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The W - Current Events & Politics - WTF? Dont be proud of your nation?
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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.46
Fear of a hostile reaction has led US officials to warn its participants in the Games against overtly patriotic displays
By Simon Hart in New York

American athletes have been warned not to wave the US flag during their medal celebrations at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens for fear of provoking crowd hostility and harming the country's already battered public image.

The spectacle of victorious athletes grabbing a national flag and parading it around the stadium is a familiar part of international sporting competition, but US Olympic officials have ordered their 550-strong team to exercise restraint and avoid any jingoistic behaviour.

The plan is part of a charm offensive aimed at repairing the country's international reputation following the deepening crisis in Iraq and damaging revelations of torture and mistreatment of detainees by US forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

"American athletes find themselves in extraordinary circumstances in Athens in relation to the world as we know it right now," said Mike Moran, a veteran former spokesman for the US Olympic Committee who has been retained as a consultant to advise athletes about the correct way to behave.

"Regardless of whether there is anti-American sentiment in Athens or not, the world watches Americans a lot now in terms of how they behave and our culture. What I am trying to do with the athletes and coaches is to suggest to them that they consider how the normal things they do at an event, including the Olympics, might be viewed as confrontational or insulting or cause embarrassment."

Four years ago, at the Sydney Olympics, the victorious American 4 x 100m relay team were widely condemned for their arrogant strutting with the US flag following their gold medal presentation, and American officials, mindful of the country's precarious standing in world opinion, are desperate to avoid any repeat.

"Unfortunately, using the flag as a prop or a piece of apparel or indulging in boasting behaviour is becoming part of our society in sport because every night on TV we see our athletes - professional, college or otherwise - taunting their opponents and going face to face with each other," said Mr Moran. "We are trying, for 17 days, to break that culture.

"What I am telling the athletes is, 'Don't run over and grab a flag and take it round the track with you.' It's not business as usual for American athletes. If a Kenyan or a Russian grabs their national flag and runs round the track or holds it high over their heads, it might not be viewed as confrontational. Where we are in the world right now, an American athlete doing that might be viewed in another manner."

Mr Moran added that the behaviour of British athletes could face similar scrutiny in Athens, though the British Olympic Association insists that there are no plans to ban them from celebrating with the Union flag.

A spokesman for the association said: "It's up to every athlete how he or she wishes to celebrate their Olympic success and there are no plans to issue any instructions. We are confident that every athlete will celebrate in a responsible way."

The US Olympic Committee's anxiety at over-exuberant displays of jingoism is a far cry from the scenes at the 2002 Winter Olympics, hosted by Salt Lake City, where the American flag became the defining symbol of the Games.

A different environment awaits the American team in Athens, where officials are anxious to replace apple pie with humble pie.

Americans were booed at the World Athletics Championships in Paris last year - largely as a result of Jon Drummond's histrionic protest at his disqualification from a heat of the 100 metres. And at an Olympic football qualifying match in Mexico earlier this year the American team was subjected to sustained barracking by a section of the crowd, including chants of "Osama, Osama".

Despite the extra burden being placed on American athletes, officials still predict a US medal haul of more than 100, and have made it their target to finish top of the medals table. The irony is that finishing the Games as the most powerful nation is unlikely to endear them to the rest of the world.

"We're not the favourite kid in the world right now," admitted Bill Martin, the US Olympic Committee's acting president.

"We are sensitive not only to the security issue but to jingoism in its raw sense. That is why we are sending people around to educate the athletes as to the appropriate behaviour."




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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Because as we all know, America is EVIL and we are not allowed to be porud to be an American.

It's the Olympics for god's sake. People are competing for their country, and they should display that fact regardlesss.



Farley and Belushi are taken away in their prime yet Moore's heart continues to pump bacon grease in and out. God has a brutal sense of humor sometimes.- Barbwire Mike
ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.62
I think while they are at it, they should also teach the athletes not to win events either. Doing so may be viewed as confrontational, and we just can't have that.

Really, if I was an American athlete and having to deal with this kind of junk, I think I would have to reconsider whether or not I wanted to compete at all.

(edited by ges7184 on 18.5.04 0928)


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The Thrill
Banger








Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25

That makes me want to puuuuuuuuuuuuke. {/Vince after Foley won the WWF title}

Seriously...this makes me ill. Silence your patriotism so you don't hurt anybody's feelings!? Bullshit. Whatever PC f*ckwads came up with this one can just cram it. If I was competing for Team USA (and if we ever have an Olympic drinking team, I will, along with DEAN~!), I would sure as hell wave the Stars and Stripes after a gold-medal victory. And on the medal platform, too.

And as for those assholes what chanted "Osama, Osama" at the soccer qualifying match...I'd have gotten right in their faces...maybe cut a Bradshaw-esque promo.

F*ck this whole noise. Be proud Americans!



