Sunday, August 29, 2004

Wave 'em if you've got 'em

Ah, the Olympics are coming to an end.  Well, actually, they're already over, but with tape delay, we've still got a few hours to go as far as television is concerned.

I watched the men's marathon today.  Don't think I've ever watched a marathon from start to finish before -- I'm generally used to the summary coverage that they do after the race, where you just see the highlights and the whole thing is over in about 10 or 15 minutes.

I think my favorite part of the marathon coverage was watching the crowd cheer on the runners from the side of the road.  Because they cheered on all the runners -- not just the ones they were there to cheer on.  When the only runner in sight was from Brazil, or America, or Italy -- you'd see flags waving that were not, in fact, Brazilian, American, or Italian.  Or even Greek (which you sort of expected, what with it being in Greece and all).  But people were cheering and excitedly waving whatever flag happened to be at hand (I distinctly remember seeing an Israeli flag bouncing up and down -- although the nearest Israeli runner was several minutes back).  But, y'know, dude, you run 26 miles and change, I don't care who you are, I'll applaud you.

And in line behind the South Koreans

Brazil is apparently protesting the marathon result, seeking a second gold medal for its runner, Vanderlei Lima, -- who managed to finish third after some, er, "spectator interference" totally messed with him when he was in the lead.  (A guy jumped on the course and pushed him off the road into the crowd.)  Lima, for his part, says, "Never mind the result of the appeal. I was very happy to win a medal. The moment I'm experiencing now is the result of very hard work. I was well trained and I was expecting to win a medal. I have achieved my goal. No matter what happened, I am happy to be on the medal podium with these athletes."  He's tops in my book.

And who was this idiot?

The guy who interfered with Lima was making some sort of statement -- he was wearing a placard on his shirt, but the freeze-frame on my DVR player wasn't good enough to tell me what this bonehead thought was important enough to interfere with an Olympic marathon.  I was so pleased when the rest of the crowd took him off Lima, but was somewhat disappointed we did not then get a shot of Greek police hauling this jerk off in handcuffs.

Found this breaking news story (an hour ago) identifying the fellow.  The key points here are:  1.  Nutball.  2.  Who has previously interfered with another sporting event.  3.  Who was (according to what he told police), "preparing for the Second Coming."  Er, right.  Here's another article discussing the guy -- comes from after his disruption of the British Grand Prix.  He sees himself as a messenger of Peace -- hey, I'm all for peace -- but his methods of calling attention to himself leave something to be desired. 

Seriously.  I tend to think that the Olympics -- proceeding along in their intended fashion, unimpeded by political or religious statements -- are one of the best things we've got going in favor of the whole peace thing.  To see someone interfere with the Olympics -- in a way that is now getting one country all upset over the results -- is not exactly helping the cause of peace, in the long run.

1 comment:

pegluh said...

According to the report I heard, Nutjob wearing some court jester type costume was wearing a placard that said something about Isreal fulfilling its destiny or some other stuff.  My favorite was Lima coming down the home stretch like an airplane, just playing and having fun.