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OK we're back on our main server.  It was taking a super long time to move *everything* back just to save a day's worth of messages.  I've been at this all day now and need to get back to my real job so.,... sorry.  Working on a better plan in case this happens again.  nip

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Final Thoughts & Awards


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#1 DegenerateSoxFan

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 09:56 AM

Here's my list of some of the best:

Overall performer: Phelps. 8 Golds & 7 world records is a once in a lifetime kind of show.

Individual Performance: (Tie) Bolt's 9.69 in the 100 and Leezak's 46.06 anchor leg of the 4x100 Freestyle relay. Bolt cruised in and he still shattered the record. Leezak swam the greatest relay leg ever.

Most dramatic moment: The aforementioned 400 x 100 Freestyle Relay. Bonus points for croaking the frogs.

Most obvious cheaters: The Chinese female gymnasts. Anyone want to make the case that these girls were really 16?

Best eye candy: Natalie Coughlin really grew on me. But that Peruvian javelin thrower Leryn Franco is ridiculous.

Feel free to disagree and come up with other important categories...

And a final thought: China had some neat venues and overall, the games delivered the goods. But, for reasons to numerous to go into here, London will be a MUCH better locale, and that's an understatement.

#2 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:32 PM

Here's my list of some of the best:

Overall performer: Phelps. 8 Golds & 7 world records is a once in a lifetime kind of show.

Individual Performance: (Tie) Bolt's 9.69 in the 100 and Leezak's 46.06 anchor leg of the 4x100 Freestyle relay. Bolt cruised in and he still shattered the record. Leezak swam the greatest relay leg ever.

Most dramatic moment: The aforementioned 400 x 100 Freestyle Relay. Bonus points for croaking the frogs.

Most obvious cheaters: The Chinese female gymnasts. Anyone want to make the case that these girls were really 16?

Best eye candy: Natalie Coughlin really grew on me. But that Peruvian javelin thrower Leryn Franco is ridiculous.

Feel free to disagree and come up with other important categories...

And a final thought: China had some neat venues and overall, the games delivered the goods. But, for reasons to numerous to go into here, London will be a MUCH better locale, and that's an understatement.


My take on the Olympics:

Overall Performer: Phelps. Not only the gold, but he had just an hour or two between prelim and medal races. Is he a douche? Who cares with 8 new blings around yer neck.

Individual Performance: Close tie-breaker goes to Phelps. Both Bolt and Phelps helped out in relays, but can't compete against 8 golds. Bonus: the one-armed table tennis player; the gold-medal winning German weightlifter who held up his wife's picture at the ceremony (she past away a year before in a car accident). Dana Torres for coming within .01 seconds to becoming a gold medal at the age of 64.

Most Dramatic Moment: Baseball finals, 9th inning. After a series of borderline calls Cuba loads bases. Korean catcher (some say purposely) throws a tantrum earning not only an ejection but a little bit more of a warm-up time for the reliever, who induces a DP to end the game.

Best Group Performance: Men's Jamaican track & field: completely blew away the field in setting world records.

Best Eye Candy: Out of some 14 year-old's fantasy comes the Brazilian (check) Bikini (check) Twins (double-check): Brazilian synchro twins

Worst Performers: The wrestler that threw down the bronze medal, only beat out by Cuban taekwondo-er Matos who kicked the referee for DQ'ing him after not requesting a 2nd one-minute rest period as stated by the rule book.

Biggest Douche in Olympics: IOC for voting out baseball, due to its association with "drug use" according to Rogge, along with softball which supposedly is out because it was "unfairly associated with baseball."

Are you kidding me? If drug association was a problem we wouldn't have Olympics that didn't last 3 days. Rogge also gets double-doh points for criticizing Bolt for "showing up his fellow competitors," Rogge, you get the bronze (after the two mentioned above) for the Douche of the Olympics.

People Sleeping the Least at This Hour: London organizers: yeah no smog and no need to put up walls to hide the ghetto part of town, but the Londoners have increased terrorism threats to worry about, and how to top the Opening and Closing ceremonies, which is still by far the most impressive I've seen despite the deservedly criticized moves regarding the lip-syncing, CG fireworks, blue-screen of death, etc.

London being a *much* better locale? Perhaps for Euro nations but not for Asian countries. My money is on London being a very *different*, but not necessarily a "better" Olympics that what we just witnessed here.

Edit: Federer reference taken out - Rogge is indeed Belgian.

Edited by SeoulSoxFan, 24 August 2008 - 07:31 PM.