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ThreepMe
Morcilla








Since: 15.2.02
From: Dallas

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.01
    Originally posted by The Thrill
    That makes me want to puuuuuuuuuuuuke. {/Vince after Foley won the WWF title}

    Seriously...this makes me ill. Silence your patriotism so you don't hurt anybody's feelings!? Bullshit. Whatever PC f*ckwads came up with this one can just cram it. If I was competing for Team USA (and if we ever have an Olympic drinking team, I will, along with DEAN~!), I would sure as hell wave the Stars and Stripes after a gold-medal victory. And on the medal platform, too.

    And as for those assholes what chanted "Osama, Osama" at the soccer qualifying match...I'd have gotten right in their faces...maybe cut a Bradshaw-esque promo.

    F*ck this whole noise. Be proud Americans!


As the vocal minority here...

Maybe it's more along the lines of..."You might want to keep it down so you don't piss off the guys who are willing to send a suicide bomber your way. Especially since you won't be too far from where they all live."

But if it's more of a PC thing, then screw it. Granted "over celebration" is bad sportsmanship, but do some celebration damnit! And if that celebration includes "Americana" (i.e. flags, stars and stripes, hand over the heart, etc) then fine!

Under any circumstance an athlete shouldn't rub in a win. But your don't have to walk on egg shells either.

edit: maybe I should use the spell check

(edited by ThreepMe on 18.5.04 0843)


"Are you kidding me? A soda with MY name on it? Now more than ever, SODAS RULE!" - Edge to Christian Smackdown Sept 7th 2000
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.44
    Originally posted by ThreepMe
      Originally posted by The Thrill
      That makes me want to puuuuuuuuuuuuke. {/Vince after Foley won the WWF title}

      Seriously...this makes me ill. Silence your patriotism so you don't hurt anybody's feelings!? Bullshit. Whatever PC f*ckwads came up with this one can just cram it. If I was competing for Team USA (and if we ever have an Olympic drinking team, I will, along with DEAN~!), I would sure as hell wave the Stars and Stripes after a gold-medal victory. And on the medal platform, too.

      And as for those assholes what chanted "Osama, Osama" at the soccer qualifying match...I'd have gotten right in their faces...maybe cut a Bradshaw-esque promo.

      F*ck this whole noise. Be proud Americans!


    As the vocal minority here...

    Maybe it's more along the lines of..."You might want to keep it down so you don't piss off the guys who are willing to send a suicide bomber your way. Especially since you won't be too far from where they all live."

    But if it's more of a PC thing, then screw it. Granted "over celebration" is bad sportsmanship, but do some celebration damnit! And if that celebration includes "Americana" (i.e. flags, stars and stripes, hand over the heart, etc) then fine!

    Uder any circumstance an athlete shouldn't rub it a win. But your don't have to walk on egg shells either.






For some reason, waving a flag at the Olympics won't be the top reason for a suicide bomber to make an appearance. And, if the crowd wants to be 'anti-American' during track and field, I'll give them a couple of chants to use now: BAL-CO and You Use Ster-Oids.
The thing the USOC should be training the athletes on is 'How to compete in stadiums that don't exist.'
As for the Olympics themselves, I stopped caring once they sent pros over for basketball. Of course, it will be tough decision making on what to watch: Baseball as it heads into the pennant races, or gymnastics. Hmm, I wonder what I'll be viewing.



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JoshMann
Andouille








Since: 17.11.03
From: Tallahassee, FL

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.90
Honestly, and this goes for any athlete in ANY country, I would question the heart of any competitor, given the work, time, training and sacrifice it takes to be on the Olympic level that WASN'T exuberant if they've just won a gold medal.

Of course, there's a fine line between celebration and taunting, but you can't ask the US athletes to not do the victory lap any more than you wouldn't ask, say, an gold medalist from Germany that he couldn't run around with HIS flag. So really, the USOC is just being supercautious, but you KNOW that when someone wins, in the emotion of it, they're not going to ever remember about a memo saying don't celebrate at that moment.



I expect you fans, you people here in LA to do what you do best. RIOT!
Jobberman
Kishke








Since: 2.1.02
From: West Palm Beach, FL

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.20
>Waving a flag won't make those that hate us, hate us any more. NOT waving a flag won't make those that hate us, hate us any less.
rockdotcom_2.0
Frankfurter








Since: 9.1.02
From: Virginia Beach Va

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.23
I think they are trying to prevent stuff like this (espn.go.com)









Doin my Superman thing
StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.70
As ThreepMe and others have said, I think the USOC is saying something along the lines of, "Don't put yourselves in immediate danger by flaunting Americana," and not, "Try to make us look good and don't rub it in when you win."

Unfortunately, a lot of people around the world are sick of American flags and American patriotism and America this and America that. It's not very fair to expect these athletes - some who have worked their entire lives to win Olympic gold - to try to change our global image by being timid. Hopefully that's not what the USOC is trying to do. They're probably just worried about the athletes' safety.

- StingArmy
Socks
Landjager








Since: 25.6.02
From: Ottawa

Since last post: 789 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.21
    Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
    I think they are trying to prevent stuff like this (espn.go.com)








Yeah that was a little silly...lets hope we don't see that again.



