Chalk one up for the Big Boys … Though Not Necessarily The Good Guys …..
Unofficially, the London Olympics kicked off on Wednesday afternoon (10:00 AM , EST) with the opening round of the women’s soccer tournament . The heavily favored US team led by Abby Wambach and team goalkeeper Hope Solo faced France in their opening Group G match . They came away with an easy 4-2 victory over their French opponents .
Slide show .
Inasmuch, as I am looking forward to the games, it has to be said, there are far more consequential events that are being overlooked by the world and IOC Executive Committee . IOC President Jacques Rogge try as he must , faces a daunting task in trying to justify the game’s continuance in light of the international crisis now being played out in the international arena , as the Syrian government lays siege to its citizens . The country’s President , Bashir al-Assad has toyed with the West and the idiotic diplomatic strategy of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan . Never mind the fact that the country’s Foreign Minister , Walid Muallem , recently made the public statement that the country now possesses “ weapons “ of mass destruction , specifically Sarin gas , Agent Orange , and several other highly toxic chemical weapons . Muallem , also through a spokesman stated that the Syrian military would only use these weapons against outside insurgents and the enemies of the Syrian nation and its citizens . Somewhat asinine , when you consider the death toll in the eighteen months of internal strife and struggle has led to deaths of 20,000 Syrians , many of them innocent bystanders and civilians. What the world has now been made aware of , is that George Bush’s hunt for WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) were in fact centered in the wrong fu#king country , as it has been proven that Iraq possessed none of the chemical weapons that the embellished evidence had suggested .
Donald Rumsfeld , Dick Cheney and the a#sholes at that venerable bastion of stupidity Fox News Channel kept on blowing smoke up everyone’s ass , and in large part, far too many of the public bought into the bulls#it. Currently , Syria possesses the third largest quantities and stockpiles of chemical , biochemical weaponry and germ warfare in the world , behind the United States and Russia . Somehow , this seemed to have escaped the attention of the CIA , NSA , DIA , Defense Department , FBI , State Dept , Senate Intelligence Committee , House Intelligence Committee and the god-damn US administration of Barack Obama .
Syria has sent a delegation of ten athletes and officials to the London Olympics. And it seems remarkable that the athletes and its delegation will be treated with the utmost respect. In this day and age , I find it somewhat ambivalent of Jacques Rogge, in not addressing Syria’s heinous actions against its populace . What has been even more asinine is the idiotic and rhetorical statement s made by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton stating that Bashir al-Assad should step down as President , and that the heinous atrocities taking place within the country should come to an immediate halt . Now unless I am with Arab Spring “uprising “ of the past Fall , we saw the United States intervene in Libya , assisting the opposition to overthrow that country’s long-reigning dictator Muammar Gaddafi . This continuing asinine stance , in terms of US foreign policy, in fomenting strategic alliances with Arab partners , has ran aground like a vessel stuck in an oncoming maelstrom of violent weather , with no clear vision in sight . The State Department is no longer sure as to who its closest allies are , in the Middle East , much less dealing the rest of the Arab and the Muslim world . And God forbid , we have some dick-head of a specialist from the Brookings Institute try to allay our fears while still trying to espouse the view that Israel remains this country’s greatest ally in the Middle East . Fu#k that sh#t , Israel is simply glad to annually receive …. $8,000,000,000 ($ 8 billion) in non-discretionary aid , which in return it uses to buy heavy US military armaments . Why the hell else , would AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) be front-and-center , otherwise dictating a skewered and blatantly lopsided US foreign policy ? Plainly put , the vast majority of the US electorate are simply sheep who like to be led , rather than sifting through the bull#hit placed within their midst by the idiots on both sides of political aisle and diaspora !
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has shown that as the body’s most senior official , he simply does not countenance the respect needed to get things done . At the same time the five permanent members of the UN Security Council might as well be playing pool or Canasta for all of the good they are now said to be doing . China and Russia at every step, has sought to derail any real intent to bring about a ceasefire in Syria . The duos are the Middle Eastern country’s biggest trading partner and armament’s supplier. At $4 billion a year in arms’ sales , one could well understand why Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Russian counterpart , Sergey Lavrov are disingenuous , and they would rather see the United States be viewed as a “ paper lion “ whose roar is no louder than that of a mouse ,within the international diplomatic arena .