#3 Ahriman


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:10 PM

Most dramatic moment: Matthias Steiner, of Germany, winning the +105kg Weightlifting gold medal on his last lift. I was up at some ridiculous hour in the morning, watching online, when this happened. Steiner's wife was supposed to be at the games with him, but she died a year ago in a car crash. Anyway, the celebration after the final lift is something I doubt I'll ever forget -- especially on the medal stand when he kept holding up a picture of her as he received the gold.

Best Eye Candy: Sanna Kallur, the Swedish hurdler who fell in the 100m semi-final.

#4 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 06:24 PM

Rogge also gets double-doh points for criticizing Bolt for "showing up his fellow competitors," while picking out Federer as the fondest memory of the games (a fellow Swiss). Rogge, you get the bronze (after the two mentioned above) for the Douche of the Olympics.

Rogge is Belgian..and I think the main message to baseball has been sent very, very clearly. If you can send it's best players to the Olympic Games, there's room on the Olympic program for baseball - but if you want a tournament for sub-top guys, find another event to be part of. The doping stuff is just chin-wagging...

#5 LateRally

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 06:46 PM

The 5 things I'll take away from these games:

- the opening ceremony
- Phelps
- Bolt
- Korea gold in baseball
- US water polo's run to the gold medal match

#6 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 07:37 PM

Rogge is Belgian..and I think the main message to baseball has been sent very, very clearly. If you can send it's best players to the Olympic Games, there's room on the Olympic program for baseball - but if you want a tournament for sub-top guys, find another event to be part of. The doping stuff is just chin-wagging...


That's the problem with the decision - it's being able to send each countries' best players, not just US. That's a very US-centric view if baseball is out only because MLB players aren't participating. If NBA stopped sending its players, would IOC consider taking basketball out? Non-sense.

Baseball is just as global as, for the sake of argument, synchronized swimming. Too expensive to play? Well that takes the equestrian events out for most countries.

What I'm saying is, the reasons for taking baseball out doesn't make a lot of sense. Whether the argument is for PED reasons (hell a North Korean got booted out of its silver in shooting) or limited participation, or for not sending its "best players".

#7 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 07:56 PM

Best uniforms: Women's Brazilian indoor volleyball booty shorts

Non-Athlete you never want to see again: Deborah Phelps (HM: Mary Carillo)

Studio host you'd most like to see return in Vancouver: Melissa Stark (HM: Alex Flanagan)

#8 MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 08:15 PM

Non-Athlete you never want to see again: Deborah Phelps (HM: Mary Carillo)


Mary Carillo was physically painful and completely unwatchable. Why they continued that atrocity though the entire games I'll never know.

#9 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:00 PM

That's the problem with the decision - it's being able to send each countries' best players, not just US. That's a very US-centric view if baseball is out only because MLB players aren't participating.

With the exception of Cuba, and I guess some Japanese and Koreans, eacn nation's best players are in MLB. IOC has made no secret of the fact that it's not very interested in sports that don't send the best - boxing is grandfathered in, and as far as soccer is concerned, FIFA is the one dog bigger than the IOC on the international sport totem pole - so IOC doesn't push it with them...

#10 Kremlin Watcher

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 01:48 AM

For me the primary criterion for inclusion of a sport in the Olympics should be that the Olympics represent the pinnacle of achievement in the sport. Victory in the Olympics should mean that you are the world's best. But for tennis, soccer, basketball and several other sports, this is one more tournament, and in many cases not the most difficult by a long way. I enjoy seeing the Olympics when someone who has worked hard for years to achieve the peak goal in the sport finally does it and is genuinely blown away by the scope of that achievement. Watching the US basketball team win another tournament was boring.

#11 fletcherpost


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Posted 25 August 2008 - 05:16 AM

Most dramatic moment: Matthias Steiner, of Germany, winning the +105kg Weightlifting gold medal on his last lift. I was up at some ridiculous hour in the morning, watching online, when this happened. Steiner's wife was supposed to be at the games with him, but she died a year ago in a car crash. Anyway, the celebration after the final lift is something I doubt I'll ever forget -- especially on the medal stand when he kept holding up a picture of her as he received the gold.


That was a touching moment. To see this big brute of a man get all emotional.

Highlights

The Bolt - Three events; Three Golds;Three World records. Worth pointing out that track world records don't come along very often. Not like in the swimming pool with these new suits.

Phelps - what can you say, he came he saw he conquered.

Chris Hoy - Three Golds in the cycling. Never troubled. His turn of speed compared to the rest is unreal. His thighs are fuckin enormous. And he's from Edinburgh and likes Public Enemy.