This one time....at band camp......
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
Whatever happened to the "we won't let terrorists dictate how we live our lives" attitude? This stinks. I'm Canadian so I guess I'm supposed to be all for anything that curbs American enthusiasm or perceived arrogance, but I really think this is stupid. If the world doesn't want to see the stars and stripes, send athletes to the games that can beat the yanks. If people are afraid that the presence of the American flag is going to prompt terrorist attacks, step up security. Someone who is ready to bomb the Games because of the stars and stripes is just going to find another excuse to attack anyway, so take the necessary precautions.

PS. Ditto what Jobberman said.



The Toronto Maple Leafs: Hockey's equivalent of the Chicago Cubs, but easier to hate.
Crimedog
Boerewors








Since: 28.3.02
From: Ohio

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
I gotta tell you something. If I won an Olympic gold medal, I wouldn't give a damn if people thought I was making an ass out of myself. Seriously, this is the highest you can go in terms of athletic success. So I say bring on the flag-wavin', muscle-flexin', shirt-rippin' fun!
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
I wouldn't go to the extremes that those four guys went to.

But if I'm an Olympic athlete, and I win the gold medal, I'm gonna damn well pose with the American flag. Just because our country has made a complete ass of itself recently doesn't make me any less proud to be an American. It just makes me more proud to be a Democrat.



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Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.81
Well, to be fair, eke, it doesn't sound like they're saying "don't pose with the flag" so much as "don't be an ass and go overboard". I'd say they're looking at the difference between proudly hoisting your colors and running around in circles screaming "USA! USA! WE RULE, YOU CAN'T BEAT US WOO!"

Since this is the first post-9/11 Olympics and patriotism is still running fairly strong, the urge to make some kind of "statement" when you're on that podium might be hard to resist. They Olympics aren't really the place for that, though, and I think that's the point they're going for. It's not really appropriate, and wouldn't have been BEFORE 9/11 either.

Just my two cents.



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The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Battlezone
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Since: 27.2.03
From: Seattle, Washington

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.28
    Originally posted by Nate The Snake
    Since this is the first post-9/11 Olympics


Well, except for the 2002 Winter Olympics. And I remember this being an issue then, too. I remember being highly irritated at the fact that apparently WE weren't allowed to celebrate our country's success IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, because it might seem "insensitive". Whatever.




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Nate The Snake
Liverwurst








Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.81
    Originally posted by Battlezone
    Well, except for the 2002 Winter Olympics. And I remember this being an issue then, too. I remember being highly irritated at the fact that apparently WE weren't allowed to celebrate our country's success IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, because it might seem "insensitive". Whatever.


Sorry, forgot to add "summer", I had a feeling I was forgetting something.

And again, they're not saying "don't celebrate", they're saying "don't go overboard when you celebrate". The Olympics aren't just your typical sporting event, there's a certain amount of dignity and gravity associated with it that makes NFL-style endzone celebrations inappropriate.



Kansas-born and deeply ashamed
The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Incidentally, the USOC Reversed Themselves this week.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2004
Statement From United States Olympic Committee
Chief Executive Jim Scherr Regarding U.S. Athletes
Celebrating with the American Flag
at the Athens Olympic And Paralympic Games


"The United States Olympic Committee wants to make it absolutely clear that we have not -- and will not -- instruct our athletes to refrain from waving the United States flag during the upcoming Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games. Any suggestions or statements to the contrary do not reflect the official position of our organization.

Athletes will be free, as always, to celebrate their performances in an exuberant, respectful way during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will remind our athletes that they are guests of the Olympic movement, Greece, and the city of Athens and to be good ambassadors of our country, their communities, families and sports. We want our athletes to be champions who conduct themselves with class and, if it is the case, to lose with grace and dignity. Additionally, we are reminding them to treat the United States flag with the respect it deserves.

One of the proudest moments of my life was to put on my USA warm-up and represent my country at the 1988 Olympic Games. I know our athletes feel the same way today and we will not in any way infringe upon that honor.

Accomplishments of athletes and teams such as the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team, the great Billy Mills, swimming legend Janet Evans and countless others have inspired our nation. We are certain that the athletes who represent the United States at the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games will do the same."




Farley and Belushi are taken away in their prime yet Moore's heart continues to pump bacon grease in and out. God has a brutal sense of humor sometimes.- Barbwire Mike
JoshMann
Andouille








Since: 17.11.03
From: Tallahassee, FL

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.84
Is it me, or are there about 15 examples I'd place above Janet Evans?

i.e. Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Carl Lewis, Jeff Blatnick, Bob Beamon, Ray Leonard, Mark Spitz...and i'm just working off the top of my head here.



I expect you fans, you people here in LA to do what you do best. RIOT!
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.07
    Originally posted by Blanket Jackson
    Is it me, or are there about 15 examples I'd place above Janet Evans?

    i.e. Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Carl Lewis, Jeff Blatnick, Bob Beamon, Ray Leonard, Mark Spitz...and i'm just working off the top of my head here.
Of that list, Janet Evans happens to be the one that competed in the SAME Olympiad as Scherr, however.



CRZ
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The biggest difference is that the US is not violating a treaty by possesing nukes. Possibly it is bending agreements but not a treaty. Or to put it this way. The US didn't invade a small rich neighbor.
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