Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Olympics Near Collapse?

By wiredog in News
Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 01:38:27 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

Russian Olympic Committee President Leonid Tyagachev is threatening to pull the Russian team out of today's men's semifinal hockey game against the United States, leave the Olympic Village, and not participate in Sunday's Closing Ceremony. He has said that Russia might boycott the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

The Russians are upset by the disqualification of one of their cross country skiers for high hemoglobin levels, the awarding of gold medals to the Canadian figure skaters after a French judge admitted to being pressured, a claim of biased judging in women's freestyle aerials, and the hockey refereeing.

Vitaly Smirnov, an IOC vice president from Russia, was upset by Canadian referee Stephen Walkom's calls in Wednesday's 1-0 Russian victory over the Czech Republic. He called the officiating "truly disgusting," and said it was possibly a result of "malicious intent." He has hinted the refereeing may have been part of an effort to keep the Russians out of the semifinal game with the USA so that the USA would not lose.

The South Koreans, meanwhile, are upset over the judging by Australian referee James Hewish in the speedskating event. Judging that resulted in the Korean skater being disqualified, giving the gold to the American skater Apolo Ohno. They are also unhappy that Ohno took silver in an earlier event that was won by Austrailian Steven Bradbury, who used the interesting strategy of skating behind everyone else and hoping that they would all fall down, which they did.

On the lighter side, The Japanese Olympic Committee apologized after a cross country coach pointed a rifle at police in Heber City. The coach later said "I didn't know anything about gun etiquette. I heard afterward that if I pointed a gun at the police officers, they could have shot. I'm so glad that they didn't."


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


If the Olympics Collapse it will be America's Fault
o Yes 28%
o No 24%
o Blame Canada! 46%

Votes: 143
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o threatenin g
o disqualifi cation
o biased judging
o won
o apologized
o Also by wiredog

Display: Sort:
Olympics Near Collapse? | 68 comments (61 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
Blah Blah Blah (2.62 / 8) (#1)
by greyrat on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 09:49:05 AM EST

We've had all this and much, much worse before. The Olympics won't collapse -- much as we want them to sometimes.
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

High Hemoglobin? (3.50 / 4) (#2)
by csmacd on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 09:52:02 AM EST

Ok, I heard about this on the news this morning - WTF does hemoglobin levels prove? It's not a drug - could people be 'doping' with red blood cells to improve oxygen transfer or something?

I guess I just don't get the point of testing for this...Anybody help me out here?

You are right (4.75 / 4) (#4)
by hulver on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:00:41 AM EST

About the doping. One technique is to have some of your own blood taken out weeks before an event. Train up, your body makes more blood. Then have your blood put back in again. This gives you more oxygen capacity, so you can run longer.

[ Parent ]
right on... (5.00 / 4) (#5)
by BWS on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:04:13 AM EST

its a know strategy and have been used before..... the rate that you process oxygen is very important in a sporting event....

the faster/more efficient you do it the better (again up to some point)....

-- Comments are by ME, not YOU! ME! ME! ME!
[ Parent ]
Why test for high hemoglobin levels (4.85 / 7) (#9)
by haro on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:20:33 AM EST

A high hemoglobin level can be dangerous. The drug EPO (erthyropoietin) has been used to achieve it, with fatal consequences (tour de France a few years back). It is also useful to athletes like long distance runners or as here skiers.

In skiing a limit has been set, and no athletes are allowed to compete if above this level. That is what happened ahead of the relay yesterday. One of the Russians tested above the limit. This does not prove any wrongdoings, long training at high altitudes might also bring it about. The easier way to achieve it is EPO or blood doping through storing your own blood for a while and receiving it again a short time before it is needed.

The rules were clear - she was not entitled to participate. But may be the Russian team should have been allowed to let one of their reserves take her place.

[ Parent ]

They were allowed (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by gauntlet on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:10:12 PM EST

They could have replaced her in the relay team if they wanted. They argue they weren't given enough time, because she was disqualified too close to the beginning of the race.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Thanks! (3.50 / 2) (#10)
by csmacd on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:20:52 AM EST

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity!

Thanks, guys!

