US Olympians Wonder Why Fox News Calls Themselves News. By Sarah Wood
Recently, Fox News attacked US Olympians for not wearing more red, white, and blue claiming the uniforms they are wearing are not patriotic enough. Well it seems the US Olympians have a question to ask Fox News. They are curious as to how Fox News can call themselves news, and act as though they offer competitive journalism when all they offer to their viewership is pandered “bullshit.”
In an interview with Jason Lindsay from the US Olympic Badminton team, FWP asked the young man what he thought of Fox News’ remarks regarding the patriotism of the US team’s uniforms. Lindsay replied, ”I have no idea what the color of our uniforms has to do with anything. We are representing our nation the best that we can, and our uniforms should really have nothing to do with the conversation. Was Fox News having a slow news day or something? I mean really, with stories like that, how can they even call themselves news. They should call themselves Fox Opinion and Deliberately Trying to Piss People Off For No Reason.”
Catching up with marathon runner Jessica Kellons, FWP asked what her take on Fox News making a big deal of the uniforms was. Kellons responded, “They what?! They are questioning our patriotism? Really? Is that all they have to report on? Wondering if we wear enough red, white, and blue? I thought there was an economic crisis going on, and a presidential race underway, and this is what they choose to focus on? Pathetic.”
The sentiment held by these two competitors seemed to carry through to everyone else interviewed. This non-story of apparent lack of patriotism not only seemed un-newsworthy, but also seemed to offend many athletes who have worked for years to perfect their ability to represent the nation we all love and call home.
Someone should probably notify Fox News that those “unpatriotic” Americans are neck in neck with China for number of medals earned, and maybe focus on the actual Olympic competition and not comment like Joan Rivers about what our athletes are wearing.
Eight badminton players have been disqualified from the Olympics for tanking. Why were they trying to lose, and why is the sport so dirty?
An official threatens Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia and Jung Eun Ha and Min Jung Kim of South Korea with a “black card” disqualification in their women’s doubles match. Both teams were ultimately disqualified.
It’s basically all Denmark’s fault—but we’ll get to that in a second. First, a word on the badminton tournament structure. Like many Olympic sports, badminton has a preliminary round that’s used to determine seeding and a knockout round that decides who wins gold, silver, or bronze. As the AP explains, “The round-robin format can allow results to be manipulated to earn an easier matchup in the knockout round.”
Given that just 16 teams entered the women’s doubles tournament and half qualify for the knockout stage, it was possible for teams to clinch a spot in the medal round with one preliminary game remaining. That’s exactly what one Chinese, two South Korean, and one Indonesian team did. And in a stroke of rotten luck for the tournament organizers, two matches on the final day of qualifying featured contests between those already-qualified teams.
When a match is useful for positioning and nothing else, the door is open for nefariousness. The torrent of skullduggery began after one of China’s two women’s doubles teams—Zhao Yunlei and Tian Qing—lost to Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl by the score of 22-20, 21-12. That shocking result meant the two Chinese teams—the tournament favorites—would meet in the semifinals of the knockout round rather than the gold-medal game, depriving China of the chance to win both gold and silver. China’s only hope of putting two teams in the finals, then was for the country’s other team of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang to lose, thus pushing themselves to the opposite side of the bracket. Once their South Korean opponents saw what the Chinese were up to, they decided it was also in their best interest to lose—that a defeat would give them better medal-round matchups as well.
The resulting loser-takes-all match proved that top-level badminton players need to learn how to lose intentionally without looking like they’re trying to lose intentionally. As the crowd groaned and booed, the Chinese and South Korean players repeatedly served the birdie into or under the net, looking less competent than a bunch of Americans playing with a plastic Target badminton set at a backyard barbecue. China’s Wang and Yu ultimately succeeded in losing, but their defeat was a Pyrrhic victory (or, I guess, a Pyrrhic defeat)—if they hadn’t tanked so ostentatiously, they’d probably still be in the tournament today.
That pathetic display from the Chinese and South Korean pairs set the stage for another round of tanking. In the South Korea-Indonesia match an hour later, both teams again had good reason to do their worst. If the South Koreans won, they’d have to face their countrymen in the quarterfinals; if the Indonesians were victorious, they’d have to play the powerful Chinese team that had just succeeded in losing.
All that lack of effort came to nothing when all four of the not-so-lovable losers were expelled by the Badminton World Federation for “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.” With those four teams now eliminated, the big winners are the Chinese team of Zhao and Tian, whose loss to Denmark kicked off the disgraceful cascade that ended up clearing the draw of all the top contenders. They now seem likely to cruise to the gold medal.
