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Thread: The Human Element

  1. #1
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    The Human Element

    [color=blue]As I mentioned on another thread, it is the human element that draws me to the Olympics. Stories of personal sacrifice, determination, love of sport--whatever it is that drives athletes to strive to be the best that they can be--for me all this overshadows the political manipulation, the greed, the doping/cheating. Here are a couple of very touching stories: [/color]

    [url]http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/sailing/news?slug=ap-israeligoldsai&prov=ap&type=lgns[/url]

    [url]http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/wrestling/news;_ylc=X3oDMTBpY29qbG50BF9TAzk2NjcyOTgwBHNlYwN0 aA--?slug=ap-rulonsfarewellwre&prov=ap&type=lgns[/url]

  2. #2
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    TwinnieI,
    I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for those stories. And it's not necessarily the winners' stories that move me. Those whose victory it is just to medal or are just to be at the games get me as well.

    I know some of us get frustrated with all the hoopla the Olympics get when a five-time World champion doesn't get the attention she deserves and yet winning at one competition held every four years defines a career. When I write or say it, it sounds terribly unfair; yet when I hear the athletes' stories of what they sacrificied over their four, eight, or even 12 years dedicated toward winning an Olympic medal, whether or not they win it, and ruminate on the history of the games, I always come away feeling that the Olympic games transcend any other sports event.

    Despite the politics and all the other crummy stuff, there's so much heart in the vast majority of those athletes that goes back many thousands of years (even if we did take a couple of thousand years off), which at least for me makes the Olympics as a whole something when, at its best, almost spiritual.
    TwinnieII
    Last edited by Rgirl; 08-27-2004 at 04:44 AM.

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    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    [COLOR=DeepSkyBlue][SIZE=2]Wonderful stories! How true, RGal. The looks on the athletes faces when they enter the stadium for opening ceremonies gets me every time. I see each one as wearing a sign that says "Potential Gold Medal Winner" no matter where they are from or how they are ranked. There was a fluff piece on Flo Jo's daughter yesterday I think she is 14 now. She has a box of letters from her mother, she read one that just said 'I love you" over and over. others are not to be opened until she is 16. [/SIZE][/COLOR]

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    Did any of you see the story about the prison camp Olympics? It may never be in the official results but what a great moment in the midst of horror. Even the Nazis caved in to the great Olympic flag. However, the javelin throw wasn't allowed. Do you think any Nazis had reason to fear a javelin? Also pole vaulting wasn't allowed. I guess they didn't want anyone making it over the barbed wire.

  5. #5
    On the Ice
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    Hi All,

    Y'know, this tidbit in the wrestling article, similar to many, many others I have read, really disappoints me...

    The medal around his neck? Maybe it was only bronze, the color given as a consolation prize, rather than gold, the color given to champions.

    Talk about a backhanded compliment, which, IMO, negates the "feel-good" vibes of this piece and just an awful message to be putting out there...

    I'm really bored reading/watching journos who probably sit on their a$$es all day disparaging all the effort and sacrifice of all the athletes with this type of drivel. If I were the athlete that was the subject of that article, even in my post-bronze euphoria, I'm sure it would sting a little to publicly read that the result of all my hard work over the years in the face of such adversity amounted to "only" a "consolation prize". :sheesh:

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2
    Did any of you see the story about the prison camp Olympics? It may never be in the official results but what a great moment in the midst of horror. Even the Nazis caved in to the great Olympic flag. However, the javelin throw wasn't allowed. Do you think any Nazis had reason to fear a javelin? Also pole vaulting wasn't allowed. I guess they didn't want anyone making it over the barbed wire.
    I saw that. I normally hate fluff pieces, but got all teary eyed at that one. Especially the little bent over man who said when he wanted to see his family, he looked to the stars.

    Laura

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    I normally hate fluff pieces
    Oh...how I wish I could say that and really mean it! I also love the Olympic Games because of the personal stories and the fluff pieces always get me excited about almost any athlete with any kind of story....I suppose I'm just a super cheese. That is the strange thing about the Olympics: I normally could care less about volleyball or water polo, but for some reason I am riveted when these events are contested at an Olympic competition. I know that fluff pieces are manipulative...and that everyone's mother seems to have passed away in some tragic blimp accident, or that everyone's training regime was interrupted by a freak spleen explosion one month before the Games...but I fall for it everytime! It is part of the Olympic experience for me and without the fluff I don't think I would be nearly as interested.

  8. #8
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Well, I think it's safe to say that's it's for this very reason that we all stayed tuned in. If it was really all about the politics and the big names, we'd all get bored and switch it off.