[ Parent ]
Effect of EPO (5.00 / 3) (#14)
by ggeens on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:28:15 AM EST

One of the effects of EPO is an increased blood cell count, and EPO is a proscribed drug. If an athlete has an abnormally high hemoglobin level, it is assumed he has taken the drug.

There have been discussions about the test as well: some people naturally have a very high blood cell count.

L'enfer, c'est les huîtres.

[ Parent ]
To quote (2.33 / 6) (#6)
by zephc on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:10:33 AM EST

Motley Crue:
"Girl, don't go away mad.
Girl, just go away."

Maybe... (4.37 / 8) (#7)
by ChiefHoser on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:11:53 AM EST

I hope the Russians do have the guts to leave. Now I don't agree with all their points in the press conference but they do have some. The judging/refereeing in the Olympics has been horrible. Lasts nights Women's ice hockey was a disgrace, the ref blew the whistle for every stupid thing. Granted some of the penalties were deserved but too many were not, on both sides of the rink but the majority was against the Canadians. Previous hockey games (men's and women's) have had similar problems. The speed skating judges have called out at least two people for nothing, it is insane. With the Russian's threatening to leave (and South Koreans on the same track for the closing ceremonies anyways) I hope that it forces the IOC to fix all the problems in the Olympics. It is disgusting, it is a disgrace. And so far they have not cared what happens. They only seem to care when the masses get upset (ie. appease the public mob). That is NOT right!

Higher, stronger, faster my ass. She paid the most, he paid the most, they paid the most.

Chief of the Hosers
Chill (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by Torgos Pizza on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 11:51:14 AM EST

I think you're overreacting a touch, much like the Russian officials. All the Russian athletes I saw interviewed last night said that they do not want to leave. The Russian hockey coach stated that they want to prove they can beat the Americans and want to stay. Having the Russian athletes leave the games would not be a good thing. The Russians wouldn't be doing anyone a favor by doing so.

The officiating could be better. I too saw the women's hockey gold medal match and thought it was just awful. Good for the Canadians to overcome that and pull out a win. They deserve it. But as for the short track officiating, I think that you're out of line here. I don't think anyone here in k5 is an expert enough to know enough about the sport to judge it properly. Have you seen any other short track events this year outside of the Olympics? I know I haven't, but it's got my attention now. What other sport is there where hanging back and hoping that the other people crash so you can win is a viable strategy? Granted the officials have more power than in other sports and no line of appeal. From interviews with other short track skaters I've read, most agree that this is just one feature of the sport and has been consistent throughout this season.

Fact is that these problems have been with the winter olympics for a long, long time. With the number of events and the numbers of people watching and participating, people are only just noticing this for the first time. The IOC has just finished cleaning it's own house and now it's time for the other unions (especially the ISU) to start cleaning their own.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

There's one other "sport" (4.33 / 3) (#37)
by gauntlet on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:36:27 PM EST

What other sport is there where hanging back and hoping that the other people crash so you can win is a viable strategy?
Restrictor-plate races in Nascar. See recent Daytona 500.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

The IOC can't fix the problems. (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by Lizard on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 11:55:28 AM EST


Much of the trouble with the Olympics comes from the IOC very focused on personal gain of political power and money. In reality the games shouldn't be in SLC, but they were the highest bidder in the bribery wars. The whole event is so sleazy it makes me sick.
Just Because I Can!
[ Parent ]

Bribery (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by Torgos Pizza on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 01:07:11 PM EST

Bribing has been going on for years and years. If not SLC, then it shouldn't have been in Atlanta, Nagano, etc. SLC just brought the whole thing to light.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]
Mormon Klutzes (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by swillden on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 04:18:03 PM EST

Yeah, the problem was that the Salt Lake Olympic Committee didn't know how to handle the under-the-table dealings. The kept detailed records of the bribes, the idiots!

Hopefully bringing the problems to light will help them get fixed and make even well-executed IOC bribes a thing of the past...

[ Parent ]

It's Olympic Women's Hockey rules. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by Mr. Piccolo on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:07:38 PM EST

That means they're supposed to blow the whistle for every tiny infraction, not like in the NHL.

The BBC would like to apologise for the following comment.

