2010 Olympics (potential spoilers if you can't watch live)

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vison
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Post by vison »

Prim, NBC or ABC, whichever American network it is, claims it's going to lose $200 million. Can you believe that? One is tempted to say they have it coming. And I agree that the day of that kind of broadcasting is long gone and they just haven't caught on yet.

As for the "hand over the heart" thing, that's weird. Why does a person have to stand with their hand over their heart? Why isn't standing still good enough? :scratch: Meaning no offense, and I mean NO offense, I think some Americans get altogether just plain weird over meaningless stuff like that.
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Post by Elentári »

Nin - chauvinistic is the correct word, but it's more commonly associated with gender superiority!

And I had what was probably my first teenage crush 30 years ago on Robin Cousins :oops:

I remember the great rivalry between the two Brians, (Orser and Boitano), fondly too!
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Post by halplm »

[too serious for this thread]
The hand over the heart thing is a matter of respect and perception. With it, the perception is that they care more about the country and the team, without it the perception is they care more about their individual accomplishment.

Or to look at it another way, I'm never going to be an olympic medalists (well, maybe video games make it someday ;) ), but I can share my country's athlete's respect for our shared flag and anthem.

Of course, if they don't share that respect, there's nothing to share I guess. It's a small thing, perhaps, but I can't help but notice it.
[/too serious for this thread]

On a lighter note, the US has won a couple of times in curling. There's been a lot of talk because the US benched their skip yesterday which I agree is a strange thing to do, but it seems to have shaken them out of their funk, and they're playing much better today (with Shuster back in, although not throwing last).

Tons of stuff going on today, it's pretty fun.
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Post by River »

Lhaewin wrote: Skeleton looks so scary to me, not only because of all those accidents. :( I hope there won't be more.
Why? They're only going headfirst down a steep, curvy, icy track on sleds without brakes at 90 mph. Nothing scary about that at all. ;) :spin:

I've never been into the hand over the heart thing. Really, some of the stuff surrounding our anthem and flag skates the line on idolatry IMHO (I won't even get into the loyalty oath I had to take when I started my job last year). It should be enough to simply stand respectfully when the anthem is played. Also, being a woman, I can't help but think it looks a trifle indecent when I've got my hand placed over my heart.
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Post by Nin »

I don't get the heand on the heart thing either: athletes of all other countries do respect their country just as much as the Americans (or as little) and they don't do it. To me it looks pathetic... and "overplayed". (If could not sing my national anthem, I mean the Swiss one, I have no idea of the text, and I think it would actually take me some time to recognise the melody :scratch: Must be the change of nationality in my life... and of course Germans have a rather difficult relation to patriotism)

Elentári, I also remember Robin Cousins (and liked him), but after the Brians, there was never again a skater who made me get up at 2 a.m my time to watch the competition.... I still like figure skating and there were some skater who I really enjoyed (like Candeloro), but the magic was gone - even more in ice-dancing which was heart wrenching in the 80ies and 90ies and is a bit boring now.

I'm really pleased with the TV coverage over here, though.
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Post by Elentári »

Nin - you must be very happy tonight - Congratulations to Simon Ammann for his 4th Gold on the large hill...he becomes the first athlete in history to win both individual ski jumping events at two separate Winter Olympics.


Andrea Fischbacher has finally got Austria off the mark in the Alpine events with her victory in the Super-G. ...with the Slovenian Tina Maze in Silver, edging Vonn out to Bronze
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Post by River »

I can't sing the US national anthem. I know the tune, know the words, but you need voice training and/or natural talent to put the two together...and I have neither. That's true for a lot of Americans though. We'll try, but most of us can't quite do it. :help:
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Post by Nin »

Simon Amman is another very nice guy, I'm glad he won, he deserves it. None of those are high paid athlets and Simon had a nasty fall a few years ago and some years of total emptiness in his career and always remained the same smiling simple guy - I'm glad he won.

