Category Archive 'Olympic Games'
16 Jun 2017

“More Youthful, More Urban, and More Inclusive of Women”

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Bad! Male shooting trap.

GunsAmerica makes it clear that entirely the wrong kind of people are on the International Olympic Committee.

The International Olympic Committee has dropped three men’s shooting events from the Tokyo 2020 lineup in an effort to make the games “more youthful, more urban” and more inclusive of women.

The Committee announced last Friday that men’s double trap, 50m rifle prone, and 50m pistol will be replaced by events in air rifle, trap, and air shooting, which will be open to competitors of any gender.

IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement, “I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women.”

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Evelyn Waugh’s Scott-King’s Modern Europe follows the declining career of a balding & corpulent classics teacher at Granchester, a fictional English public school. Granchester is “entirely respectable” but in need of a bit of modernizing, at least in the opinion of its pragmatic headmaster, who is attuned to consumer demands. The story ends with a poignant conversation between Scott-King and the headmaster:

“You know,” [the headmaster] said, “we are starting this year with fifteen fewer classical specialists than we had last term?”

“I thought that would be about the number.”

“As you know I’m an old Greats man myself. I deplore it as much as you do. But what are we to do? Parents are not interested in producing the ‘complete man’ any more. They want to qualify their boys for jobs in the modern world. You can hardly blame them, can you?”

“Oh yes,” said Scott-King. “I can and do.”

“I always say you are a much more important man here than I am. One couldn’t conceive of Granchester without Scott-King. But has it ever occurred to you that a time may come when there will be no more classical boys at all?”

“Oh yes. Often.”

“What I was going to suggest was—I wonder if you will consider taking some other subject as well as the classics? History, for example, preferably economic history?”

“No, headmaster.”

“But, you know, there may be something of a crisis ahead.”

“Yes, headmaster.”

“Then what do you intend to do?”

“If you approve, headmaster, I will stay as I am here as long as any boy wants to read the classics. [Emphasis added] I think it would be very wicked indeed to do anything to fit a boy for the modern world.

“It’s a short-sighted view, Scott-King.”

“There, headmaster, with all respect, I differ from you profoundly. I think it the most long-sighted view it is possible to take.”

14 Aug 2016

American Shooting Champions Neglected in Coverage and Sponsorships

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KimRhode
Kim Rhode

Shooting competitions used to attract mass audiences a bit over a century ago, not today. Today’s urbanized, emasculated, hoplophobic America prefers ball games, and current reporting associates firearms only with terrorism and mass shootings. It is additionally more technically difficult for television to cover the shooting sports, and NBC cannot be bothered to make the effort.

Kimberly Rhode, who shoots skeet, is the first woman to medal in six consecutive Olympic games, but no big corporate sponsor wants anything to do with her.

Bloomberg:

When Team USA’s Kim Rhode won a bronze medal in skeet shooting Friday, she claimed a piece of Olympic history: the 37-year-old Californian became the first woman to take the podium in six straight Olympics.

Landing a big-name sponsor might be the bigger feat. In the year leading up to Rio 2016, Rhode’s agent Patrick Quinn pitched her to around 20 companies that back the Olympics. None were convinced.

“The big mystery is how someone like Kim isn’t part of the Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and the Olympics sponsor push,’’ Quinn said by phone from Chicago.“It would be nice to have an Olympic sponsor recognize the magnitude of her accomplishment.’’

Coca-Cola Co. didn’t respond to a request for comment, and Procter & Gamble Co.’s spokesperson Damon Jones said in an e-mail the company receives hundreds of sponsorship requests so it must be selective. Rhode and other shooters on Team USA think the reason they’re passed over is obvious. The rise in gun violence and mass shootings in the US have attached a stigma to shooting as a sport, they say. So while companies like Winchester, Beretta and Otis Technology support Rhode, she doesn’t have a single sponsor from outside the firearm industry.

The same is true for USA Shooting, even though the sport has since 2000 been the fifth-highest medal producer for the US team at Summer Olympics. The very first gold medal for any sport awarded in Rio went to 19-year-old Ginny Thrasher, competing in her Olympics debut.