Some American sportswriters have seemed surprised that wimpy old badminton—“an obscure, easily mocked sport,” as Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg put it—finds itself caught up in a major scandal. But the sport has a long history of match-fixing. In 2008, for instance, the South Korean national team admitted to tanking against England and Malaysia in the first round of the Thomas Cup to increase its chances of being matched with a weaker team in the quarterfinals—Denmark. “We formulated a strategy before we arrived … and that means not finishing top of the group,” said South Korean coach Kim Jung Soo at the time. (Later that year, Kim was suspended over allegations that he embezzled money from a badminton organization.)
Badminton-centric blogs and online message boards are riddled with cheating allegations, some more substantiated than others. Chinese players are often at the center of these claims. As Tarek Hafi put it in Badzine (“The World’s No. 1 Badminton Webzine”), “crowds and badminton fans around the world have become accustomed to some trepidation before any match between two Chinese sides.” At the world championships in 2003, Chinese doubles players Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen were accused of tanking a match so their opponent—another Chinese doubles team—would have a better chance of advancing. In the women’s semifinals at the 2004 Summer Olympics, China’s Zhou Mi was allegedly instructed by her coach “not to work too hard” in her match against teammate Zhang Ning. Zhang went on to win gold. The same thing is said to have happened at the 2000 Sydney Games, when Ye Zhaoying was told to lay down against Gong Zhichao. Gong eventually won gold.
The scandals also extend to the officials who oversee the game. In 2008, the controversial Punch Gunalan was fired as vice president of the Badminton World Federation after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the organization’s president. And in 2011, the badminton world got hot and bothered after the BWF, in an attempt to draw more attention to the sport, attempted to implement a rule that would require female players to wear skirts during major tournaments. Female players revolted and eventually won the right to wear non-skirt attire. At this Olympics, they proved that they didn’t need to wear flattering uniforms to get the world’s attention. All they had to do was play really, really, really badly.
U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman reveals the score for her gold medal-winning routine at the Olympics was a tribute to victims of the 1972 Munich Games massacre. By Leon Watson
Aly, from Massachusetts, she said it made her gold even more special. She performed to Hava Nagila, a traditional Jewish score used for weddings and bar mitzvahs
American gymnast Aly Raisman has revealed the music for her gold medal-winning floor routine at the London Olympics was a tribute to the victims of the 1972 Munich Games terror attack.
The 18-year-old said choosing Hava Nagila- a traditional score used for wedding dances and bar mitzvahs - was a response to the International Olympic Committee’s failure to mark the 40th anniversary of the tragedy.
And for Aly, from Needham, Massachusetts, she said it made her gold even more special.
‘I can only imagine how painful it must be for the families and close personal friends of the victims,’ she said.
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Munich tribute: Gold medalist Aly Raisman poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the floor exercise
‘I am Jewish, that’s why I wanted that floor music,’ she told theNew York Post. ‘I wanted something the crowd could clap to, especially being here in London.
‘It makes it even much more if the audience is going through everything with you. That was really cool and fun to hear the audience clapping.’
Eleven Israeli athletes were killed during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the now infamous Palestinian terrorist attack. Only recently it has been revealed German neo-Nazis helped them.
A campaign was launched by Israeli officials and the widow of one of the victims for a minute’s silence during the opening ceremony but IOC president Jacques Rogge ruled that out.
President Obama also threw his support behind the call for a commemoration of the massacre at the London Olympics.
NBC’s Bob Costas also blasted the decision, saying it was ‘insensitive’ and held his own moment of silence when Israeli athletes marched into the Olympic Stadium.
Fitting: Aly said: ‘That was the best floor performance I’ve ever done, and to do it for the Olympics is like a dream.’
Aly hugs coach Mihai Brestyan after winning the gold medal for her floor exercise
(From left) Bronze medalist Russia’s gymnast Aliya Mustafina, gold medalist US gymnast Aly Raisman and silver medalist Romania’s gymnast Catalina Ponor after the event
Aly was shocked when the judges announced her winning score of 15.600 points that made her the first American woman to strike gold in the Olympic floor exercise.
‘That was the best floor performance I’ve ever done, and to do it for the Olympics is like a dream,’ Aly said.
Remember: During the 1972 Munich Games, a group of Palestinian terrorist kidnapped and killed much of the Israeli team in a highly-publicized ordeal
Terror: Eleven were killed by the Palestinian Black September group
THE 1972 OLYMPICS MASSACRE THAT SHOCKED THE WORLD
It began on the morning of September 5, 1972, with six days left in the Games, when eight terrorists stormed the Olympic village and raided the Israeli contingent’s apartment.
Two Israeli athletes were killed and nine more were seized as hostages.
They demanded the release of over 200 Palestinians serving time in Israeli jails, along with two renowned German terrorists.