[ Parent ]
Nonsensical bullshit. (5.00 / 2) (#36)
by gauntlet on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:34:34 PM EST

The Canadian Women's Ice Hockey Team would never have played NHL rules, dumbass. Besides the fact that the calls were almost all against the Canadians, (the few calls against the americans were typically balanced double minors) most of the calls were utter bullshit. You have to at least touch a person to trip them.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Blame Canada! (5.00 / 2) (#41)
by FreeBarking on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 02:22:40 PM EST

Actually, I just wanted to put that in a subject; those who have seen the _South Park_ movie should have a tune running through their heads right now. :-)

While I don't blame Canada, exactly, I do blame the ISU & IOC officials that gave the Canadian figure skaters the gold medal in whining. Sure, people are *always* going to complain about judging and officiating in competitions like these. The mistake was in reversing the decisions of the officials on the field, opening the proverbial can of worms. Right after Pelletier and Sale were awarded the second gold in pairs, I thought "uh oh". What's happened so far is sooner and worse than even I expected...

[ Parent ]
Whining? (none / 0) (#63)
by Mark on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 01:39:04 AM EST

Even after the French judge admitted to picking a winner before the event even occured, the Canadians were still prepared to accept their silver medals and move on. They didn't demand a gold medal, they didn't threaten to leave, they didn't threaten to boycott the closing ceremonies, they didn't threaten to sue anyone, and they didn't throw accusations of conspiracy at random nations. All they did was request an inquiry, which ANY country would have done under those cirumstances. How you can classify this as "whining" is beyond me.

[ Parent ]
Umm did you WATCH the event? (none / 0) (#65)
by tzanger on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 12:37:06 PM EST

Sure, people are *always* going to complain about judging and officiating in competitions like these. The mistake was in reversing the decisions of the officials on the field, opening the proverbial can of worms.

Did you even watch the event? The judge was so wrong you would have thought she was watching some other event instead. The Russians had some very obvious technical flaws in their performance while the Canadians had a practically flawless performance. I'd be pissed if I were them, but I'm not, and they showed better resolve than I could have ever shown. My personal solution would be to disqualify the Russians altogether. It wasn't the skaters' faults, but the message has to be sent that this kind of bullshit is not tolerated. Let the athlete's beat on whoever bribed the judge; that is an internal matter. And yes, if the roles were reversed I would disqualify the Canadians just as easily.

Besides, the officials did not reverse the judge's decision; they disqualified the judge's score, which put Canada and Russia in a tie for first; hence, double gold.

Yes, I'm Canadian and yes I'm proud of our olympians. As far as the women's hockey game goes it is my opinion that the refs for a game should not come from one of the nations playing, plain and simple. I am pissed about that event, too. Hopefuly the reffing will be more balanced this afternoon, but I am not holding my breath.

[ Parent ]
Not high hemoglobin (4.53 / 13) (#11)
by eyespots on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:21:53 AM EST

She has a high hematocrit level (this is a mistake made by CNN). Basically this refers to the number of red blood cells per volume of blood. Her percentage is too high. (technically she'll have a high hemoglobin amount too, but they don't test hemoglobin level- they test hematocrit).

A high hematocrit level doesn't necessarily mean she's doping, but for a long time they didn't have a test to detect recombinant EPO (the drug to increase your hematocrit level). Hence, they made up this rule of "If your hematocrit level is too high, it's unhealthy for you to race."

Classic example of this being done is Pantani's disqualification from the 1999 Giro D'Italia (Tour of Italy bike race).

From my understanding, now they are going to test her for recombinant EPO.

my mistake (3.50 / 2) (#12)
by eyespots on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:25:32 AM EST

I just read a separate article where they tested hemoglobin level instead of hematocrit. It seems like some news sites are reporting testing hemoglobin levels, others hematocrit levels.

I'll try to find out which it is.

[ Parent ]

or just news reporting sucks (4.75 / 4) (#16)
by eyespots on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:34:58 AM EST

From the salt lake olympics site, the following msnbc article:

Vitali Smirnov, a Russian vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, said the out of competition test showed Lazutina's red blood cell count was above the level permitted by the international skiing federation, FIS.

This indicates her hematocrit level was too high. But if we read further down the article,

Smirnov said Lazutina's hemoglobin level was 15.8, above what he said was the FIS's permitted level of 15.

