scot
                  > until you mention England, the same is true with certain Canadians and the
                  > US. In such events, it's the chippy one who ends up looking silly in every
                  > eye save his own.
                  >
                  > That is one of the fundamental flaws with Own The Podium: it makes the
                  > would-be podium owners look small-minded. In Melbourne the other week, where
                  > I was watching the Andy Murray-Roger Federer final, I overhead two Scots
                  > talking about an Englishwoman who had the gall to cheer for Federer: "She is
                  > everything I've been brought up to hate." I'm happy to say that I was not
                  > brought up to hate the Scots. Or the Canadians, or anyone else. The idea of
                  > being brought up in resentment is foreign to English nature. No doubt we
                  > have faults in the opposite direction, but we have a very low tolerance of
                  > chippiness.
                  >
                  > If the campaign had been called, say, Canadian Excellence, it would have
                  > been better for all concerned. But as things are, it might just as well have
                  > been called Up Yours America.
                  >
                  > And then we come to the question of sportsmanship. Own The Podium didn't
                  > stop at helping Canadians. It also tried to hinder everyone else. Access to
                  > practice sites was strictly limited. These Games are for Canadians, not the
                  > world.
                  >
                  > In some cases this has been counter-productive. Non-Canadian training
                  > partners were forbidden to train with Canadians. This didn't harm Aksel Lund
                  > Svindal, of Norway, who usually trains in Canada but couldn't. He won the
                  > super giant slalom anyway; his Canadian training partners might have
                  > benefited from his presence and advice.
                  >
                  > But really, what a way to run a global event. A host shouldn't treat his
                  > guests as gate-crashers. This grudging and inhospitable spirit has been an
                  > ugly aspect of Vancouver. The ultimate aim of these Games, any Games, is
                  > global excellence and global joy, not provincial victory and local bragging
                  > rights.
                  >
                  > The Canadians have taken an aggressive line towards any criticism. This
                  > kneejerk reaction is both small-minded and small-nation. It is not hostile
                  > to point out an error, particularly when the error is rudely thrust in your
                  > face.
                  >
                  > It is customary at the Olympics to say that the nation holding them has
                  > "come of age". China "came of age" in 2008; Australia "came of age" with the
                  > Sydney Games of 2000. In fact, Australia also "came of age" with the
                  > Melbourne Games of 1956; that's because this observation has become an
                  > Olympic custom.
                  >
                  > But Canada has not come of age in Vancouver 2010. Canada has regressed into
                  > a sneering but ultimately impotent adolescence. It's been — well, rather
                  > unattractive on the whole.
                  >
                  > There's a lesson for everyone in sport here. Particularly, it's a lesson for
                  > the next country to hold the Olympics. This happens to be Britain. As you
                  > may have heard, they take place in London in 2012. Like every host country,
                  > Britain wants to win lots of lovely medals and millions of pounds are being
                  > invested in their pursuit.
                  >
                  > So here, in summary, are the lessons Britain and London must learn from the
                  > Winter Games of 2010.
                  >
                  > Seek victory, yes, but do so with graciousness, sportsmanship and, if
                  > possible, a little self-deprecating humour. Be hospitable. Know that
                  > excellence is what counts in sport. Remember that this is the world's party
                  > that happens to take place in London, not London's party that the world has
                  > the privilege of attending.
                  >
                  > The lessons must be learnt, in great humility, by everyone involved, from
                  > now until the last athlete and the last spectator have caught the plane
                  > home.
                  >
                  > And here's another lesson: at all costs, avoid cheap American catchphrases.
                  > Own The Podium? Own bloody goal, more like.
                  >
                  >

                  Lol! Talk about sour grapes!

                  OK, I'll grant you that "Own the podium" is lame. I actually don't know anyone who doesn't cringe at it. But come on--a country getting all jingoistic about its athletes? Ever heard of the USA????? Canada was uncharacteristically self-promoting and everyone's got their knickers in a know. Render unto me etc.

                  As for the unsportsmanlike stuff, all I can say is that I strongly doubt that anything Canada did in managing space/practice times etc. for visiting athletes did not conform to whatever Olympic regulations govern such things. If this is the best that sore losers can come up with in terms of complaints, well. . . .

                  But the official restaurant of the Olympics is McDonald's, so any pretentions of the event as a celebration of sportsmanship and good will vanished long ago. Probably back around the time of . . . when as it, LA maybe? (really? an American Olympics? how could I dare?). . . we began to get things like the official toilet paper of the Olympics. (NO joke.)