Lewis Smith - Bronze in the Pommel Horse Final. First ever Olympic medal for a British Gymnast.

All in all. I kind of missed a lot of the Athens games. This one, I watched everything. Politics and human rights aside for a second. I just love watching sport. And seeing how much it means to these athletes and how much work they put in...it's inspiring i think.

And the BBC internet coverage was outstanding. Loads to choose from, live and archived. In four years it's going to be even better. I wish you guys had something like what we got. No adverts. Oh and Michael Johnson is up there with Alan Hansen as a pundit. Full of authority and knowledge and generosity. Just before the 100M he gave his prediction, needless to say he got it, right to the 100th of a second. Smooth.

Edited by fletcherpost, 25 August 2008 - 05:21 AM.


#12 bsj


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Posted 25 August 2008 - 08:05 AM

One moment that is being very underrated (probably, in large part, because he is not American) is Australia's Matthew Mitchem coming from WAY behind in the final diving event of the games, the 10m platform...on the last dive, he needed basically straight 9.5s to pass the leader...who by the way, happened to be Chinese. Oh, and China had won every single diving gold thus far and was looking for the clean sweep.

Mitcham landed a dive that was so good, so flawless, that even the home cooked judging couldnt save him, and he nailed 4 10's and the rest 9.5s.....

Check this out...

The 20-year-old Sydney diver produced the highest scoring dive in the history of the Olympics with his sixth and final effort to become Australia's first male Olympic gold medallist in diving since Dick Eve in 1924.

Mitcham was trailing China's Zhou Luxin by more than 30 points leading into the final round, but scored a whopping 112.10 on his last dive - a back two and a half somersault with two and a half twists - to pull off an stunning upset.


Fucking incredible.

Edited by bsj, 25 August 2008 - 08:06 AM.


#13 phrenile


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Posted 25 August 2008 - 04:30 PM

One moment that is being very underrated (probably, in large part, because he is not American) is Australia's Matthew Mitchem [....]

He's also gay, though you wouldn't know it from the NBC broadcast. It's hard to give someone the coverage he deserves while you're straining to avoid the human-interest backstory that typically accompanies that coverage.

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It also doesn't help that his event happened at the end of competitions, of course.

#14 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 25 August 2008 - 04:34 PM

NO!!!!!!!!! Hammerseng plays for the other team (and I don't mean Sweden).

http://laurencepaque...m-hot-100-2008/

No only the best female handballer (sounds like she should be straight, lol), but pretty hot too!

#15 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 25 August 2008 - 06:04 PM

With the exception of Cuba, and I guess some Japanese and Koreans, eacn nation's best players are in MLB. IOC has made no secret of the fact that it's not very interested in sports that don't send the best - boxing is grandfathered in, and as far as soccer is concerned, FIFA is the one dog bigger than the IOC on the international sport totem pole - so IOC doesn't push it with them...


Not to beat the old horse here, that's still my point that IOC is deciding to let baseball ball since only ONE nation (USA) is deciding not to send its best players. I can assure you that Japan has fielded its best team (all pros from Central and Pacific leagues), and Korea has even stopped its pro league to send its best. Cuba, Taiwan, Nederlands, all the same.

So as Olympics shouldn't kick out basketball if USA doesn't send its best, or archery or taekwondo if Korea doesn't send its best, or table tennis if China decides to field a 2nd rate team, Olympics should not kick out if USA doesn't send its best.

Point being, there's still no reasonable argument as why baseball and softball is out.

#16 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 25 August 2008 - 06:08 PM

NO!!!!!!!!! Hammerseng plays for the other team (and I don't mean Sweden).

http://laurencepaque...m-hot-100-2008/

No only the best female handballer (sounds like she should be straight, lol), but pretty hot too!


Lol - Gro is by far the best player on what's considered to be the best squad in the world. I didn't know she was "out"!

#17 gaelgirl


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Posted 25 August 2008 - 08:50 PM

Not to beat the old horse here, that's still my point that IOC is deciding to let baseball ball since only ONE nation (USA) is deciding not to send its best players. I can assure you that Japan has fielded its best team (all pros from Central and Pacific leagues), and Korea has even stopped its pro league to send its best. Cuba, Taiwan, Nederlands, all the same.
...
Point being, there's still no reasonable argument as why baseball and softball is out.

It sucks that baseball is out, and atrocious that softball is out. Still, uh... the U.S. wasn't the only country that didn't send its best players. Check out the rosters from the World Baseball Classic and tell me how many of those players were on Olympic rosters? No foreign players in the majors quit for a few weeks to participate in the Olympics. Japan's best players include several who are playing on major league teams.