So this indicates her hemoglobin level was too high. I don't understand the discrepancy.

[ Parent ]

ok, further details (5.00 / 3) (#17)
by eyespots on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:41:50 AM EST

Not that anyone cares, but here's the Official FIS Medical Rules

Check out the medical guide, page 20 specifically. I was wrong- they are checking hemoglobin levels. But the odd thing- the maximum level allowed for women is 16g/dl! Not 15, so I don't see why the russian was disqualified. Odd. Perhaps these are different rules for the olympics.

I'll shut up now.

[ Parent ]

The value (4.00 / 3) (#18)
by haro on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:43:45 AM EST

I heard - have no source to link to - that the value was 16.8.

[ Parent ]
thanks (4.50 / 2) (#20)
by eyespots on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:50:47 AM EST

That makes much more sense. They prob. put some intern on the article for the Salt Lake site, and he figured he could throw any number into the article.

[ Parent ]
not a mystery (4.66 / 3) (#44)
by itarget on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 02:39:49 PM EST

The reason for the discrepancy is simple, really. The vast majority of reporters don't know the difference between the two. :-P

[ Parent ]
This is nothing (4.64 / 17) (#13)
by CokeBear on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:27:15 AM EST

The Olympics survived the American led boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980, and the Soviet led boycott of the Los Angeles Games in 1984.

The Olympics survived the kidnapping and murder of athletes by Palestinian Terrorists in 1972.

The Olympics survived the crass commercialism and Olympic Park Bombing of Atlanta 1996.

The Olympics survived the use by Hitler as a propaganda tool in Berlin 1936.

And you're worried about a little judging scandal? There have been too many of those to mention.

But will it survive the money? (4.75 / 4) (#40)
by tudlio on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 01:30:51 PM EST

Call me an idealist, but I always thought the Olympics were supposed to be about sportsmanship, the joy of physical sport and the commonality of humanity.

Particularly in the last 20 years the Olympics have become over-produced, over-hyped and far too moneyed. They've begun to feel like American professional sports, filled with prima donna athletes and a wide-spread conviction that winning is the only measure of success.

That, and promoting products. Each year the ratio of clutter to sports goes up, and this year is the worse yet. I blame the networks, but I blame to IOC more for milking the networks of everything they've got.

insert self-deprecatory humor here
[ Parent ]
New events (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by marx on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:31:27 AM EST

This is pretty old news. Yesterday (or today), Putin convinced the Olympic team to stay.

After the new women's figure skating scandal though, maybe they'll decide to leave again. It sounds pretty similar to the earlier Canada/Russia event, only now the tables are turned.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

The BBC... (4.64 / 14) (#19)
by THoliC on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:47:15 AM EST

...were reporting the facts as being slightly different to those being presented here (I wouldn't claim to know which version is correct).

According to the BBC sports coverage, the Russians weren't actually complaining about their athlete being rejected for high hematocrit levels; apparently they were quite happy with the ruling on that. What they were strongly objecting to was the 'timing' of when they were informed about it.

Apparently the results of the hematocrit tests had been known for quite a while by officials, and yet the Russians apparently were not informed of the results (and hence the ruling) until after the deadline for the event concerned, so they could not replace the athlete with another, 'clean' one: it was in a team cross-country event I understand.

From the presentation I saw, it did look like they had a case. There was no reason they could not have been informed earlier, and it does look slightly suspicious. Apparently they were very strong and had strength in depth in that event, and looked very likely to take gold regardless which four of their six or seven skiers were selected for the team. By being informed so late they were effectively ruled out of the event by the timing, not by the test itself.

Like I say; I've no idea if it's true, but this is what was being presented on our side of the ocean.


has got us both,
looking for a bed today..."

A question (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by FreeBarking on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 02:43:05 PM EST

Does anyone know (and have a source to confirm) wheteher or not the Russian team was informed of Lazutina's DQ after a *rules-imposed* deadline for setting the lineup of the relay team?

The reports I've seen here say, somewhat ambiguously, that it was "too late" for the team to substitute a different skier. But does this mean "practically, we don't have time to substitute someone else" or "it would be against the rules for us to change the team at this time, so Lazutina's blood test disqualifies our whole team"?