Politics may only tell part of the story. American television audiences don’t tend to watch shooting – or, for that matter, a number of other sports. “The biggest challenge is limited exposure,” said Peter Carlisle, head of the Olympic Sports and Action division at Octagon Worldwide. “If the sport itself doesn’t provide a consistent platform for the athletes to become recognizable and maintain relevance, there’s limited value to a sponsor.”

Read the whole thing.

13 Aug 2016

Michael Phelps Spots Estranged Father Poseidon In Stands

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12 Aug 2016

Michael Phelps’ First Photo

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MichaelPhelps

09 Aug 2016

Muslim Olympics

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MuslimOlympics
What do you expect? Muslim men would not be able to control themselves and would start raping the newspapers and tv screens.

09 Aug 2016

J.P. Sears: “What I Love About the Olympics”

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22 Jun 2016

He Shot the Mascot!

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BrazilJaguar1

A jaguar is the mascot of Brazil’s Olympic Team in the upcoming Rio de Janiero Games, but a live jaguar which was included in the recent Olympic Torch Ceremony in Manaus came to a bad end.

Reuters:

A jaguar featured at an Olympic torch ceremony was shot dead by a soldier shortly after the event in the Brazilian Amazon city of Manaus as the animal escaped from its handlers, an army statement said.

The jaguar was killed on Monday at a zoo attached to a military training center when a soldier fired a single pistol shot after the animal, despite being tranquilized, approached the soldier, the army said.

“We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal. This image goes against our beliefs and our values,” the local organizing committee Rio 2016 said in a statement, adding: “We guarantee that there will be no more such incidents at Rio 2016.”

12 Feb 2014

Plus Ça Change

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Russia: 19th Century — 21st Century

14 Aug 2012

Who Really Won the Olympics?

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Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain — Genghis Khan, ruler of the Mongol Empire

The official count says the United States came in first with 46 Gold Medals, followed by China with 38, and Great Britain in third position with 29.

But Reuters argues that, if we look at all this another way, taking all the medals won by countries of which Queen Elizabeth II is head of state, the total is really a bit different.

Thanks to her role as head of state for 16 countries, Queen Elizabeth is the world leader whose athletes have won more gold medals at London 2012 than any other and in her diamond jubilee year too. That’s 48 golds for Elizabeth to Obama’s 46.

Alongside Britain’s 29 golds, only six of the queen’s other countries were needed to top the medal count with seven from Australia, five from New Zealand, four from Usain Bolt and his fellow Jamaicans and one each from Bahamas, Canada and Grenada.

But what’s a piddling 48 Gold Medals?

Pingflux suggests counting historically and looking at the results by Empire. The British Empire does decently, achieving a tie for second place (55 Gold Medals each) with the Roman Empire. But the real winner may be a bit of a surprise.

The real winner of the 2012 Olympics proves to be Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire with a whopping 102 Gold Medals, 285 total.

08 Aug 2012

National Anthem Olympics

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Brian Phillips singles out for competition the National Anthems, played during Olympic Medal Award Ceremonies, basing his awards on four bases:

1. Transcendence of Historical Suffering (Freestyle)
2. 200m Inculcation of Hard-Won Optimism
3. Compulsory Tingliness
4. Volksgeist, the Expression of the Spirit of the People

The Welsh National Anthem described as sounding like “pipe organs mating in a forest” was regretfully excluded from consideration, what with Wales lacking sovereignty, independence, and all that.

The entries from Nepal and Montenegro were pretty remarkable.

04 Aug 2012

Defunct Olympic Sports

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Live Pigeon Shooting

Watching the Olympic Games this time around, the wife and I puzzled as usual as to why team games in general, footling games like table tennis, and certain activities amounting more to entertainment than displays of athletic prowess (synchronized diving, for example) are considered worthy of the Olympics while some events included in the past were eliminated from the Games.

DayRiffer lists a number of events that were purged from the Olympic schedule.

Ancient Olympic competitions tested not only athletic skills but creative, intellectual, and rhetorical powers, as well. Poetry, music, and eloquence were just three of the “events” contested at the ancient Games.

The modern-day Games are supposedly devoted to testing athletic prowess exclusively, though many surprising events have found their way onto the Olympic docket, primarily in the earliest Games – in Athens in 1896, Paris in 1900, St. Louis in 1904, and Athens again, site of the Interim Olympic Games in 1906. The following events have since been removed from the Olympic program, often after one appearance and usually with good reason.

