Off the ice
Somewhat OT, take a look at the results of the 200m race from the 1936 Olympics. The silver medalist behind Jesse Owens is Jackie Robinson's older brother Mack, himself an accomplished athlete, though obviously not as high profile as either Owens or his younger brother.
What I'm curious about is when did sports in other countries become more integrated. I am of course familiar with Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby in baseball, but what about other sports in other countries?
That is a good question.
Originally Posted by Buttercup
It is interesting for me as an American and football/soccer fan to see the race problems still prevalent in Euro football.
Not to be judgemental here but I might say in America we have a half century head start accepting athletes of all races.
I remember in '98 when France, led by the great Zidane won the World Cup on home soil. It was widely hailed as the new "multi-cultural France and yet "monkee chants" are still heard there on occassion not to mention in most Euro nations other than England.
Whatever we think of sport it has certainly helped and played a key role in breaking down racial barriers.
From what I have gathered not only as a follower of Intl sport, but also as one who spent time as an ex-patriot living in Europe the situation there is still evolving.
But sport is sport and real life is much different. The extreme hatred shown to President Obama by a substancial group of white Americans clearly shows that the idea of a "post racial society" in USA is clearly a myth.
With all the faults we can find with the Olympics, including "NBC as the great Satan" it shows the world still has along way to go.
Has progress been made?
Is there still a long way to go....yes, yes, yes.
To the Russian and E. Euro fans I say "GO GABBBY!"
And believe it or not most of us here love your girls!
Sometimes there can only be one winner and how we deal with defeat often says more about our character than how we react to victory.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 08-06-2012 at 06:56 PM.
Off the ice
You present it as if there are no racial/ethnic/religious tensions and problems in the US in general and in US sports in particular, while Europe is some kind of hotbed of racism. You really should know better.
BTW, if we use figure skating as an example, then France probably has the most multicultural and diverse national team.
Originally Posted by janetfan
In sports here there is very little if any racial problems/tensions in competivie sport. If you actually read my post you would clearly see I state IMO there are still racial problems in USA. (See comments about Obama)
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Sorry BC, but the "monkee chants" that are so common in Europe disappereared here MANY decades ago. Like by the end of the 1950's. And sorry, but I can't fail to see with my own eyes and ears the continuing racism that permeates Euro football.
We saw it at the recent Euro cup.
Last edited by janetfan; 08-07-2012 at 06:37 AM.
Agreed to both Janetfan and Doris!
I always think of Branch Rickey when I think of that moment in baseball history. He knew he had to choose just the right person, because the effort failed, he wouldn't get another chance any time soon. Even more profound, it was amazing for him to have the vision to take that step at all! Can you imagine how hard it must have been to step outside the comfort zone of the way things had always been? What roused him to that sense of obligation to change the world?
As for World War II, I'd add to your apt explanation that many black men and women also got out and saw the world. Once they had been out of their small towns in Mississippi, Alabama, and so on, even though they served in segregated units, they couldn't stuff themselves back in that box again. They knew what they truly deserved in life, and they knew what they wanted for their children. Two of the movement's leaders who served in the armed forces were Medgar Evers and Hosea Williams. I'm sure there were more.
I agree that Truman was an amazing example of a man who rose to the occasion--way above his original level. Executive Order 9981, integrating the armed forces, was a breathtaking move.
Despite Jesse Owens remarkable achievements, 32 years later, Tommie Smith and John Carlos were banned for their famous black power salute (and less notoriously, the second place athlete, Peter Norman from Australia, was left of the 1972 Olympic team due to his wearing a pro-Civil rights badge). We've just had our first black all around gymnast win gold in Gabby Douglas (Dominique Dawes became the first black female to win a gold medal in Gymnastics, and she with Betty Okino won bronze in 1992, becoming the first African American ladies to do so)
Yes.....but not sure what your point is here. Jesse, who dominated his races much more so than Bolt or most other champions was a pioneer. The fact is that back in 1936, against the wishes of Goebels and Hitler he was happy to even be allowed to run says alot about the times.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
A compromise was reached and the black American athletes were allowed to compete as long as USA removed a couple of great Jewish spriters from the track team.
You seem to be saying something that has little or no historical connection. ???
Jesse wasn't protesting anything.......he was just glad for the chance to compete in Nazi Germany.
The '68 protests which happened in my senior year of high school and which I remember very well....and supported....had absolutely NOTHING to do with sports in USA. In fact it was a much more important and closer if not nearly as violent or far reaching as the "cultural revolution" in China.
Please note this happened about a half century ago.......
I would think you would understand that even if it happened before you were born. People can read about history, no?
eta: For someone so smart...I wish you and a few others would read up about Jesse Owens before finding fault with him.