I can understand why baseball is being taken out. It sucks, but I get it. Softball is different. The best softball players were in the Olympics. It's really too bad.

Final Thoughts and Awards:

It's all about Michael Phelps. Best individual performance, favorite athlete, most exciting races, etc. I loved it. I am stoked. I hope people go swimming.

I was moved by the German weightlifter's story, and it's fucking awesome that he won. His celebration was fantastic. It's the best weightlifting story I've ever heard. Great bittersweet story no matter what the sport. I am really happy for him -- I just hope that now that he's won the gold and fulfilled his goal that he is able to cope and move on from his wife's death.

In the second week of the Olympics, I was totally involved in the men's volleyball tournament. I was pissed they showed the fucking basketball game live instead of the volleyball game, which they'd been showing live in that timeslot throughout the Olympics (or basketball instead of water polo, for that matter). I don't care that multi-millionaire athletes decided to give a shit this time instead of the years-long commitment they'd made to being loser assholes. I did care, however, about a team that wasn't expected to do anything but pulled together after what happened to the coach's family. I love that they won the gold, beating all of the pre-Olympics favorites in the process. The coach's emotional reaction was heartbreaking and happy at the same time. I am stoked that the women's team, many of them 2004 Athens teammates with the daugher/coach's wife, pulled together to win the silver. The men's volleyball team was my second-favorite story of the Olympics.

#18 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:25 PM

Not to beat the old horse here, that's still my point that IOC is deciding to let baseball ball since only ONE nation (USA) is deciding not to send its best players. I can assure you that Japan has fielded its best team (all pros from Central and Pacific leagues), and Korea has even stopped its pro league to send its best. Cuba, Taiwan, Nederlands, all the same

You can assure me that Ichiro, Matsuzaka, both Matsuis, Fukudome, Johjima, Iwamura and more I can't rattle off by heart would not be part of Japan's "best" team? You know, I hear the Yankees are looking for some scouts - and I think your eye for talent is just what they need...

Few countries, if any, actually send their absolute best team - and if they do, with the exception of the Cubans, it's generally because none of their players have made it to MLB. Canada doesn't send it's best team, Mexico doesn't, Venezuela doesn't...I'm not even sure if the Domincan Republic even bothers to enter the qualifying tournament. That's like Canada not entering an ice hockey team (and to those who would note it, yes, I do recognize the historical irony of that statement)!

#19 Kremlin Watcher

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 02:26 AM

You can assure me that Ichiro, Matsuzaka, both Matsuis, Fukudome, Johjima, Iwamura and more I can't rattle off by heart would not be part of Japan's "best" team? You know, I hear the Yankees are looking for some scouts - and I think your eye for talent is just what they need...

Few countries, if any, actually send their absolute best team - and if they do, with the exception of the Cubans, it's generally because none of their players have made it to MLB. Canada doesn't send it's best team, Mexico doesn't, Venezuela doesn't...I'm not even sure if the Domincan Republic even bothers to enter the qualifying tournament. That's like Canada not entering an ice hockey team (and to those who would note it, yes, I do recognize the historical irony of that statement)!


It seems axiomatic that any country that has players in MLB doesn't send its best team to the Games. Hell, the Domincan could field a pretty sharp team if the baseball world got together and decided that Olympic baseball was meaningful. But it doesn't, and it isn't meaningful outside of a pretty small community. My argument that the Olympics should include (with some historical exceptions) sports for which Olympic victory is the highest achievement in the sport is valid enough to exclude baseball. The winning team in Olympic baseball is CLEARLY not the best team in the world. Phelps is clearly the fastest swimmer in the world at his disciplines and Bolt is clearly the fastest sprinter in the world. There are many events for which the Olympics are IT. They are the most interesting to watch. The additional baseball and tennis and tournaments just don't hold much interest - they're just one more tournament in sports full of them.

#20 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 26 August 2008 - 03:47 AM

You can assure me that Ichiro, Matsuzaka, both Matsuis, Fukudome, Johjima, Iwamura and more I can't rattle off by heart would not be part of Japan's "best" team? You know, I hear the Yankees are looking for some scouts - and I think your eye for talent is just what they need...

Few countries, if any, actually send their absolute best team - and if they do, with the exception of the Cubans, it's generally because none of their players have made it to MLB. Canada doesn't send it's best team, Mexico doesn't, Venezuela doesn't...I'm not even sure if the Domincan Republic even bothers to enter the qualifying tournament. That's like Canada not entering an ice hockey team (and to those who would note it, yes, I do recognize the historical irony of that statement)!