Intellectually, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s heads are rammed so far up their own ass, that they are unable to tell the difference between night and day ! If they do not realize that Bashir al-Assad is no different from his father , Hafez al-Assad , whom the young al-Assad succeeded . Then it is clear , that the information provided the duo by analysts from the NSA , US Defense Department and CIA , simply isn’t worth the paper it is written on . In other words , they are continually being provided with a whole bucket load of shit ! The estimated 20,000 lives said to have been lost in the latest Syrian uprisings are but a mere “ drop in the bucket” , when one takes into account the deaths said to have taken place during the reign of Hafez al-Assad , as the President of Syria .
With the 187 nations now either on route or having already arrived in the UK for the official Opening Ceremony this Friday, for the Olympic Games , the first controversy and act of stupidity has already raised its ugly head . Greek track star and triple jumper , Voula Papachristou , has been expelled from the game for “tweeting” racially insensitive remarks concerning African athletes and African migrants in her native Greece . Papachristou has since apologized for the remarks stating that poor judgment and the statements were originally meant as a joke . The ideals of the Olympic are foster an environment of athlete camaraderie wherein, the athletes can compete on the world stage on an equal level while exhibiting fairness and compassion . The Games’ modern-day founder Baron Pierre de-Coubertin meant for these ideals to be upheld , and in many respects those tenets have been abandoned by de-Coubertin’s successors as Presidents of the IOC . The Summer and Winter Olympics have now become far too commercialized and it has been to the complete detriment as to what the event was meant to represent .
Now there is no denying that the Olympic Games will be primarily about the more high-profiled athletes and teams in competition . Team USA Basketball , both the men’s and women’s teams will be highly favored to repeat as champions in their respective tournaments . Geno Auriemma , head coach of the women’s Team USA , will be seeded number one , and will be in Group A , pitted against China , Angola , Croatia , Czech Republic and Turkey , in the group stages of the tournament . Their toughest competition is likely to come from Australia , Brazil and China , en-route to an anticipated Olympics Final and perhaps the inevitable gold medal .
We know that the US Men’s Basketball team is laden with NBA stars led my LeBron James , Kobe Bryant , Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony . The team will be coached once again by Mike Krzyzewski . Coach K , as he is more commonly known will seek to add to his own already impressive legacy as the head coach of the national team as well as the head of the four-time NCAA championship program of Duke University (Blue Devils) .
Having won Olympic gold , in 2008 , in the men’s competition of the basketball tournament in Beijing . London 2012 will present Mike Krzyzewski’s players with a different set of obstacles and a much sterner test than most will have anticipated . Pre warm-up games asides , this team cannot afford any slip-ups at any point during the Men’s Basketball Tournament at the London Games . As highly favored as they are to repeat as champions , the bulls-eye will remain a constant target on the backs of the players , specifically LeBron James , Kobe Bryant , Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant , who are seen as the “ faces “ of the NBA . USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo has not worked in close conjunction with David Stern and the NBA hierarchy over the past three years to see this all go up in smoke . And it will be incumbent upon Team USA’s players to prove to the world that the NBA brand of basketball is far superior to that of their contemporaries around the globe . Granted , the rules to be administered for the format of the tournament will be played under the FIBA guidelines but it is anticipated that it will not prove to be a difficulty for the players or Krzyzewski’s coaching staff to understand .
Argentina , Spain and quite possibly Brazil , are seen as the toughest obstacles standing in the way of the USA repeating as champions . However, I do feel that if the team can stamp their authority from the outset , then their path to the finals should not prove to be all that difficult !
We all know of the heroics of Michael Phelps in Beijing as he swam to Olympic gold in six individual events , and then won two more gold medals in team relays . The swimmer has set his sights in London on swimming in seven events , including relays , with view to bring his medal tally to an unprecedented and astonishing twenty-one gold medals , an all-time among Olympic athletes . Phelps’ tally of Olympic medals currently stands at sixteen and counting (fourteen gold and two silver medals ) . Phelps and teammate Ryan Lochte , apart from being close friends , they will also prove to have the greatest rivalry anticipated , once the competition begins with its very first event. Both the men’s and women’s events should prove to be a real revelation , as the US’s dominance will most certainly come into question .