If the second is true, and the Russians could have been informed earlier, I'd say that they have an excellent case that the test procedure was unfair.

[ Parent ]
Fair to disqualify a whole team? (none / 0) (#59)
by Khendon on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 08:37:10 AM EST

I think it'd be reasonable anyway to disqualify the whole team if one member is caught cheating; it is to a large extent the responsibility of the selectors, the coaches, and the team themselves to ensure the competitors play clean and fair.

[ Parent ]
My objections (4.57 / 7) (#21)
by Otter on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 10:54:30 AM EST

1) I thought Sasha Cohen should have beaten Kwan last night. They both had a fall, Kwan backed out of a jump and Cohen's program seemed far more elegant and smooth.

2) Lost in the pairs skating fiasco were Ina and Zimmerman who should have easily taken fourth place over the Russians who finished in that spot. It wasn't for a medal but...

Also, you overlooked Wayne Gretzky's rambling, incoherent conspiracy theories about how the world is plotting against Canadian hockey. He has looked extremely haggard during games and seems to be on the verge of losing it entirely.

As far as the rest of this stuff: The officiating in the Russia/Czech game looked fine to me, especially compared to the stuff they let the Czechs get away with against Canada. The Russians need to start playing, that's all, or they're looking at big trouble tonight. The aerials issue is absurd -- degrees of difficulty are fixed going in and that's risk you take with an easy jump. No idea about what is legal in short track skating, but you'd think after the mess the Korean made of the previous race, you'd think they'd walk a little softer.

Cohen (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by rusty on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 11:01:22 AM EST

About the skating last night, I think so too. But I was glad to see Hughes win. Good Lord did she ever kick everyone else's ass all over the rink.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
absolutely right (5.00 / 2) (#24)
by johnny on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 11:05:41 AM EST

Cohen had a fall, but that elegance was incredible, and the intensity on her face was the kind of thing for which I watch the olympics. What a diamond. About Hughes: a god.

yr frn,
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
[ Parent ]
Sure (5.00 / 2) (#31)
by Otter on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:10:27 PM EST

About the skating last night, I think so too. But I was glad to see Hughes win. Good Lord did she ever kick everyone else's ass all over the rink.

Oh, absolutely. I just think Cohen should have finished at least third in the long program, probably second, and won the bronze.

And now Slutskaya is whining, too. I think there's a large cultural difference in this area between US/Canada ideas of sportsmanship and that in the rest of the world. In North American sports, you can complain about the officiating and fans and whatnot if you've played well. If you haven't performed your best, then you keep your mouth shut regardless of what else happened. That's why when, say, the Europe team blew a commanding lead in the Ryder Cup in Boston and then complained about fan behavior, it got no sympathy here. You win, you can complain.

Slutskaya just had to step up and win it and she skated a luckluster program. No sympathy here.

[ Parent ]

Hockey Officiating (3.75 / 4) (#33)
by gauntlet on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:28:34 PM EST

I didn't see the Russia Czech game, but I did see the Canada/USA womens ice hockey final. There was an american referee, and Holy Christ on a popsicle stick...

The Canadians, in the tournament, up until that game, had 13 penalties total. They were the least penalized team in the entire tournament. You know how many penalties they got in that game? Thirteen. That's right. They doubled their total in one game.

Now I'm not saying all the penalties were wrong. Some of them were right. Probably around 5. The remainder were either the kind of thing that everyone was doing, but only the Canadians were being penalized for, or they were total bullshit. For instance, in order to trip someone, you have to touch them. Furthermore, if you touch them with your stick in a motion to play the puck, and they fall down, that's not tripping.

The USA women's hockey team is in the wrong olympics. They should be in the diving competition at the summer games.

But you know what? Despite having 11 USA power plays, despite two seperate 5 on 3 penalties in the first period alone, despite having a referee that was only able to see infractions that Canadians committed, and despite the fact that the crowd was cheering for the Americans, our girls pulled it out for a 3-2 win, and the gold medal.

I wonder how badly the US team would have been beaten without the help of the referee.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

I wonder how badly the Canadians would've lost (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by wiredog on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:32:42 PM EST

If they hadn't had the best goalie in the games?