In an interview the other day, he talked about the fact that he had to take weight when a minimum BMI was introduced in ski jumping and that anorexia is a big problem among ski jumpers - I found that quite interesting as usually anorexia is not a "male" problem and it shows quite well how much of it is induced by social pressure... but I disgress...
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Post by halplm »

River wrote:I can't sing the US national anthem. I know the tune, know the words, but you need voice training and/or natural talent to put the two together...and I have neither. That's true for a lot of Americans though. We'll try, but most of us can't quite do it. :help:
It's a very difficult song to sing well. You need a large range. It's really a shame the singers that could sing it well tend to lose all sense of things like tempo when asked to sing it at big events.

I had the pleasure (and honor) of singing the national anthem at my high school graduation. It was one of those things you never forget.
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Post by Nin »

Except on the first of August (national holiday), the Swiss anthem is never sung and if it were sung at a school graduation, I think people would get whistled. Nobody knows the text and there are anyway three official texts (German, French, Italian). And still coming from Germany before the reunification, I found it even weird that people have Swiss flags and show them on the 1st of August...

I'll have to watch Simon Amman get his medal to hear what this anthem actually is... (I think for a such a small country, the Swiss do really well... the Germans too by the way... and as I also have French TV, I really get spoiled with enthousiasm)
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Post by Frelga »

I forgot what book it was, and whether it referred to real or fictional location, but in it, I forgot who :oops: was catching spies and they considered anyone who knew the second verse of the anthem a spy, because real citizens never do. :D
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Post by Griffon64 »

Frelga wrote:I forgot what book it was, and whether it referred to real or fictional location, but in it, I forgot who :oops: was catching spies and they considered anyone who knew the second verse of the anthem a spy, because real citizens never do. :D
I remember reading that book!

It's true. :D

The South African national anthem is a blend of two songs in three languages. When sung, it depends on the makeup of the crowd which parts are belted out and which parts hardly anybody sings.

I love hearing it sung at sporting events, though. There's something about 50,000 voices raised together in song that I'm a little sad Americans don't get to hear as often, since there's always a showoff singer singing the anthem here. Not that the majority of the population can sing the thing, anyway. I sure can't! My range is maybe 5 notes :P I truly, honestly, can't sing at all. I do know the words to the first verse, though.

Also saw a little bit of curling on the TV today! It was the end of the Swedish-USA match, I think. Good ending.
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Post by River »

Exactly Griff. In the US, it's more respectful to just have the person who can sing the anthem do it than let a whole crowd attempt and butcher it. In the rare situations I've been in where the anthem did somehow turn into a group sing, I just mouthed the words. Seriously. It's better for everyone if I just don't even try.
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Post by Frelga »

Griffon64 wrote:
Frelga wrote:I forgot what book it was, and whether it referred to real or fictional location, but in it, I forgot who :oops: was catching spies and they considered anyone who knew the second verse of the anthem a spy, because real citizens never do. :D
I remember reading that book!
What was it? :D

I recall that Ankh-Morpork's anthem has a second verse that just goes na-na-na because that's what everyone sings anyway.

I do find the nationalistic aspect of Olympics a little creepy. Especially in countries such as U.S., where most athletes pay for their own training until they are famous enough to find corporate sponsors, how is it a matter of national pride?

That said, if protocol calls for hand on the heart, that's where it should go. Or at least it should not go over the athlete's privates.
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Post by vison »

River wrote:Exactly Griff. In the US, it's more respectful to just have the person who can sing the anthem do it than let a whole crowd attempt and butcher it. In the rare situations I've been in where the anthem did somehow turn into a group sing, I just mouthed the words. Seriously. It's better for everyone if I just don't even try.
The American anthem sounds lovely when it is JUST SUNG. But no, you gotta get some shrieker like Whitney Houston (sp?) overkilling it. I hate that. I hate it more than words can say. Actually, America could do a great service to mankind and make her stop vocalizing. Seriously.

I think the whole crowd at a game sings it just fine. Any little personal failures vanish. It's a beautiful song.

I did not myself see the part of the opening ceremony where some woman killed O Canada. But man, have I heard about it! That has caused a lot of comment here among us Canuckians - the crowd could not sing along because it was arranged differently than usual. Whose brilliant idea was that? Millions of Canadians waited YEARS for this Olympics and the great moment comes and the people lucky enough to be in the crowd could not sing their own anthem.

