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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:36 am 
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I also find the arguments about "overall medal count" vs. "gold medal count" to be a bit odd. I can understand people wanting their country to win the most gold medals... I have had the same desire... but to say that is all that matters... is disrespectful to anyone winning a silver or bronze. It seems to me that the people pushing such a view of the Olympics are only doing so to diminish the United states... which is not what the Olympics are about... IMHO. To really compare all Olympic teams, you would really want to have a weighted average of all placings from gold to last place... Saying winning first is all that matters is understandable... but unfortunate.


I haven't seen these arguments, but I suspect that the people making them are from countries that have a shot at winning the gold medal count - Germany and Canada, or fans of those countries. That doesn't bother me at all. Quite frankly, if the US was winning the gold medal count and NOT the overall medal count, I'm sure US fans would be jumping up and down about how the golds were the most important. All of those battles are, in my view, completely unimportant (and likely are rarely engaged in by the people who have put in the time to win those golds (or other medals)).

At the end of the day, the Olympics are a celebration of people's passions for their sports. Olympians put in so much solitary effort, week by week, to push their bodies to the next level. Most of the time, it's entirely thankless, apart from what satisfaction they get from the process (which one imagines is a lot of satisfaction, else most would not find it worth it.) But I love that the Olympics gives them two weeks out of every 208 :D where the rest of the world cares about what they're doing, too, and comes together in a celebration of human physical achievement. The Olympics is one incentive for them to work to take their sports to the next level, and I love that we celebrate the results of that. Although I'm always happy to see my country doing well, the question of which country won how many medals (of whatever color) seems comparatively less important to me.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:51 am 
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Having watched a lot of random blog commentary and such the last few days, the rampant anti-US sentiment is sad. Not that the US side is blameless of course, but I find it... "un-Olympic" to be rooting against any athelete.



Well, perhaps this thread is indicative of North American attitudes...it should have been renamed the 2010 Olympics US/Canada supporters review of the Games. If it had been I would have known not to bother posting in it, since the majority of members here are American or Canadian, and apparently have no interest in the performances of other nation's athletes unless they impact on their own competitors.

Apart from Nin, Lhaewin, Samaranth and myself, pretty much the whole of the thread has been devoted to how well US or Canadian athletes have done, and virtually ignoring other world-beating performances worthy of comment and commendation...

I can honestly say that this doesn't happen on British - or European tv. Maybe it's because Britain obviously doesn't have many home successes to discuss... ;)

but we enjoy giving praise where praise is due...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:13 am 
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Elentári, I cannot claim to have cared about other countries than my own, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the achievements of those athletes.

Unfortunately, I cannot comprehend all of the stories of all of the athletes at the winter games. I have focused on those from my country, and those from the host nation, which happens to be a glad neighbor of my own country. At the same time, I have followed the results of other nations in the events that I follow most closely, such as Curling and Hockey. I'm not quite sure what more can be expected.

Through this thread I have certainly paid more attention to some teams, particularly the swiss team :), which is pretty much the whole point.

I would have welcomed more posting from others, but I don't see how posting my own thoughts as the games progressed should be seen as negative... but whatever.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:14 am 
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I prefer to watch Swiss TV, because they have a lot less to celebrate - even if I think that for a country as small as this, they have done done well.

Whereas German TV is all about the German athletes (now for the Germans, this were great games - also think of the size of the country...) and it bothers me.

Even in the Swiss streaming TV, for instance in male figure skiting, they put the medals, butu not the free programm of the forth place, a Swiss.

But I remember vison talking about the Swiss who won the ski jumping - so there are degrees of nationalism.

Maybe when the Olympicsa re over, we should one day open a thread about pariotism as a virtue or vice.

And today I want to see the figure skating gala - no medals, all winners, shere beauty!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:31 am 
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Nin wrote:
Whereas German TV is all about the German athletes (now for the Germans, this were great games - also think of the size of the country...) and it bothers me.


Absolutely. I dislike this either. And tonight I'll make sure to watch the hockey match.

