A Surprise From The Olympics

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  • A Surprise From The Olympics

    A couple of nights ago I caught an interview with Kobe Bryant. With all the bad publicity that pro athletes get and the perception of the 'Dumb Jock' stereotype, this was a welcome view of one who didn't make it through school just because he was needed by the team. His responses and comments were not riddled with the use of 'like' or 'you know' 29 times in a sentence. A clip was shown with Kobe talking to the Italian press with out a translator. It was also mentioned that he speaks Spanish.

    I am sure he is not unique among pro athletes, just that this type of story/human interest "doesn't sell papers".
    Don, aka Pappy,

    Wise men talk because they have something to say,
    Fools because they have to say something.
    Plato

  • #2
    I saw that interview as well. I was very surprised and pleased to hear him speak eloquently and show genuine pride for his country.

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    • #3
      I was good to see. He could stand some good press.
      spellling champion Lexington region 1982

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      • #4
        It's too bad that most of the things you hear about pro athletes are negative. Surely, there must be a lot of good things to report.

        Ed
        Do you know about kickback? Ray has a good writeup here... https://www.sawdustzone.org/articles...mare-explained

        For a kickback demonstration video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/910584...demonstration/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by messmaker View Post
          He could stand some good press.
          That's a fact. He's not exactly a squeaky-clean model citizen yet, but at least there's hope...

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          • #6
            It does help that he spent a lot of his childhood overseas - his father played basketball in Europe.

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            • #7
              Another thing I was pleasantly surprised by was how often the Chinese crowd would cheer for athletes from other countries. I just finished watching the men's high bar and the American competitor did a really good performance. He received a 2nd place score. The audience actually booed the score because they felt it was too low. And the gymnast who was in first place happened to be from China. Great to see an audience cheering on for an athlete's skill/performance and not just because they're from the same country. Big props
              -Paul

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              • #8
                I've been under the impression that Olympic competitors had to be amateurs, not pros. What's the score on that?
                .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cabinetman View Post
                  I've been under the impression that Olympic competitors had to be amateurs, not pros. What's the score on that?
                  .
                  Professional athletes are allowed in every sport except boxing. The old "no professionals" requirement was dropped from the olympic charter in 1970.

                  From Wikipedia:
                  It gradually became clear to many that the amateurism rules had become outdated, not least because the self-financed amateurs of Western countries often were no match for the state-sponsored "full-time amateurs" of Eastern bloc countries.
                  -Joe

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cabinetman View Post
                    I've been under the impression that Olympic competitors had to be amateurs, not pros. What's the score on that?
                    .
                    Best explained here : Amateur sports in Olympics.

                    Through most of the 20th century the Olympics nominally only allowed amateur athletes to participate. The amateur code was strictly enforced. Jim Thorpe was stripped of track and field medals for having taken expense money for playing baseball in 1912.

                    Later on, however, successful Olympians from Western countries often accepted endorsement contracts from sponsors. Complex rules involving the payment of the athlete's earnings into trust funds rather than directly to the athletes themselves, were developed in an attempt to work around this issue, but the intellectual evasion involved was considered embarrassing to the Olympic movement and the key Olympic sports by some. In the same era, the nations of the Communist bloc entered teams of Olympians who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession, but many of whom were in reality paid by the state to train on a full time basis. (Cuba, North Korea, and to some extent China still do this; although China allows professionalism in popular team sports, it can be assumed that athletes in disciplines such as gymnastics from these countries are trained in state academies and have state-given stipends.)

                    After the 1972 retirement of IOC President Avery Brundage, the Olympic amateurism rules were steadily relaxed and in many areas amount only to technicalities and lip service. In the United States, the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 prohibits national governing bodies from having more stringent standards of amateur status than required by international governing bodies of respective sports.

                    Olympic amateurism regulations were eventually abandoned in the 1990s with the exception of boxing, where the rules remain amateur rather than professional for the safety of the participants.
                    There are others - I think Soccer does not allow more than 3 players above the age of 23 in any team. Don't ask me the logic for that.

                    In this light, it's a tragedy that one of the greatest athletes of this nation was hounded out of competing under the guise of 'professionalism'. Jesse Owen's epochal victories in the 1936 Olympics were his last as he had dared to sign up for some endorsements (which fell thru later). Some petty jealousy is said to be at the bottom of it all, but, what can ya say !!?!
                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
                    - Aristotle

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tequila View Post
                      Professional athletes are allowed in every sport except boxing. The old "no professionals" requirement was dropped from the olympic charter in 1970.

                      So I guess I could try out for the mens singles in "Kickback Dodging", or "Plywood Twirling" when they start those events.
                      .

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cabinetman View Post
                        I've been under the impression that Olympic competitors had to be amateurs, not pros. What's the score on that?
                        .
                        That was changed to allow countries that don't have state support/training facilities for the athletes and their families to be competitive.

                        The Soviet Union, and many of its former states since it broke up, place kids in training schools when they exhibit special talents as well as compensating their families. The athletes involved in team sports are also financed/paid and trained at government expense. Since they are being paid to train and compete by the government, with no other means of support, it was ruled that they are in fact professional athletes and the ban was unfair to countries that did not operate the same.

                        The Soviet countries were/are not the only ones to train its atheletes this was, just the example I used.

                        Probably the first major showing after the ban was removed was the "Dream Team".
                        Don, aka Pappy,

                        Wise men talk because they have something to say,
                        Fools because they have to say something.
                        Plato

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                        • #13
                          Many countries pay their athletes. It's their job. It is unreasonable to ask an athlete to take a vow of perpetual poverty just so he can represent his country in the Olympics. And why should any country not send their very best, just because they are making a living for their talent and hard work? It does not help one's national pride to see "their" teams getting clobbered, when one knows their country's pro teams got people sitting on the bench that are ten times as good as most of the amateurs.

                          One notable exception is Major League Baseball, which forbids its players from participating. But this is a matter of logistics, rather than amateurism, as the MLB regular season always coincides with the Summer Olympics. Minor league players can participate, however.

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                          • #14
                            do NHL players play now in the winter olympics?
                            Miracle on ice team (1980-Lake Placid) was college players
                            Does the NHL season overlap with the olympics?
                            Is the NHL always on strike so they can play anyway?
                            Loring in Katy, TX USA
                            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post
                              do NHL players play now in the winter olympics?
                              Miracle on ice team (1980-Lake Placid) was college players
                              Does the NHL season overlap with the olympics?
                              Is the NHL always on strike so they can play anyway?
                              Evidently so, found this old article. Thought I remembered correctly about pros hockey players in Turin.

                              http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2114505
                              http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...mpics/?cnn=yes

                              Baseball fans would never give up the All Star game I don't think. And they can't stretch baseball season any longer than it is since it already goes from snow season to snow season. For baseball it's moot anyway since it is being removed from the Olympics.

                              From wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basebal...ummer_Olympics

                              "At the IOC meeting in July 11, 2005, baseball and softball were voted out of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, becoming the first sport voted out of the Olympics since Polo was eliminated from the 1936 Olympics[1]. The event remains on the docket for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The elimination will excise 16 teams and more than 300 athletes from the 2012 Olympics. The two slots left available by the IOC's elimination were not filled by new sports, so both baseball and softball can reemerge as events in the 2016 Olympics, provided no new sports are adopted into the games and both receive enough votes to be included. This decision was reaffirmed on February 9, 2006.[2]"
                              _____________
                              Opa

                              second star to the right and straight on til morning

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