    "[COLOR=Green]The medal around his neck? Maybe it was only bronze, the color given as a consolation prize, rather than gold, the color given to champions.[/COLOR]"

    Did you ever see the Simpson's episode where the IOC gives the Olys to Springfield? During his speech, the president of the IOC refers to the medals as "glorious gold, so-so silver, and shameful bronze". That always cracks me up.

    [COLOR=Blue]"I'm really bored reading/watching journos who probably sit on their a$$es all day disparaging all the effort and sacrifice of all the athletes with this type of drivel. "[/COLOR]

    Maybe, but this is kinda silly. Some (most? almost all?) of these people have worked on their careers for years, and if you suddenly pushed a pad and pencil in a random athlete's hand, he/she would probably just write an awful piece of drivel. I agree that we should respect athlete's for all their hard work, but that applies to everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2
    Did any of you see the story about the prison camp Olympics? It may never be in the official results but what a great moment in the midst of horror. Even the Nazis caved in to the great Olympic flag. However, the javelin throw wasn't allowed. Do you think any Nazis had reason to fear a javelin? Also pole vaulting wasn't allowed. I guess they didn't want anyone making it over the barbed wire.
    Yes and the only thing that annoyed me about it was that NBC didn't show it on the east coast until 11:45pm. This is a very important piece of history in general, not just of the games, yet it was shown too late for young people--hell me--for whom it would have been very appropriate. The way the Nazis twisted the worship of the human body and the Greek ideals and the irony of using the Olympics in conecentration camps is, IMO, a critical aspect of Olympic and human history. But at least they showed it. I thought it was exceptionally well done.

    Quote Originally Posted by OwenEvans
    Y'know, this tidbit in the wrestling article, similar to many, many others I have read, really disappoints me...

    The medal around his neck? Maybe it was only bronze, the color given as a consolation prize, rather than gold, the color given to champions.

    Talk about a backhanded compliment, which, IMO, negates the "feel-good" vibes of this piece and just an awful message to be putting out there...
    ITA about the back-handed compliment vibe too in that case, but I must say that for the majority of the personal interest stories I've seen, NBC has done a superb job. I think I read somewhere that NBC won an Emmy for their Olympics stories. The journalists definitely goof things up sometimes, but compared to a lot of ABC's fluff stories, I think NBC does try to get real depth into its pieces and stay away from the cutesy stuff.
    Rgirl

  10. #10
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    As I said before on another thread, it is the athletes that I appreciate most, and that goes beyond medals. I find it much less interesting to consider the countries with the most medals. It's why I get myself in debt to see ALL the skaters at Worlds.

    Joe

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    I'm loving tonight's tearjerker fluff piece.

    The Pakistani swimmer, age 13 and the youngest in Athens. Her country finds such immodest attire a disgrace but there she is.

    The gymnast with the 5 year old son fighting lukemia. Her job is gymnastics so there she is.

    The basketball player who has lost his entire family. But there he is.



    Finally we are getting more stories about what makes the Olympics great. People from everyone, some fighting more hardships than others, trying to do what they love and what they do best.

    All of the whining was starting to depress me, but the last couple of Olympic spirit stories have been rejuvenating. Some people take what they're given and keep fighting. Love them

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    I got to see the story on the prison camp olympics on Bravo. It was an expanded version of what was shown on NBC. Brave men.

    The most touching moment I've seen so far was on that same broadcast this afternoon. It was the 2 man canoeing race(it has a specfic title but I can't remember it). A German man had his canoeing partner die of cancer just this spring. He had to get a new partner and they won the olympic gold medal. On the medal stand while they were playing the German anthem he was crying like a baby. I had tears in my eyes as he was remembering his partner and how he should have been there next to him on the podium. It is at the not so big events where you see the olympic spirt.

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    I did not get to see the medal ceremony for the German team. What a confusing set of emotions to deal with; pride and joy for winning Olympic gold but knowing that there was an important piece missing.

    I wish I was able to catch the expanded prison camp story on Bravo. I would love to read more about them.

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    he was crying like a baby
    I can't take it when they cry! And darn it...I missed this one! It sounds perfect for me. I got emotional when they showed the piece about the American girl that got the Silver in the kayaking. It was a pre-event fluff piece and the poor thing couldn't stop herself from breaking down when she talked about being an Olympian...and how she just wanted to make her family (all of them were there) proud no matter what the outcome. I respected that. She felt the absolute importance of the moment and wasn't affraid to express it. She couldn't get past a couple of phrases without boo-hooing...and she hadn't even gotten in Olympic waters yet! I was very proud of her for performing so well.

  15. #15
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Great article:

    [url]http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/news;_ylc=X3oDMTBpaTA3aXJpBF9TAzk2NjcyOTgwBHNlYwNo cA--?slug=dw-olympics0828&prov=yhoo&type=lgns[/url]

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