It was cool to see that Swiss kid win another gold medal ski flying. My husband did a little of that when he was young and his Dad was very good at it in the old country. One of the family's oldest friends won a gold medal in ski jumping at the 1952 Olympics and my husband was there to see it.
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Post by halplm »

likewise, vison, I am a big fan of the Canadian anthem... when it's done right ;)

Most crowds at sporting events do sing along with the anthem, but they pump the main singer's voice loud enough that it's more of the crowd joining in, rather than the crowd actually singing it.

I've heard some people say that the US plays its anthem too much (that is, it becomes cheapened), as it's at every single sporting event anywhere, but I happen to like it. Not only is it beautiful (when done right), but it is a subtle reminder that we might hate the visiting team in the sport we're playing... in the end we're all on the same team... as it were. I think there could always be more of that :).

Frelga, I can see how the nationalism at the Olympics could be a bit odd, but when looked at through history, I think that aspect of it has been hugely influential in our world history. Negative in some aspects, perhaps, but personally I think on a whole positive. The various boycotts that have happened are the worst I think (although still important from a historical perspective). I think the Olympics are one of our greatest achievements as a world. When "sworn enemies" can skate on the same ice, and show each other respect for their skill and level of play, it's a wonderful thing.

And back on the lighter side of things... :)

Great comeback by the Women US curlers today against Great Britain (or as the commentator kept saying, Scotland ;) ). I'm curious how many 11 end games have happened at these games, ... I know the US has been in most of them :help: Both the men and women won in the 11th today... the women stealing points in both the 10th and 11th... I really wish curling was more popular here :). I'm really looking forward to the Canada/Great Britain matchup in the next hour here...

The US is on pace to win it's most medals ever at the Winter Olympics, and if they can pull out the medal count, it will be the first time that has ever happened... which is pretty amazing actually.
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
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For the LONELY may you find LOVE
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Post by halplm »

Just another thought, has there ever been an Olympic Hockey field as wide open as the men's tournament this year?

I'm not sure if the bye the top four teams get will be good or bad... everything so even, the high from winning each game has to be a momentum builder.

On the other hand, given that so many are NHL players, momentum might not be as much of an issue, as they're used to winning and losing so often.
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
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Post by vison »

The men's hockey I care about a little. The women? Not so much.

I am going to watch the curling if I can find it. I don't know how to operate this new tv yet and my husband isn't home. :(
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Post by samaranth »

Frelga wrote:I forgot what book it was, and whether it referred to real or fictional location, but in it, I forgot who :oops: was catching spies and they considered anyone who knew the second verse of the anthem a spy, because real citizens never do. :D
:rofl: You'd have to say the same about anyone knowing the second verse of the Australian national anthem, though it could also apply to anyone truly knowing the first verse too. :) Most of us can get a few lines in quite confidently, then it begins to trail around the 'history's page' and 'every stage' part. Very ripe for mondegreens.

Robin Cousins visited Australia shortly after that Olympics, and my Dad and I went to see him (and lots of others) perform at one of the few ice rinks that we have in Sydney (and even that one is gone now). Seats were wooden benches, and we had to queue for ages, but it was such an incredible thing to experience. :love: I had all sort of notions about becoming a world famous skater after that...which obviously didn't quite happen. :)

The skating is probably the one part of the Winter Olympics I really look forward to, so the lack of proper - and dignified - coverage - has been very frustrating. I don't have Pay TV, perhaps it's better there, but on the free to air station that has the broadcast rights it's been pretty much exactly as Prim described. The events we could have watched live were on delay, so that sit-coms and tired reality programs could still happen in prime time. Which meant that the Olypmics were on too late at night or in the early hours. The chief presenter here has been heavily criticised for the vulgarity and downright homophobic nature of some of his remarks. A bit less of the roaming interview doing so-called 'comic' interviews, and a little more real time coverage would have been much better.

Oh well. *sigh*
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Post by halplm »

I hope you got to see it, vison. It was an amazing match! I thought for sure the Great Britain team was going to finish it out, but they were just a little less precise. Nice job for Canada.
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995
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