                  Dom
                • LarryTheIllini
                  ... The first one I remember going Whatever does THAT mean? at was The official 35 millimeter camera of the Olympic Games , and I believe that was in 1976.
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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                    --- In cerebus@yahoogroups.com, "Dom" <dgrace2@...> wrote:
                    >

                    > But the official restaurant of the Olympics is McDonald's, so any
                    > pretentions of the event as a celebration of sportsmanship and good
                    > will vanished long ago. Probably back around the time of . . . when
                    > as it, LA maybe? (really? an American Olympics? how could I
                    > dare?). . . we began to get things like the official toilet
                    > paper of the Olympics. (NO joke.)
                    >
                    > Dom
                    >

                    The first one I remember going "Whatever does THAT mean?" at was "The official 35 millimeter camera of the Olympic Games", and I believe that was in 1976.

                    - Larry Hart
                  • Ryan Dunne
                    ... The article is from the BRITISH times!! And we brits surely want to see the US lose as much as anyone. ... There s a distinction between the letter and the
                    Message 9 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On 1 March 2010 18:26, Dom <dgrace2@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >> > cool. Although Canada's behaviour in the olympics - with their
                      > > > quasi-cheating
                      > > >
                      > > > "Quasi-cheating"? say what?
                      > > >
                      > > > Dom
                      > > >
                      > > > "Helpless" - Neil Young
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > > Quasi-cheating is probably too strong,
                      >
                      > Ya think?
                      >
                      > > but I agree with the following on
                      > > Canada's poor sportsmanship:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/simon_barnes/article7041547.ece
                      > > From The Times
                      > > February 26, 2010
                      > > Well done, Canada, you Own The Odium
                      > > [image: Maelle Ricker]
                      > >
                      > > One small step for Maelle Ricker, one giant leap for crass campaigns:
                      > > Canada's medals tally is boosted by gold in the women's snowboard cross, but
                      > > at a cost of a reputation for sportsmanship
                      > > Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writer
                      > >
                      > > - 303 COMMENTS<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/simon_barnes/article7041547.ece#comment-have-your-say>
                      > >
                      > > RECOMMEND? (53)<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/simon_barnes/article7041547.ece#none>
                      > >
                      > > It is hard to say whether Canada's Own The Podium programme has been a
                      > > bigger disaster in terms of sport or public relations. Gold medal in both
                      > > categories, I think.
                      > >
                      > > The idea was for Canada to emerge as gracious hosts of the Winter Olympics
                      > > and glorious winners as well. Alas, the Canadians have come across as a
                      > > bunch of mean-spirited, chippy, unsporting losers.
                      > >
                      > > Things have come to a pretty pass when you find yourself rooting for the
                      > > United States. But I really have been cheering for stars and stripes rather
                      > > than maple leaves. The Canadian shenanigans in Vancouver have alienated the
                      > > entire world.
                      > >
                      > > But before I get stuck in, I would like to say that I don't have a single
                      > > anti-Canadian molecule in my body. I just hate their Own The Podium
                      > > campaign. I went to British Columbia 18 months back. I saw sensational
                      > > countryside, had close-up encounters with two species of bear and one
                      > > species of whale and met great people. Can't wait to go back.
                      > > RELATED LINKS
                      > >
                      > > - Canada buckles under heavy
                      > > expectations<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article7037055.ece>
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > - The Olympics are only ever about
                      > > winning<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article7029631.ece>
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > - Agony as Canada is made to wait for
                      > > gold<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article7026975.ece>
                      > >
                      > > But that Own The Podium stuff has been a calamity. For a start, it hasn't
                      > > delivered. The stated aim was to put Canada on top of the table in terms of
                      > > total medals won. As I write, they have just struggled into third. The
                      > > secondary aim, not stated, was to show those arrogant bastards the other
                      > > side of the border how much they don't know. The United States are way
                      > > ahead, disputing the lead with Germany.
                      > >
                      > > The pressure of expectation on home athletes at any Olympic Games is
                      > > colossal: ask Cathy Freeman, ask Konstantinos Kenteris and Katerina Thanou,
                      > > ask Liu Xiang. Canada's campaign simply added to the pressure. Hardly
                      > > surprising that so many of them choked.
                      > >
                      > > Mellisa Hollingsworth had a shocker in the skeleton, Charles Hamelin
                      > > struggled in short-track, Manuel Osborne-Paradis blew his chances in the
                      > > alpine skiing, Chris Del Bosco failed in ski cross. There have been
                      > > successes, but not enough to put Canada on top. Ashleigh McIvor was stunning
                      > > in the women's ski cross and the ice-dance pair, Tessa Virtue and Scott
                      > > Moir, put together a skate of real beauty. The women bobbers were brilliant.
                      > > No one with sporting blood could resent these gold medals: just reward for
                      > > sumptuous performances.
                      > >
                      > > But Own The Podium, a campaign put together with C$117 million (about £72
                      > > million) from federal, provincial, territorial and corporate money, has been
                      > > a failure in terms of medals. In short, it got what it deserved. It deserved
