Sunday, August 17, 2008

Light Olympic notes

"Every dog has his day, and I feel like I’m going to be barking soon.”

Larry Myricks – Champion long jumper

Supposedly, Dick Fosbury has started an Olympic blog, but so far, I’m unable to locate it. Could be his laptop has a virus since our State Dept. has virtually guaranteed that anybody using a laptop at the games will be infected.

Fosbury can always count on these guys when he returns to Idaho

Nonetheless, I’ll keep flopping around to try to find Fosbury’s blog as it would be nice to hear about him chumming around China with his old friend and fellow legendary leaper Bob Beamon.

It’s also interesting to note how some of the natural athletes are left out of the club as it proves hard to pin down an exact definition of what makes a true Olympian:

From this La Times article:,0,1468452.story

Ask anyone in the world who watches the Games on television if they know what an Olympian is, and they'll all nod their heads," said Fosbury, an Idaho businessman and president of the nonprofit World Olympians Assn., which is chartered by the IOC to represent Olympians' interests. "From their perspective it's very simple. But from the Olympian's perspective, it's very complex."

The complexity is driven by the fact that several Olympic organizations -- including the International Olympic Committee, national sports federations, the WOA and national groups that represent Olympians -- have a say in creating and policing the definition.

The debate often is heated, not because of hard-and-fast benefits that accrue to Olympians as much as the obvious pride shared by those admitted to this distinguished cadre of athletes.

"It's the intrinsic fact that you're part of a fraternity, and everyone else wants to be part of that exclusive fraternity," said Willie Banks, who qualified for the 1980 team, competed in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Games and now serves as president of the U.S. Olympians Assn. "It's as if you went to Vietnam in the First Marine Division and kicked butt. You say, 'Yeah, I was part of that group. You couldn't have experienced what I did.' "

As with many things Olympian, politics is at the heart of the disagreement. Everyone agrees that an Olympian is someone who participates in the Games -- what's open to debate is the definition of "participation."

"You can sum it up by saying that the term 'Olympian' is loosely used, and that there is no definition for Olympian," Banks said. "There is no definition of 'Olympian' because the only organization that can officially do it is the IOC and they've kept it vague."


Ray Ewry would have enjoyed BSUWG’s leaping lizard post.

It was cool seeing Michael Phelps watch the National Anthem after winning his eighth gold medal in the current games. I wondered how many people considered that Francis Scott Key scribed the Star Spangled Banner in the same Baltimore waters where Champion Phelps grew up.

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