Nin wrote:
And today I want to see the figure skating gala - no medals, all winners, shere beauty!


So do I, as I haven't seen any of the competitions.

I pitied the Dutch skater, who was sent on the wrong lane which led to his disqualification - and he would have won gold!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:44 am 
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When ishe Gala on German TV - I don't manage to find the programm on the Internet? (If not, I'll watch it on Swiss TV)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:55 am 
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I found it on Eurosport, where it's being repeated several times.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Hal - I'm not saying your thoughts should be seen as negative...

just perhaps a case of you guys being more...insular?

No hard feelings, though! :)


Looking forward to the gala if I can catch one of those repeats, Lhaewin, but I'm really busy this afternoon & evening :(

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:19 pm 
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Elentári, it's also on at midnight UK time (on Eurosport).:) I set the recorder for that.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:30 pm 
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There are events I really enjoy watching and there are events that leave me cold. It's been fun to watch some Canadian kids be on top for a change, Canada is always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Except maybe for hocky and curling . . . :D

Until this year, the American network coverage of the games was always so utterly America-centred that it was a subject of jokes. Now, there are 5 or 6 stations we can watch on and we're not stuck with NBC or ABC whichever it is. But this year, the American network has done a splendid job, the coverage has been great. But that guy is gone, that old guy, was it Jim someone? Retired, I guess. He seemed to be the worst offender. But I hear the network is losing millions and millions of dollars because for some reason the winter games are just not that popular in teh US? Can't say if that's true. Still, your sporting world did not come to a halt for the games, the NBA has kept playing, etc., whereas everything in Canada has seemingly stopped.

I don't much like the human-interest segments and Canadian TV is heavy on that - everyone competing has a story, everyone has suffered and sacrificed and after awhile I get, yes, bored. Brian Burke, the gm of the US hockey team, lost his son in a car accident only a few weeks ago, and poor Joannie Rochette losing her mum - those were things that had to be reported since they happened right at the time, but the rest of them, well, like I say, every kid there pretty well has some story.

It's been fun, but for me in a low-key way. I'm not a booster of these games, being one of the taxpayers who's on the hook.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Elentári wrote:
Well, perhaps this thread is indicative of North American attitudes...it should have been renamed the 2010 Olympics US/Canada supporters review of the Games. If it had been I would have known not to bother posting in it, since the majority of members here are American or Canadian, and apparently have no interest in the performances of other nation's athletes unless they impact on their own competitors.


To be straightforward, we have a lot of successful athletes, and following them consumes as much time as many of us have. My approach, for instance, is that I follow whatever sports I'm personally interested in (figure skating, swimming, gymnastics) - in these sports, I try to know what's going on with all the top athletes regardless of nationality. Also with respect to these sports, I want to see them push the outer limits of their sport (particularly re: swimming). Who wins is secondary to me, though I'm always excited when Americans win. (Exception: figure skating at the moment - I find Kim Yu-Na so spectacular that I think I will always root for her no matter what Americans are in the mix.) With respect to other sports, I rely on the media and friends to tell me if something really cool happened. Given that I live in California, guess who they're talking about?

With this Olympics, my knowledge of other sports came mainly from Stephen Colbert, who was in Canada to provide his "Vancouverage" of the Games. He interviewed primarily American medalists, and I essentially then went and looked up the clips of their competition from NBCOlympics.com (e.g. Shaun White, Shani Davis). And, apart from women's figure skating, that's been as much time as I've had to follow these Games.