                      > > to fail because it was conceived in bad sportsmanship and simple envy.
                      > >
                      > > The title has always been the biggest problem, for the athletes it funded
                      > > and for the message it gave to the world. It told us: we are holding the
                      > > world's biggest party. Please come. But we intend to eat all the jelly.
                      > >
                      > > The campaign has been strident, derisive and insulting. Normally, the world
                      > > takes joy in the success of the home athletes. Freeman's run in Sydney was
                      > > as lovely a bit of sport as I've seen, and Guo Jingjing, the diver diva, was
                      > > wonderful in Beijing. But the world has found it hard to enjoy Canada's
                      > > successes.
                      > >
                      > > That phrase. Own it. It's not a Canadianism. It's an Americanism. It's a
                      > > reasonably modern bit of jargon and expresses a highly American mixture of
                      > > positive thinking and borderline arrogance. By using this phrase, Canada was
                      > > unambiguously taking on the big neighbour.
                      > >
                      > > America is not a subject Canadians are wholly rational about. Just as you
                      > > can have a splendid and thoughtful conversation with a certain type of Scot
                      > > until you mention England, the same is true with certain Canadians and the
                      > > US. In such events, it's the chippy one who ends up looking silly in every
                      > > eye save his own.
                      > >
                      > > That is one of the fundamental flaws with Own The Podium: it makes the
                      > > would-be podium owners look small-minded. In Melbourne the other week, where
                      > > I was watching the Andy Murray-Roger Federer final, I overhead two Scots
                      > > talking about an Englishwoman who had the gall to cheer for Federer: "She is
                      > > everything I've been brought up to hate." I'm happy to say that I was not
                      > > brought up to hate the Scots. Or the Canadians, or anyone else. The idea of
                      > > being brought up in resentment is foreign to English nature. No doubt we
                      > > have faults in the opposite direction, but we have a very low tolerance of
                      > > chippiness.
                      > >
                      > > If the campaign had been called, say, Canadian Excellence, it would have
                      > > been better for all concerned. But as things are, it might just as well have
                      > > been called Up Yours America.
                      > >
                      > > And then we come to the question of sportsmanship. Own The Podium didn't
                      > > stop at helping Canadians. It also tried to hinder everyone else. Access to
                      > > practice sites was strictly limited. These Games are for Canadians, not the
                      > > world.
                      > >
                      > > In some cases this has been counter-productive. Non-Canadian training
                      > > partners were forbidden to train with Canadians. This didn't harm Aksel Lund
                      > > Svindal, of Norway, who usually trains in Canada but couldn't. He won the
                      > > super giant slalom anyway; his Canadian training partners might have
                      > > benefited from his presence and advice.
                      > >
                      > > But really, what a way to run a global event. A host shouldn't treat his
                      > > guests as gate-crashers. This grudging and inhospitable spirit has been an
                      > > ugly aspect of Vancouver. The ultimate aim of these Games, any Games, is
                      > > global excellence and global joy, not provincial victory and local bragging
                      > > rights.
                      > >
                      > > The Canadians have taken an aggressive line towards any criticism. This
                      > > kneejerk reaction is both small-minded and small-nation. It is not hostile
                      > > to point out an error, particularly when the error is rudely thrust in your
                      > > face.
                      > >
                      > > It is customary at the Olympics to say that the nation holding them has
                      > > "come of age". China "came of age" in 2008; Australia "came of age" with the
                      > > Sydney Games of 2000. In fact, Australia also "came of age" with the
                      > > Melbourne Games of 1956; that's because this observation has become an
                      > > Olympic custom.
                      > >
                      > > But Canada has not come of age in Vancouver 2010. Canada has regressed into
                      > > a sneering but ultimately impotent adolescence. It's been — well, rather
                      > > unattractive on the whole.
                      > >
                      > > There's a lesson for everyone in sport here. Particularly, it's a lesson for
                      > > the next country to hold the Olympics. This happens to be Britain. As you
                      > > may have heard, they take place in London in 2012. Like every host country,
                      > > Britain wants to win lots of lovely medals and millions of pounds are being
                      > > invested in their pursuit.
                      > >
                      > > So here, in summary, are the lessons Britain and London must learn from the
                      > > Winter Games of 2010.
                      > >
                      > > Seek victory, yes, but do so with graciousness, sportsmanship and, if
                      > > possible, a little self-deprecating humour. Be hospitable. Know that
                      > > excellence is what counts in sport. Remember that this is the world's party
                      > > that happens to take place in London, not London's party that the world has
                      > > the privilege of attending.
                      > >
                      > > The lessons must be learnt, in great humility, by everyone involved, from
                      > > now until the last athlete and the last spectator have caught the plane
                      > > home.
                      > >
                      > > And here's another lesson: at all costs, avoid cheap American catchphrases.
                      > > Own The Podium? Own bloody goal, more like.
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      > Lol! Talk about sour grapes!
                      >
                      > OK, I'll grant you that "Own the podium" is lame. I actually don't know anyone who doesn't cringe at it. But come on--a country getting all jingoistic about its athletes? Ever heard of the USA????? Canada was uncharacteristically self-promoting and everyone's got their knickers in a know. Render unto me etc.