The real highlights and anticipation to my belief , will come from the track and field events to be held at Olympic Park in East London . The the venue that will in large part will hold the events as well as being the center the opening and closing ceremony for the games . Encompassing seventeen days , starting on the 27th July and ending 13th August 2012 , this will be the thirtieth Olympiad (XXX) of the modern era , first held in 1896 , in Athens , Greece , birthplace of the original Olympic Games . The main attraction of the track and field events will undoubtedly be the double-defending Olympic sprint champion , Usain Bolt of Jamaica . The talented sprinter , holder of the world records in the 100 meters , as well as the ” 200 meters , will hope to make a successful defense of both titles as well anchoring the 4 x 100 meter relay team (men’s) to Olympic gold for his country . Bolt however , will face a stiff challenge from teammate Yohan Blake in both events , where the talented twenty-two year-old has this year recorded the second fastest times in history , in both of the men’s sprint events . The once dominant US men’s track team is no longer there but the likelihood of Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin mounting a serious challenge to the dominant Jamaican duo remains a distinct possibility. The world record in both of the men’s (100m 9.59 & 200m 19.19 ) sprint events is likely to be challenged and perhaps lowered and that is part of the anticipation that will wet the appetites of the most ardent of track and field fans .
NBC Sports , its affiliate stations and cable partners will provide the North American television market with an unprecedented 400 hours of approximate live televised coverage (cumulative 5,000 plus hours on all of its affiliated partnering networks ) of the games , taking in repeated televising of certain events . And given the poor staple and stable of the network’s prime-time programming and television coverage . The 2012 London Olympics should provide a much-needed boost to the television viewership and bottom line for the fourth ranked television network .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
As an expat Brit , now residing here in Central Florida , these Olympic Games will have a special meaning to me ! Many of the events to be staged will in and around many of the neighborhoods I frequented as a teenager . Olympic Park , itself, as it is centered in the town of Stratford , East London , and will be the venue where my attention will be keenly linked to . The town in fact , where I was born and raised , through the first eight years of my life . And though there will be venues nationwide that will stage many of the twenty six events that will make up the thirtieth Olympic Games . None perhaps , will be more riveting , spectacular or explosive as many of the track and field events taking place at Olympic Park . Whether or not you are an ardent fan of the Summer Olympics , what if anything will you be most looking forward to and why ?
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Alex Morgan (left) and Megan Rapinoe celebrate as the US women’s soccer team get off the mark in their come from behind 4-2 victory over France in the opening round of group play in the Women’s Olympic soccer tournament . AP Photo / Scott Mackenzie ….
United States’ Alex Morgan, center, is challenged by France’s Wendie Renard , left, during their women’s Group G soccer match prior to the start of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 25th July , 2012. AP Photo / Frank Morris ……..
(3) From left to right , IOC President Jacques Rogge , British Prime Minister , David Cameron and far right Lord Sebastian Coe , Chairman of London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games . Daily Telegraph / Mark Patterson @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ….
(4) Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is seen here with Syrian President Bashir al-Assad at the presidential palace in Damascus . Failed attempts to negotiate a long-lasting and meaningful cease-fire has led to civil war in the nation of 14 million residents . The UN’s peacekeeping observers have been powerless to stop the atrocities being perpetrated by the Syrian President’s military and security forces across the country , that has led to the loss of an estimated 20,000 people in the past eighteen months . REUTERS / Hamed El Gherrouj …….
(5) Mike Kryzewski, coach of U.S. men’s senior national team, pauses during a pre-Olympic friendly basketball match against Argentina at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, July 22, 2012. … Getty Images Europe / Alain Desjardins …
(6) Greek track athlete, Paraskevi “Voula” Papachristou becomes the first athlete to be sent home from the London Olympics . Her banishment was not for a drug related offense but for “tweeting ” racially insensitive remarks about African migrant workers in her native Greece as well making remarks about a number of African athletes housed at the Olympic village . Papachristou offered a public apology to the IOC as well as to those which her comments referred to . However , the Greek IOC as well the LOGOC felt that her act of contrition was not enough in light of her comments and she was sent home , back to Athens , Greece where a possible suspension awaits the athlete by the Greek Athletics Federation . AP/REUTERS/ Miles Eastley ….
(7) Ryan Lochte , left , and teammate Michael Phelps could provide the London Olympics with one of the most anticipated and eagerly awaited rivalries . The two swimmers will face off against each other in a number of individual events in the Aquatic Center at the upcoming games . Daily Telegraph / Adrian Whitehead ……
(8) Yohan Blake (535) defeats compatriot Usain Bolt (539) in the finals of the 100 meters on the 29th June , 2012 , at the Jamaican Olympic Trials in Kingston , Jamaica . The two , are the leading contenders in both of the sprint events at the Olympics . The Weekly Gleaner / Buster Etienne
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IAAF (site) …… (International Amateur Athletics Federation ) international governing body for track and field athletics.