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
"Girls"? Women! ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by Otter on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 12:56:58 PM EST

I just saw the last ten minutes of that game, so I can't comment. Two guesses as to what might have happened:

1) Both teams were facing, for the first time in the tournament, a team that could skate with them. Maybe that accounts for the jump in penalties.

2) Politically incorrect but -- the womens' games were officiated by all female crews. (Except for the goal judges, sometimes.) I suspect the pool of world-class female refs is limited. Still, it's odd they didn't have a ref from a neutral country.

In the mens' games, I've been amazed by the non-calls. A lot of hits that would have gotten 5 minutes and game in the NHL are going uncalled. (Roman Hamrlik on Theo Fleury; Teemu Selanne combining charging, boarding, elbowing and high-sticking into one shot at Chris Pronger. OK, I admit I did laugh at the Selanne hit , but it's not like anything but Kryptonite could hurt Pronger.)

I'm thinking we'll be seeing a US - Canada rematch in a couple of days...

[ Parent ]
was truly bad (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by speek on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 02:33:45 PM EST

You are right - the officiating was very bad, and favored the US. However, my personal favorite call went against a US player. She had the puck, got run into by a Canadian player, both fell down. Penalty against the US player. Huh? She had the puck!

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

USA-Russia game (none / 0) (#60)
by VZ on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 03:43:46 PM EST

Actually I think the referees were ok in both Russia-Czech and USA-Russia games but I still wonder how could an american referee be chosen for the second - to the best of my knowledge in no other sport can a referee from a country officiate a match where his team plays. Even if he was flawless, this is bound to raise the eyebrows.

On a related subject, I've heard - attention, on the French (i.e. well-known for their hockey expertise) TV - that the order of play was reversed for the semi-finals, i.e. that originally the Russian would be playing Belarus and the USA - Canada. Does anyone have any idea if this is true?

[ Parent ]
Not an American referee (none / 0) (#62)
by SubPar on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 09:46:33 PM EST

but I still wonder how could an american referee be chosen for the second

Bill McCreary, who called the USA-Russia game, is Canadian. According to the agreement between the NHL and the IIHF, whenever half of the players in an Olympic game are from the NHL, that game will be refereed by an NHL official (reference) . That makes things interesting: The three NHL referees at the Olympics are Canadians McCreary and Stephen Walkolm, and American Dennis LaRue. There are also two Canadian and two American NHL linesmen, but there's no guarantee they'll be working the gold medal game.

[ Parent ]

Uh. (2.20 / 5) (#42)
by delmoi on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 02:29:25 PM EST

I don't think this is the end of the olympics, as you seem to be saying. All it will require to fix is a few rule changes... And certanly the communists arn't going to skip the olympics in beijing.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
communists (4.00 / 1) (#50)
by pbryson on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 04:34:39 PM EST

Um. Russia hasn't been a communist country in over ten years. The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are China and Cuba.

- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -

[ Parent ]
Russia might not be communist, but some Russians.. (4.00 / 2) (#52)
by CokeBear on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 05:22:04 PM EST

Russia might not be communist, but some Russians might still be. Just because the government changed, doesn't mean every person changed their political point of view right away.

In fact, I would bet there still lots of Communists in Russia.

(BTW, you forgot North Korea)

[ Parent ]

America may not be communist, but some Americans.. (none / 0) (#61)
by Redemption042 on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 08:05:50 PM EST

America might not be communist, but some Americans are. Just because the government has a different economic system, doesn't mean every citizen of said goverment has the same political point of view as said goverment.

My point? What the hell does them maybe or maybe not being communist have anything to do with anything?

[ Parent ]
Oh NO!! (3.80 / 5) (#46)
by DeadBaby on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 03:19:14 PM EST

Here's an idea, why doesn't everyone bycott the olympics in 2004? They're stupid. I'm sick of seeing our government waste money on them. Maybe we should be using some of the money it takes to keep the judges who sold their votes nice and safe in Salt Lake City for saving the lives of starcing kids somewhere in South Africa? I bet if all the countries who were part of the olympics joined together, we could do an awful lot of good somewhere, instead of showing stupid sports no one cares about with people in them we've never heard of and judges who don't even watch the games they're judging.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
Here's a start for you: (3.50 / 2) (#47)
by Demiurge on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 03:28:07 PM EST

Stop paying for internet access, sell your computer, and use the money to feed starving childen in Africa. In fact, get rid of anything that could be considered a luxury, live at a bare sustence level, and use the rest of the money to help the world. Once you've done all that, you might have a right to preach to us about it.