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I can honestly say that this doesn't happen on British - or European tv. Maybe it's because Britain obviously doesn't have many home successes to discuss... ;)


To be honest, I think it does, when you guys feel you're really in the mix (perhaps to a lesser extent, though I think it's a numbers game.) I was in the UK for the summer 2008 Games, and where Rebecca Adlington (y'all's top long-distance swimmer who won a couple of golds) was around, that's what the swimming coverage talked about. It didn't bother me at all - that's how I imagined it should be! I had forgotten about it until this discussion. Similarly, I was in Italy last summer when the swimming world championships were being held in Rome. I watched on Italian TV, with my Milanese friend translating for me. Where there were serious Italian competitors, that was definitely the focus of the commentary, and the Italians commented on other teams primarily where they were going to give Italy a run for their money (i.e., we still heard a lot about Michael Phelps and the American relay teams, for instance.) Again, it didn't bother me at all that Italians would want to focus on the achievements of Italian athletes, particularly during a "home" world championship. Ultimately, my friend and I both cheered our teams on loudly, patriotically, and unabashedly during the relays, and (after the American men won :D), we went out for tasty Italian food, and my friend and the waiters lightly mocked my Americanness and accent. I thought it was exactly the way it should be.

So, in essence, part of this might be "our fault" - we (Americans, and perhaps Canadians) are wrapped up in our own athletes, and there's A LOT of achievement for us to focus on just there. I've seen nothing in my European experiences yet that convinces me that you guys are different in your approach, except that where you have fewer athletes to focus on for a particular sport, perhaps you pay more attention to everyone. (I think we do the same - I definitely paid a lot more attention to all the women's figure skaters this time, since the top contenders weren't American.)

More broadly, though, I respectfully submit that part of the problem is that everyone pays too much attention to us, not only in the Olympic context. For my own reasons, I've become very interested in what's going on in Britain. I've noticed, for instance, that when I read The Economist -- ostensibly a British publication that offers a British perspective on the world, it always starts with discussion of American news, and almost always offers more pages of discussion on the US than on the UK. (e.g., in this past week's issue, 33-42 were US and 63-66 UK). Ironically, that may be because half of the publication's subscribers are North American, but it's frustrating to me because I know what's going on with the US, and would like the Economist to tell me more about what's happening in the UK. I go to the BBC's webpage to read the British news, and almost invariably see only global headlines on the first page. I have to scroll to the bottom for the link to UK news. "No, really, Britain, what's going on with you?"

I'm not sure that I have an overarching point. Just some reactions to what you wrote.

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I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Nel, I think you are right to certain degree: what ennoys me is when the coverage starts with all the national athletes even thought they are not among the medal winners or those who could have claimed one and covers that broadly and the medals are quoted in a minute.

The Swiss don't do that, but the French are awful in that regard. You will have 30 minutes about the failure of the French team and ten about the winners. :roll: .

I prefer to hear about the best (and for this Eurosport is great and Swiss TV not too bad) and if the best are Swiss and/or German or French, I enjoy hearing more about them.

And I agree about Kim Yu-Na. When I was 18 and the Olympics were in Calgary and the Internet did not exist I got up in the middle of the night to see her trainer Brian Orser skate. That was the time when I wanted to emigrate to Canada... ;)

And maybe I would not have know who finished forth in the men's competition, had it not been Lambiel. But he made a wonderful performance in the gala... maybe it's also just that he is a great skater.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Thanks Lhaewin...I'll set mine too :thumbsup:

Nerdanel wrote:

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I go to the BBC's webpage to read the British news, and almost invariably see only global headlines on the first page. I have to scroll to the bottom for the link to UK news. "No, really, Britain, what's going on with you?"


Well, that rather illustrates my point....we view what's going on in the world with as great an importance as that in our own backyard.

I just checked the BBC homepage, and basically there are a few headlines in the news portion of the front page, 3 featured stories, of which one is the Chilean earthquake and the other two are UK related. There are also four other headlines, 2 of which are UK stories...

If you click on the "News" tab to go to the NEWS homepage, all these story headlines are repeated in a little more depth, along with tabs to choose to go to pages dedicated to UK or local/regional headlines, plus sports pages, politics, health, science/technology or entertainment, etc., as well as the WORLD news page.

I don't see the problem! 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:03 pm 
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What a hockey game. Unbelievable. Congrats to Canada on the Gold, and congrats to the US on the silver!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:11 pm 
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Congratulations to both teams for this outstanding match. Sometimes it's a shame that there can't be two winners.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:11 pm 
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Incredible game. Absolutely fantastic. I wish both teams could get gold.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:14 pm 
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Yeah...really edge of the seat stuff...great game!