I hear your point, no need to take a jab at "my eye for talent." I have no idea what arguing about the legitimacy of baseball in the Olympics have anything to do with that, but hey, take a poke if it'll please ya, and take a perfectly good point-counterpoint into something personal. And to use the MFY for Christ's sake.

The point KW raises regarding having sports that is the pinnacle of themselves have more merit - although I'd put having the arena to compete and participate over requiring the best players compete. Just a philosophical difference.

For the majority of the American audience Olympics is just another tourney, but it was only one of two international competition in baseball, and not so long ago it was the only one before WBC. To me, getting WBC going had a lot more impact on baseball being dropped from than a lot of the points raised here both pro and con.

#21 CapeCodsBabyBull

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 04:58 AM

Most Memorable - Nastia Liukin's gold It was almost as if everyone and even the americans wanted her to lose (shawn Johnson anyone)

Most uncomfortable moments- Watching the 11 year old chinese gymnasts (saying wow she's really skinny! Then realizing, she's 11)

Most spectacular-The opening and closing of the olympics

worst performer- Alicia Sacramone

Best performance-Phelps

Most impressive- Dara Torres 3 silvers

And Usain Bolt is really really fast..

#22 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:34 AM

I hear your point, no need to take a jab at "my eye for talent." I have no idea what arguing about the legitimacy of baseball in the Olympics have anything to do with that, but hey, take a poke if it'll please ya, and take a perfectly good point-counterpoint into something personal. And to use the MFY for Christ's sake.

The point KW raises regarding having sports that is the pinnacle of themselves have more merit - although I'd put having the arena to compete and participate over requiring the best players compete. Just a philosophical difference.

For the majority of the American audience Olympics is just another tourney, but it was only one of two international competition in baseball, and not so long ago it was the only one before WBC. To me, getting WBC going had a lot more impact on baseball being dropped from than a lot of the points raised here both pro and con.

I didn't mean for you to take it personally - just kind of teed up on a chance to get a cheap laugh...

In any case, I think I was making the same point as KW, just in a different way. As a general rule, the IOC wants their Games to be the pinnacle each sport that is there - or at least feature the best athletes in a national team format rather than a pro club setting.

Another note worth all of us taking; We can beak off all we want about that the Olympic Games should and should not be, but in the end, the Olympic Games are and will be exaclty what the IOC wants them to be - it's THEIR Games, they own them, they make the rules, set the policy, state the philosphy, pick the sports and crown the winners. The Olympic ™ Games aren't some weird global public quaisi-democratic entity. They are a brand of sporting event put on by a private group of individuals that has managed somehow to acquire some mythic percieved semi-world-governmental status...in the end, if you don't like how the IOC runs their Games, tough luck. Start your own brand of Games if you want, but the IOC will do what they do, and you can't do anything about it except not watch.

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 26 August 2008 - 09:34 AM.


#23 LateRally

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 01:57 PM

Yes the IOC runs the Olympics with an iron fist, but if MLB participation is really a condition for baseball to come back (i.e. the "best team" argument), it will never happen, at least not in any shape or form the IOC envisions. The IOC can posture half-heartedly all they want, but MLB (and by MLB I mean the owners and the union, not Selig) will never let the players they own play in the Olympics unless it's completely on their terms. Just look at the conditions and restrictions they imposed on the WBC for example, and all the hoops they had to jump through. Sure it may suck a little for the minor leaguers and teams like Korea and the Netherlands who look forward to the Olympics, but they would be wise to get over it and move on. Focus on things like the WBC for however long that's around.

#24 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:07 PM

Another note worth all of us taking; We can beak off all we want about that the Olympic Games should and should not be, but in the end, the Olympic Games are and will be exaclty what the IOC wants them to be - it's THEIR Games, they own them, they make the rules, set the policy, state the philosphy, pick the sports and crown the winners. The Olympic ™ Games aren't some weird global public quaisi-democratic entity. They are a brand of sporting event put on by a private group of individuals that has managed somehow to acquire some mythic percieved semi-world-governmental status...in the end, if you don't like how the IOC runs their Games, tough luck. Start your own brand of Games if you want, but the IOC will do what they do, and you can't do anything about it except not watch.


FnL, I agree with this point wholeheartedly. IOC decides not only what sports get played, but how many medals are awarded per sport. The politically and economically powerful countries more likely get their way (more influence over IOC), and you get something like the swimming or the diving where it's so specialized that soon you'll get 30 synchronized diving golds. So China and US get medals in the hundreds, while I root for the Jamaicans to sweep their relays.