Odd Olympic Moments

on August 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

As the party continued to samba into the Brazilian night, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro officially came to a close. We definitely need a moment to catch our breaths and there will be plenty of time over the next few days and weeks to digest, dissect and debate over what has transpired these past 16 days. There will be plenty of opinions on sports talk radio and TV on questions that we tend to ask every four years. Did the host organize a suitable set of games? How do they compare to previous games and what changes if any, should be done to the Olympic Bidding process. Was Canada successful in these games? Is our government doing enough to help support our athletes and if not, should they increase funding? We have plenty of time for that in the upcoming days, but for now let’s take a look at some of the odd moments of the games that made us rage in anger or giggle in absurd laughter or even bow our heads in embarrassment at our own regression over these past two weeks. Before I get into some of these, please note that I am trying to avoid writing anything regarding the US Swimmers (aka The Ryan Lochte Mess Monster) and his ‘Liar, Liar Speedo on Fire’ incident.

Olympics Must be Politics Free

I am not here to preach what is right and wrong. Everyone has their own opinion and if and when we disagree, we have a law that decides for us. Egyptian athlete Islam El Shehaby (Judo) is free to follow which ever religion he chooses, but if he wants to represent Egypt and contend for a medal in Judo, then he must follow Olympic Rules. His refusal to bow and shake the hand of his competitor (Israeli Or Sasson) is in direct conflict of the spirit and rules of the games. It was with great surprise then (at least from me anyway) that the IOC and his own team, sent him home where he will face disciplinary actions. What rages the ire was not that he refused to shake hands but that 1) the International Judo Federation called it ‘progress’ that the fight even took place and 2) the comments and pressure many Islamist-leaning networks (Mataz Matar from Al-Sharq network is one) placed upon him if he did fight, “Egypt will be sad and you will be seen as a traitor and a normalizer in the eyes of your people.” The truth is, the people of the world are sad… and angry and frustrated that this hatred is allowed to spill into the Olympic Games.

Un-Synchronized Divers

This is the stuff that legends are made of. Ok, not really, The story goes that the night before their Olympic debut, one of the Brazilian synchronized divers, Ingrid Oliveira asked/kicked her roommate and partner Giovanna Pedroso out of their room so that she could have… and I quote… ‘a marathon sex session’ with Brazilian canoeist Pedro Goncalves. Seriously, I am not making this up. So after one member of the team walked around all night and the other did her own form of aerobics, the two seemed well out of sync during the competition and finished embarrassingly in last place. The 17 year old was understandably quite furious with her 20 year old partner for putting men before medals and immediately dissolved their partnership after their event. Speaking of sexy…

Olympics are Bad for You

The old adage “Too much of anything is bad for you” stands true when it comes to the Olympics so maybe we should be thankful that it is four years apart and only two weeks long. This is easily proven in the most scientific of methods based on what happened on Day 1 compared to Day 16. Mentally, physically and psychologically I was on top of my game on the first day of the Olympics and if there was a picture to show you how good I felt it would certainly be:

But after a gruelling stretch of 16 days sitting on the couch where my only exercise was reaching for the chips or reaching for an adult beverage, well that kind of heavy work load takes a toll on you. You get mentally frazzled, your judgement is suspect and your body, well your body isn’t half of what it used to be. Actually, the body becomes 2 or 3 times more than it was. You wind up getting upset over the smallest of things and you make poor decisions. Therefore you go from Day 1’s chiseled perfection to wrestling coaches from Mongolia protesting the bronze medal match on indomitable style.

With all the good, the bad and the odd that Rio 2016 had to offer, one thing is for sure; it was always entertaining. Obrigado Brazil!

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