Congrats and very well done Team Canada....bad luck but well played Team USA
:hooray: to both teams for giving us some wonderful entertainment

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:47 am 
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Closing ceremony:

I love Neil Young and he was great. I even liked Michael Buble and the silly "Canadian" outrageous show that featured William Shatner. William Shatner, for pete's sake. :shock: I shake my head, but I laugh, too. :rofl:

And I have never seen nor heard Nickelback before and having now seen and heard Nickelback, I can quite perfectly understand why they are so popular. Wow. Arena rock at its best. Way to go, Chad! (He lives just down the road from me, so I feel that I can call him by his first name. :P Although to be honest, we aren't on coffee drinking terms or anything . . . :D )

It was a fun show and I hope the athletes enjoyed it, it was meant for them.

I know a few people who volunteered and over the next few weeks I'll be seeing them here and there and I'm interested in what they have to say.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:39 am 
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OK I am only halfway through reading this thread after Voronwë kindly directed me here.

First about the broadcasting methods. CTV broadcasts live, and their 3 other stations broadcasts live for events that going on at the same time. Everything that is broadcast on TV is simulcast on internet streaming. I don't have a TV and I got to see almost everything I wanted to see on the internet live. Also if a person misses something on TV they can go one the internet to catch it. CTV did a brilliant job.They even showed stuff not aired on television (like the 30th place figure skater) I actually think I even want see their cute little morning show they had also broadcast live. (5 am start time in Vancouver so they could start the show at 8am eastern time) One episode had two little kids teaching the adult hosts curling. It was the pinnacle of cuteness.

I am very pleased with the increasing interest in curling. I have been watching it since I was little. Although the Norway men's team had those crazy pants, I think it brought more attention to the game. I actually went to an Olympic themed party and there were quite a few people interested in learning the game. China getting into curling is interesting as the thing with China is that they get very good very fast. I was shocked the womens team beat our women's team. (My Chines friends say it's because there are so many to pick from if someone is not good they can easily find a replacement. I love with curling that you can hear them talk strategy. (I have heard so much Japanese from anime when the Japanese womens team was talking I actually understood a little). What was it with the the Swiss womens team wearing skirts? :shock:

About tickets my friend who lives in Vancouver was able to get tickets to the first Canada vs. Norway Mens curling match. I will ask her how she got tix the next time I talk to her.

About the opening ceremonies I really liked them and I loved all the native art incorporated into the theme. It was in he medal design, much of the opening ceremonies and there is even native art on the maple leaf of the hockey jerseys. Also the mascots were native inspired too. I wish the slogan could have had some native infuence because then the themes would be more cohesive (I am always very interested in how the art and theme is expresed in an olympic games. The more cohesive it is usually indicates how much the organizers care about the games. Torino is the best example of a cohesive theme I think. Vancouver comes close.)

I intend to stay optimistic and I am hoping this will improve government and first nations relations. I really really happy to much of their culture and art was included in the opening ceremony and I actually wished there was more. I had even heard some of the first nations tried to assist the Russian figure skaters. (I will get into that in a another post.)

About figure skating, I think the judging is less rigged then it used to be. I will support that comment more once I actually discuss much of the figure skating which ill be in another post.

About the national anthem Canadians do not do the hand over heart thing. I think that is uniquely American.

OK I will continue my thoughts and comments after I have read more of the thread.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:33 am 
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I haven't watched very much of the Winter Olympics -- there is a lot going on in my RL at the moment -- but I just wanted to say how jazzed I am for the Canadians. Top of the gold medal tally, guys! And it was at home! Well done!

:cheerleader: :cheerleader: :cheerleader:

And one gold for Britain, for that lass who went down the slopes on a tea-tray. :P Yay! :banana: (I'd never heard of the sport before. :D )

Also, I just loved looking at that gorgeous mountain scenery. I love Canada. I've only been there once, in 1989, and a return visit is long overdue.

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