• Live pigeon shooting (1900). This is the only event in Olympic history in which animals were killed intentionally. Leon de Lunden of Belgium won the gold medal, with 21 birds killed, one more than Frenchman Maurice Faure bagged.

• A 100m freestyle swim that was open only to members of the Greek navy (1896).

• Tug-of-war (1900-20). In 1908, after a humiliating first-round loss to the British, the Americans protested that the British had used illegal spiked boots. When the protest was disallowed, the Americans withdrew.

• Croquet (1900).

• Dueling pistols (1906).

• Plunge for distance (1904).

• Underwater swimming (1900).

• The standing broad jump (1900-12).

• The standing long jump (1900-12).

• The standing triple jump (1900 and 1904).

• Motor boating (1908).

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National Geographic has a slideshow which adds a couple more.

So, why is ping pong an Olympic sport and not Croquet? Jeu de palme certainly looks more worthy of representation than table tennis.

The elimination of live Pigeon Shooting after 1900 was, of course, a terrible surrender to the bleeding hearts and reformers. Clearly this was the point when Western Civilization began going to hell in a handcart. Pigeon Shooting is a very challenging sport, which in the old days attracted the participation of many of the most renowned target shooters and game shots, European royalty, and all sorts of illustrious sportsmen, including Ernest Hemingway. Pigeon Shooting significantly excelled skeet and trap in difficulty, and provoked the creation by the high-end gun makers of a special, well-balanced but relatively heavy, long-barreled, and tightly-choked form of shotgun which many regarded as the supreme expression of the gun maker’s art. The loss of Live Pigeon Shooting is a serious loss to the shooting sports.

You mustn’t live shoot “rats with wings,” but it’s perfectly fine to watch the Olympic Games and then go dine on chicken or steak. The problem with Live Pigeon Shooting is the usual urban difficulty with actually seeing one’s dinner’s demise, not a genuine commitment to Ahimsa.

03 Aug 2012

The Obama View of Olympic Victory

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Hat tip to Sarah Jenislawski and Anne Tiffin Taylor.

03 Aug 2012

US Taxing Olympic Victories

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Ryan Lochte displays his gold medal.

The Weekly Standard reports that American athletes winning medals at the London Olympics will owe the US Government money.

Americans who win bronze will pay a $2 tax on the medal itself. But the bronze comes with a modest prize—$10,000 as an honorarium for devoting your entire life to being the third best athlete on the planet in your chosen discipline. And the IRS will take $3,500 of that, thank you very much.

There are also prizes that accompany each medal: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.

Silver medalists will owe $5,385. You win a gold? Timothy Geithner will be standing there with his hand out for $8,986. …

[M]ost other Olympians won’t pay any taxes on their medals because America is one of only a handful of countries which taxes “worldwide” prize income earned overseas.

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The Politico reports that at least on Republican wants to give American athletes a break.

[Senator Marco] Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced [on Wednesday] The Olympic Tax Elimination Act, which would exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying taxes on their medals. Olympians receive honorariums in the form of cash payments of $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze, which the IRS currently taxes.

“Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness,” Rubio said in a statement. “Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home.”

29 Jul 2012

Olympic Gold Medals May Glitter, But…

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Inflation is almost as old as the modern Olympic Games (revived in 1896). Boing Boing informs us that the Olympic Gold Medals we are watching being awarded are only gold-plated, and that Olympic Gold Medals have not really been made of gold since a century ago.

The amount of gold in an Olympic gold medal has fallen to 1.34 percent, thanks to gold prices that recently peaked at $1,895 an ounce. At current prices, a pure 400g medal would cost about $25,000 to make, with a total bill of about $50m for the games.

“The last time the Olympic Games handed out solid gold medals was a hundred years ago at the 1912 Summer Games in Stockholm, Sweden,” writes gold brokers Dillon Gage. “Gold medals were in fact only gold for eight years. …

The 2012 gold is 92.5 percent silver, 1.34 percent gold, and 6.16 copper, with IOC rules specifying that it must contain 550 grams of high-quality silver and 6 grams of gold. The resulting medallion is worth about $500. For the silver medal, the gold is replaced with more copper, for a $260 bill of materials.

The bronze medal is 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc and 0.5 percent tin. Valued at about $3, you might be able to trade one for a bag of chips in Olympic park if you skip the fish.

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