                      The article is from the BRITISH times!! And we brits surely want to
                      see the US lose as much as anyone.

                      >
                      > As for the unsportsmanlike stuff, all I can say is that I strongly doubt that anything Canada did in managing space/practice times etc. for visiting athletes did not conform to whatever Olympic regulations govern such things. If this is the best that sore losers can come up with in terms of complaints, well. . . .
                      >
                      There's a distinction between the letter and the Spirit of the law
                      (indeed, the laws of the best sport - cricket - state this overtly).
                      You don't think there's anything that can be done that constitutes
                      quasi-quasi-cheating (or whatever you want to call it) as long as it's
                      within the letter of the law? What about soccer players who dive? Or
                      feigning injury?

                      And if the US had done something like the Own the Podium swiz then
                      the 'lesser' nations would have been in uproar.


                      > But the official restaurant of the Olympics is McDonald's, so any pretentions of the event as a celebration of sportsmanship and good will vanished long ago. Probably back around the time of . . . when as it, LA maybe? (really? an American Olympics? how could I dare?). . . we began to get things like the official toilet paper of the Olympics. (NO joke.)
                      >
                      > Dom
                      >
                      >


                      --
                      ryan

                      www.twitter.com/cerebusboy
                    • Dominick Grace
                      ... Mighta been 1976 for the toilet paper, too, I guess, but I was 13 then, so I doubt I d remember that. Possible, though. I can t believe I just did a web
                      Message 10 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
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                        > > But the official restaurant of the Olympics is McDonald's, so any
                        > > pretentions of the event as a celebration of sportsmanship and good
                        > > will vanished long ago. Probably back around the time of . . . when
                        > > as it, LA maybe? (really? an American Olympics? how could I
                        > > dare?). . . we began to get things like the official toilet
                        > > paper of the Olympics. (NO joke.)
                        > >
                        > > Dom
                        > >
                        >
                        > The first one I remember going "Whatever does THAT mean?" at was
                        > "The official 35 millimeter camera of the Olympic Games", and I
                        > believe that was in 1976.
                         
                        Mighta been 1976 for the toilet paper, too, I guess, but I was 13 then, so I doubt I'd remember that. Possible, though. I can't believe I just did a web search and found an article about the 1980 winter Olympics that refers in passing to the official toilet paper, without specifying the brand. . . .
                         
                        Dom
                      • Dominick Grace
                        ... Hey, I did say that nobody I know in Canada thought it was a good slogan, either. But it s kinda overreacting to make such a big deal of it. ... Is it
                        Message 11 of 19 , Mar 1, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment

                          > > Lol! Talk about sour grapes!
                          > >
                          > > OK, I'll grant you that "Own the podium" is lame. I actually
                          > don't know anyone who doesn't cringe at it. But come on--a
                          > country getting all jingoistic about its athletes? Ever heard of
                          > the USA????? Canada was uncharacteristically self-promoting and
                          > everyone's got their knickers in a know. Render unto me etc.
                          >
                          >  The article is from the BRITISH times!! And we brits surely want to
                          > see the US lose as much as anyone.
                           
                          Hey, I did say that nobody I know in Canada thought it was a good slogan, either. But it's kinda overreacting to make such a big deal of it.

                          >
                          > >
                          > > As for the unsportsmanlike stuff, all I can say is that I
                          > strongly doubt that anything Canada did in managing
                          > space/practice times etc. for visiting athletes did not conform
                          > to whatever Olympic regulations govern such things. If this is
                          > the best that sore losers can come up with in terms of
                          > complaints, well. . . .
                          > >
                          >  There's a distinction between the letter and the Spirit of the law
                          > (indeed, the laws of the best sport - cricket - state this overtly).
                          > You don't think there's anything that can be done that constitutes
                          > quasi-quasi-cheating (or whatever you want to call it) as long
                          > as it's within the letter of the law? What about soccer players who
                          > dive? Or feigning injury?
                           
                          Is it within the letter of the law to do those things? Regardless, it's a far cry from something an athlete actually does during a competition to, say, an obnoxious crowd response. If the IOC didn't see fit to object to whatever the Canadian policies were, I see no reason to view them as quasi- or quasi-quasi-cheating.
                           
                          Dom

                           
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