After a day of unsuccessful negotiations, the terrorists collected the hostages and headed for the military airport in Munich for a flight back to the Middle East.
At the airport, German sharpshooters opened fire, killing three of the Palestinians.
A horrifying gun battle ensued, claiming the lives of all nine of the hostages and two terrorists on board a helicopter.
The three surviving assassins were captured, but later released by West Germany following the hijacking a Lufthansa airliner by the Black September group.
Rabbi Keith Stern, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Avodah in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, where the Raisman family are members, said: ‘She is a focused person. She’s very proud and upfront about being Jewish. Neither she nor her family explicitly sought to send a message. But it shows how very integrated her Jewish heritage is in everything that she does.’
Rabbi Stern told theNew York Post that he was also stunned by the IOC’s refusal to hold a moment of silence during the event.
‘I’m happy to hear any other explanation,’ he said. ‘But short of some racist grudge somebody is holding, I can’t figure out why it would be a terrible thing to do.’
The Rabbi said he watched the routine and was blown away.
‘I have to say, the statement just warmed me to the very depths of my being,’ he said.
He compared it to the iconic black-power, raised-fist protest made by track stars John Carlos and Tommie Smith on the medal stand at the 1968 Mexico City Games.
‘They’re not going to forget that,’ the rabbi said. ‘I certainly won’t.’
Eventually, a low-key tribute in front of 100 people was paid at the signing of the Olympic Truce in London’s Olympic Village after the Games opened, the first time it has happened inside an athletes village.
This was not the first time the IOC passed over a moment of silence.
In the 2002 Olympics held in Salt Lake City - and largely organised by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney - organisers marked the 30th anniversary but did not hold a moment of silence.
There was also a separate commemoration for the victims of September 11th.
Golden girls: Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabrielle Douglas of women’s Gymnastics show off their medals
During coverage of this Olympics, U.S. broadcaster NBC has sparked anger in the host country after cutting away from the Opening Ceremony when a tribute to the victims of the London 7/7 bombings was shown.
The station said the tribute to the devastating attack - which killed 52 people and left many with life-changing injuries - ‘wasn’t tailored to a U.S. audience’. It showed an interview with swimmer Michael Phelps instead.
‘When I saw that chair it was like it had a shining light around it, and I thought: this is the perfect opportunity. I enjoy making people laugh.’
Since a Youtube video of me as the “happiest Olympic worker” went viral with more than a million hits this week, life has been surreal. I have been trying to fit catching up on sleep around interviews with journalists from across the world and continuing my long shifts as a member of the “last mile” team at the Olympic Park. My job involves giving spectators information from a podium using a megaphone, keeping them enthused and upbeat.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to work at the Games. I’m a natural people pleaser, and enjoy making people laugh. When I saw that chair it was like it had a shining light around it, and I thought: this is the perfect opportunity. This is my chair. It was the first time I had a platform to speak to people, and once I was sat up there with the megaphone I just said what came to mind. I could tell the crowds were excited about the Games, but they weren’t showing it, and so I use humour to try to bring that enthusiasm out of them.
The experience of working at the Games is fantastic: the atmosphere is positive; the crowds are happy – and so are the workers. Some people think I was being sarcastic in the video, but I meant every word. We were instructed to act cheerful and excited, but that’s not my style, so I said what I was supposed to, and just delivered it in my own way. I’ve always had a dry sense of humour, and friends and family have told me I’m funny. I was spurred on by the people gathering around my chair and noticed a couple of people filming me and taking pictures. When the video started to go viral I couldn’t believe it, but was just happy that people get my sense of humour, that I have fulfilled my role as a people pleaser for the Olympics.
I think there’s something quite British about my humour that makes it chime with people: we are good at understating things, at not showing our real emotions. I’m being told I should be a stand-up comedian, but that’s not for me – I would be booed off the stage. I’m a history graduate and start a teacher training course in September to teach secondary history. Not everyone loves history, so I might have to use a few jokes to keep my students interested.
For the moment, I’m carrying on keeping spectators entertained from my chair: I don’t have a set routine, but I do have a few popular one-liners. As long as I’m giving them information as well, I’m doing my job.
People are starting to recognise me when I sit on my chair – they shout out: “Oh my God, that’s the girl from Youtube!” I don’t feel like a celebrity, I’m just a normal girl working at the Olympics who made a few jokes – because that’s what the people want, and that’s what I’ll keep giving.
Due to the cool rainy weather in London, beach volleyball players will likey swap out their bikinis for long sleeves and leggings. In an unrelated developement, NBC announced it’s reducing scheduled beach volleyball coverage from 26 hours to 43 seconds.