[ Parent ]
huh? (5.00 / 4) (#55)
by Danse on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 06:56:07 PM EST

You mean we don't get to complain when our tax dollars are used in ways we believe to be frivolous?

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Does anyone remember when the point of sport.. (4.75 / 4) (#48)
by jesterzog on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 03:46:36 PM EST

..was to actually have fun?

That's why the main sport that I play at the moment is one that is very low profile in the country I live in. The tournament is arranged so that we actually have fun, and there isn't any pressure from anywhere outside to take it too seriously. It doesn't by any means rule out being competitive and trying to do well, but nobody cares so much about winning that the fun and enjoyment suffers from it.

The main thing about the Olympics isn't the sport, no matter what the very expensive prime-time sponsored commercials might tell people. Barring the occasional exception, most Olympic sports could successfully be held in a children's playground. What the Olympics do is to add hype, money, commercialism, politics and propaganda to the sporting events. Everyone wants their sport to be an Olympic sport because there's some invisible pedestool that makes people think it's more important.

It's sad when there's so much corruption in the organisation, and it's an even sadder day whenever political leaders decide to step up and demand that they control how sporting events are run, and unfortunately this has been happening in the Olympics throughout history.

The Olympics only show how screwed up people are when they treat what was once supposed to be about having fun with such completely irrational seriousness.

jesterzog Fight the light

Competition (none / 0) (#66)
by MicroBerto on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 01:20:03 PM EST

Yeah, it is fun. But when you're working your ass for this competition all your life, especially in the last four years, you're going to be upset if you think you've been swindled. Don't tell me that you wouldn't be, or anyone shouldn't be.

- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure of the point. (3.66 / 3) (#51)
by Yellowbeard on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 05:18:27 PM EST

Where's the argument? You just seem to be pointing out news that anyone who follows the news knows. I'm not sure I understand why you took the effort to post. Sorry.

In my opinion, the olympic committee should tell the Russians, "Fine, go home, but this is the last winter olympics you'll participate in if you do."

Lastly: How come the Americans are somehow getting blamed for this? Just because the Olympics are taking place in the US? I mean, as the author of the above article points out in his/her poll, it's the Canadians who won the extra gold, not the Yanks.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin

Right on! (4.50 / 2) (#54)
by Danse on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 06:52:37 PM EST

Lastly: How come the Americans are somehow getting blamed for this?

Exactly! Blame Canada!!

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Speaking of 2004 Olympics (4.00 / 2) (#53)
by JackStraw on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 05:55:57 PM EST

I, for one, am extremely skeptical of Greece's ability to host the 2004 Olympics. I stayed there for a few weeks about two years ago, and Athens is plagued by a corrupt government, a slow economy, an extremly lacking infrastructure, and above all a ridiculously lazy culture, when compared with other countries and cities that have placed or won bids to hold the olympics.

Of course, enough money is involved that someone will step in and stop the olympics from being a total disaster, but be prepared for massive traffic delays and ineffectual security.

And, to respond to questions in other comments of "When did the olympics stop being for fun?"
Well, if you want fun, go watch college basketball or local soccer. Olympics have, in my opinion, a rich and fascinating history of having behind them the full emotion of entire countries, bringing the sports to levels of competition and importance unknown in other arenas. I, as an American, can look back on famous games where the US beat Russia and, even though they were before my time, almost cry at the symbolism of the events. They had significance greater than many minor military conflicts.

Sure, the games lose something by having the international politics involved, but they also gain a lot.

-The bus came by, I got on... that's when it all began.

I simply don't understand the point (5.00 / 2) (#56)
by jesterzog on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 08:58:14 PM EST

I, as an American, can look back on famous games where the US beat Russia and, even though they were before my time, almost cry at the symbolism of the events. They had significance greater than many minor military conflicts.