After the Olympics Avery Brundige (Head of USOC) forced Jesse to compete for "free" in meets all over Europe to help raise money for the US Olympic team. Jesse had a wife and kids and had to leave to help his family get by. His reward was what we call today the "death penalty".
Yes, for leaving Brundige banned him from the AAU meets which meant he could no longer compete in any races in USA.
Trust me, read about him IP....it is an amazing story.....
Last edited by janetfan; 08-07-2012 at 06:45 AM.
From everything I hear about Brundage, he was a snake; unfortunately, he also had virtually limitless power. He was still running the show when Tommie Smith and John Carlos made their Olympic gestures on the podium.
Kirani James has apparently won the men's 400 meters, a first medal of any kind for Grenada. The top must be coming off the island right about now from the celebration. He sounds like a wonderful sportsman. He's the one who exchanged name bibs with Oscar Pistorius after Pistorius missed the semifinal. A man of character!
Last edited by Olympia; 08-07-2012 at 12:27 AM.
Allyson Felix ran like a gazelle in 200 m semi finals. She is a sentimental favorite of mine
Sally Pearson Australia, her first 100 m hurdles olympic gold(in heavy rain)
Yes, Snowflake. They just showed Sally Pearson on American TV. Yippee! Go, Oz.
And I was so taken with the charming sportsmanship of the top three, the Australian and the two Americans, Harper and Wells. Embraces all around, and big smiles from Harper and Wells. And it wasn't an easy situation, because the top two runners seemed to finish in a dead heat, and they had to wait (in the rain!) for the verdict. Somehow everyone managed to rejoice in the outcome.
Buttercup, I'm not sure I have an answer to your question, and it's a really interesting one. I hope other people weigh in. I was conscious of very few muticultural athletes in Europe until the 1980s, I think. Could I be misremembering? Thanks to Budd Greenspan's wonderful documentaries of the Olympics on TV, I do remember distance runner Alain Mimoun of France, who was born in Algeria. I just looked him up, and he ran in 1948 through 1956. Ironically, the countries who had overseas empires were the ones who had the first multi-ethnic Olympic teams, I think--France and England. So the greatest imperialist powers were the most progressive...go figure! I can't remember the first non-Caucasian British competitor. Daley Thompson, the decathlete, is the first that comes to mind, but I have to be forgetting something.
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Countries such as Brazil and Cuba, of course, were multi-ethnic all along. Countries such as Malaysia and the old Soviet Union were also always multi-ethnic, though in different configurations: Chinese and Malay in Malaysia, Tatar and even North Korean (Nelli Kim) for the U.S.S.R.
Nowadays, there's a lot more border-crossing than there used to be. This is what gives us Merlene Ottey, the great Jamaican runner, now competing for Slovenia.
Who am I forgetting?
Last edited by Olympia; 08-08-2012 at 01:09 AM.
I always cried when seeing the Jesse Owens bios as a child. There he was the greatest athlete of his time, and he couldn't make a living. Fast forward to Gabby. If she gets shep goldberg, she should make millions this year. That is why she needs a PR person as she is just a kid still, outspoken and honest in her thoughts. Telling media what her real dad is like will hurt her image and sounds like the cultural stereotype white middle class still find abhorrent. Gabby deserves, having come so far with doors opening to walk through them. She need only look to how the the women who have AA gym. medals handled themselves.
I expect the team will tour and 5 stars will emerge. Kyla ?Ross has my curiosity. I know nothing about her. Jordyn has been so brave. I hope she gets some endorsements if possible. Really interesting thread. How do you all remember athletes from the 30's? I was shocked to hear about Truman before his big change toward the black community.
I have seen a bit of track. The people have been inspiring and most have an attitude of gratitude to be there.
Hearing about Truman (remember, he came from Missouri, which was a border state during the Civil War and allowed slavery) and how he changed is a reminder that it's not where you start, it's where you finish, and that some people can transcend the mindset of their upbringing. Truman was one of those unusual politicians, much like Gerald Ford, who was kind of kicked upstairs, had his position unexpectedly thrust upon him, and somehow realized that he no longer represented just his small corner of America. He represented everyone.
Like you, I fervently hope Gabby is protected from bad judgments (hers and others') and from people who want to take advantage of her, and that she can attain a stable life for her and her family.
Heyas, been a while
Just want to share this clip of my Olympic Experience recorded last Sunday from my iphone.
I am going to steal a quote from Sandra Bezic "This is one of the most amazing Olympic performances I have ever seen. I feel so privileged to have witnessed this"
You were there? You lucky duck! Thanks for sharing.