Tuesday, 12 August 2008

For all your Olym-peccadilloes

You can't embed, but you can link:


As much as I stand by what I've said before about the Olympic organizers, the IOC, and the way China is using this olympics for their own nationalist propaganda. . . ya still gotta cheer for the athletes.

To know what TV is like in Korea right now, watch this clip. . . forty times in a row.

(P.S. Korea's going gold-medal bonkers right now. . . but it won't last, according to girlfriendoseyo, who tells me all Korea's strongest events are in the first few days of the Olympics -- Judo, archery, shooting)


Anonymous said...

sad but true I'm afraid :P With a bit of luck Park might scoop up one more medal (but it won't be gold) but I'm not seeing any other events in particular that are solid medal potentials. It'll be interesting to see if Korea will be in the Top 10 this year (# of medals) though. Well, if not, Korea did pretty a-okay this year methinks.

Anonymous said...

In the above quote "not to blame IT," Rilke never had to deal with a boss so far ahead of the computer curve that nobody from IT could keep up with our department's computers and ever-evolving research programs. As the liaison between my department and IT, I actually had the head of IT attack myself and my intern with a keyboard in my office because my boss's demands caused him to have a mental breakdown. He couldn't attack an Executive VP of a major TV network, so he thought he could take out his frustrations on us underlings.

Oh, and good luck in the new position.

John from Daejeon

Roboseyo said...

Anonymous; it's amazing to me how Korea's managed to keep pulling medals out of thin air. Good on'em, though. I've been staying away from the flag-waving editorials which (if they haven't yet, will soon start) saying things like, "With a population of 55m, we've won twenty medals. . . if we had the population of, say, China, we'd have won EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION MEDALS by now!"

John: I don't blame IT; I usually think those kinds of things begin with HR problems.

Anonymous said...

ahha...but the "flag waving editorials" are half the fun tho aren't they ;)? If the state of the US news is any indication of how much a nation can get swept up by medals - Korea will stroking herself for months if she manages to stay in the top 10 xD

To tell the truth I feel forgiving of nationalism (in general) during the Olympics. Taking pride in their athletes is one of the more harmless way countries can express national pride....:)

Roboseyo said...

I'm of two minds re; the flag waving in the olympics -- originally, I think the guy who conceived of the olympics did so in the hope that sports competition would break down the differences between nations and remind us that hey, we're all humans, and as a celebration of sport and fair play. If a country's medal count becomes a hook for national pride, and that national pride is used to claim superiority over other countries, that defeats those purposes.

The fact that in Olympic coverage here in Korea, as soon as the Korean competitor is eliminated, they switch to another sport, and would rather play a REPLAY of a winning Korean performance, than a live broadcast of an event with no Korean contenders, or the final of an event where everybody watched until the semifinal, because the Korean got eliminated in the semis, kind of misses the point of celebrating sport excellence and fairplay -- diving and gymnastics are awesome, and I'm a bit bummed that I'm not going to see much of them, because hey! Park TaeHwan STILL has that gold medal! Let's watch him win it again! Petty nationalist TV programmers.

Usually the flag waving is harmless, sure. . . but the nationalistic sentiment stirred up by a good medal count can be misused by a country (I'm interested to see how China spins their Olympic performance after the event, and I think the US has always used medal counts to assert/claim their national superiority, especially during the cold war.)

I think the athletes in the Olympic Village DO come away from the olympics having learned those things about fair play and human commonality, and we've seen olympics where that really WAS the spirit of the games (Sydney comes to mind). . .but for example, in the '70s and '80s, when medal counts were just another arena for the cold war to play out, I start thinking that while the athletes might have gotten it, a lot of countries' olympic organizers missed the point.

Anonymous said...

So you're only good at three things and win all your medals in events that you shoe-horned into the Olympics in the first place? That's ok, now Britain is having her day in the sun, in this case as a result of the efforts of a bunch of rich people in small boats. But by next weekend......

Roboseyo said...

oh come on, Anonymous, give Korea a break. It's not like Korea won twenty medals in hapkido and taekwondo and shileum -- power lifting, swimming, archery, judo (japanese), shooting -- every country has specialties.

Anonymous said...

uh, just in case there's a misunderstanding - I'm only the first 2 anonymous postings. To which I add, I agree with rob's responses and like how he actually responds in a thoughtful manner.

The 3rd (touchy) anonymous is somebody else.