Sure, the games lose something by having the international politics involved, but they also gain a lot.

Could you please clarify your point of view on this. We're different people coming from different backgrounds, and I've never quite understood what the point is in treating sport as a "we have to be better than them at doing something completely unrelated" competition. For one thing, I'd be interested to know how it made you feel about Russia when the USA beat them, and vice versa.

Given that the reason for the Olympics is apparently not to celebrate people having fun and good sportsmanship anymore as we're always told (as if it ever has been for a very long time), does it now become a platform for spectators from different countries to try and one-up each other and feel content that their system of government is superior because it results in an athlete who is able to beat an athlete produced by a competing system of government?

I enjoyed the olympics when I was six years old because it was so hyped up and I was told that it was important. Since then I've become more and more disillusioned that it's just a hyped up, corrupt stage being run by spoilt childlike controlling brats for the purpose of spreading propaganda, selling hamburgers and amplifying the feelings of global conflict by moving them onto a highly publicised sporting field.

Maybe the worst part is that the athletes are stuck in the middle of the whole world's problem. If the athletes were allowed to stand up and tell silly political leaders to shut up so they can just do their thing, it might have some credit. Unfortunately the athletes are for the most part gagged by the IOC from saying anything that might potentially be contriversial or damaging to the commercialism that provides the IOC with so much money, or the political tension that gives it so much power and influence wherever it goes.

The Olympics is very big, and personally I think it's spiraling upwards out of control. If you're skeptical of Greece, I'm skeptical of anyone to be able to host them in a reasonable way in the state that they're moving towards. Apart from the side effect of providing somewhere that athletes can compete in at a high level, what does it actually have to do with sport anymore?

jesterzog Fight the light

[ Parent ]
imho... (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by KaizerWill on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 11:58:25 PM EST

personally, I can see no reason to pay anymore attention to the olympics at all. The precedent of giving gold medals as a compromise, rather than a reward for the superior athletes, is idiotic. I can forgive them for controversy over who won, but there is no justification for the award of two olympic gold medals in the same event. </rant>

Media Bias (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by Quixato on Sat Feb 23, 2002 at 06:37:05 AM EST

An interesting note, how biased are our news sources that I seem to be able to totally disregard the outcries of the Russians as whining self pity, whereas just a week ago I was filled with self righteous indignity over the poor judging of the Canadian skating pair? It has to make you wonder just how 'truthful' and 'unbiased' our news media really is...

"People are like smarties - all different colours on the outside, but exactly the same on the inside." - Me
"Learn to question, question to learn." - Sl8r

think about it (none / 0) (#68)
by jaymagee on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 11:19:51 AM EST

Think about what actually has been happening. The Russians have been caught using illegal drugs inorder to increase their endurance. The Canadians skated a flawless session and a judge admitted to being pressured. Sorry, but it seems to me the Russians are acutally in the wrong here. I don't think the Canadians should have been given a gold either, though. I just wish the games would lose this whining capitalistic attitude. The only fun thing to watch anymore is snowboarding.
Making a better humanity, one genetic change at a time.
[ Parent ]
Update on the cross contry skiing (none / 0) (#64)
by haro on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 05:49:11 AM EST

Larissa Lazutina, who had high blood levels, have passed the doping test. She may take part in the 30 km race today (sunday).

The Spanish winner of the 50 km race saturday has tested positive on a derivate for EPO, and if the control test (B-test) also shows the same, he will at least loose that gold. He won 2 other gold medals earlier. What happens to those are not clear from the reports I have heard. The result of the control will be known in a couple of days.

Update: Lazutina failed the test. (none / 0) (#67)
by haro on Sun Feb 24, 2002 at 05:37:56 PM EST

Lazutina took part in the 30km race, had the best time by a huge margin, but is not the winner, as she has now been disqualified for using a substance similar to EPO. Another russian team member who would also have been in the relay team has also been disqualified for using the same substance.

The 50km winner has also been disqualified.

The doping testers would not ahead of the games answer whether the substance were detectable. This seems a new tactic, and one that has given results.

The drug NESP (darbopetin) increases the ability to utilize oxygen, obviously usefull for endurance events high above see level.

[ Parent ]

Olympics Near Collapse? | 68 comments (61 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!