High Points and Low Points of the '92 summer Olympic Games

High Points and Low Points of the '92 summer Olympic Games

Post by Rich Kulawi » Fri, 14 Aug 1992 01:32:26


Here's some semi-cynical semi-humorous semi-commentary that I've
hashed out over the past few days.

Copyright Rich Kulawiec, 1992.

High Point:

NBC's piece on the Black September attack on Israeli athletes at
the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Low Point:

The boxing scoring system which requires the judges to respond
with video-game-grade reflexes in order to score a match.  The USA's
Eric Griffin was the most notable victim, but he was by no means
the only one.  I would *really* like to see a time-correlated
reconstruction of the judges' button-presses matched up with
a videotape of the fight: but I doubt that this will ever become public
because of the incredible embarrassment it would surely cause.

High Point:

The lighting of the Olympic flame by flaming arrow.  And I don't care
if they faked it.

Low Point:

The introduction of politically-correct-but-aesthetically-bankrupt mascot
for the '96 Atlanta games.  Is it just me, or does this thing look
like Muddy Mudskipper from the Ren & Stimpy Show?

High Point:

Australian cyclist Kathryn Watt winning the women's individual road race,
much to the shock of many of those covering it, especially NBC who
had no "Up Close and Personal" piece on her.

Low Point:

The father of U.S. swimmer Ron Karnaugh dying of a heart attack
during the Olympic opening ceremonies.

High Point:

Ron Karnaugh continuing with the competition.

High point:

Oxana Tchoussovitina (EUN), Kim Zmeskal (USA), Shannon Miller (USA),
Svetlana Boguinskaia (EUN), Cristina Bontas (Romania), Lavinia
Milosovici (Romania), Tatiana Lyssenko (EUN), Betty Okino (USA),
Gina Gogean (Romania), Henrietta Onodi (Hungary), Tatiana Goutsou (EUN) and
numerous other gymnasts all exhibiting much more grace under pressure
than some of their coaches and nearly all of the media.

Low Point:

The fiasco during and following the USA-Japan volleyball match.

High Point:

Kevin Young (USA) breaking Edwin Moses' record in the 400 M hurdles
to win the gold.

High point:

China's Fu Mingxia and Gao Min winning gold medals in diving with nearly
error-free performances.

Low Point:

Gymnasts Zhang Xia (China), Lu Li (China) and Daniela Bartova (Czechoslovakia)
being penalized one-tenth of a point for immodesty.  For crying out loud,
they're *little girls*!  Who the hell makes these rules?

High Point:

Magic Johnson (Jekyll)

Low Point:

Charles Barkley (Hyde)

High Point:

Dave Johnson winning the bronze in the Decathalon with a stress fracture
in his left foot.

Low Point:

The fight at the end of the Italy-Spain water polo match.

High Point:

32-year-old Linford Christie of Britain winning the gold medal in the
men's 100-meter dash.

Low Point:

The inclusion of sports dominated by professionals, e.g. tennis.
Sheesh, they've got dozens of places to place every year, do they
*really need* to play in the Olympics?

High Point:

Gail Devers (USA) winning the women's 100-meter dash in 10.82 after
fighting back from Graves Disease.

Low Point:

Weightlifter Ibragim Samadov (EUN) hurling his bronze medal to
the ground during the awards ceremony.

High Point:

Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA) winning the heptathlon.  Again.

High Point:

Vitali Chtcherbo (EUN) winning six gold medals in men's gymnastics.
I'm no gymnastics fan, but this guy is awesome.

Low Point:

World-record-holder Sergei Bubka (EUN) failing to clear his opening
height in the pole vault.

High Point:

Scott Strasbaugh and Joe Jacobi winning the C-2 whitewater slalom event
to give the USA its first gold medal in whitewater.

Low Point:

Jon Lugbill (USA) and Davy Hearn (USA) finishing out of the medals
in C-1 whitewater slalom.

High Point:

Jon Lugbill (USA) and Davy Hearn (USA) finishing out of the medals
in C-1 whitewater slalom.

Why both a low and high point?  Because every single paddler racing
a C-1 at the Olympics was using techniques that Lugbill and Hearn
invented and perfected over the last decade, while they were busy
winning all the world championships.  They have revolutionized
their sport as much as Fosbury revolutionized the high jump.
The performance of every paddler out there was high tribute
to their innovations.

High Point:

The Dream Team making a point by destroying the opposition.
Italy, Brazil, USSR/Unified Team and other countries have been sending
professional players to compete against American college athletes for
some time; it's about time they got a dose of their own medicine.
Now...shall we all agree to amateur basketball in the '96 games,
or should we send the NBA to rip it up again?

Low Point:

The ejection or absence of several athletes from several countries for
the use of banned substances.

High Point:

Canadian rower Silken Laumann coming back from severe injuries to
win a Bronze medal.  (And coming from me, that's saying a lot:
I think all fla***er boaters, especially rowers, are weenies -- but
I'll make an exception for her.  I still can't figure out how they managed
to have an accident rowing in straight lines on flat water, though.)

Low Point:

NBC's heavy load of commercials, fluff pieces, biased anti-everyone-but-
the-American-athletes-attitude, and supremely silly interviewers.
They've managed to take the single easiest sports event in the world
cover -- point a camera at it, turn on a microphone, and let it all
happen -- and turn it into an overhyped soap-opera circus.
Where have you gone, Jim McKay, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you?

High Point:

Trent Dimas (USA) winning the gold on the horizontal bar in an upset,
and then remaining so incredibly modest about it that he had to
watch the videotape before he realized what he'd done.

Low Point:

The Triplecast, which will hopefully slink back into the dark
recesses of whatever network executive's slimy brain it emerged from.

High Point:

German paddlers Stefan Scholz and Cerstin Petersman getting
married at the whitewater slalom course.

Low Point:

Khalid Skah and Hammou Boutayeb of Morocco cheating Kenya's Richard
Chelimo out of a gold medal in the 10,000 meters.   It's nearly
unbelievable that Skah was given the gold; I feel that he and Boutayeb
should have been disqualified, and that Boutayeb should have been
expelled from the games.

High Point:

Britain's Christopher Boardman winning the gold with "The Dream Bike".

High Point:

Israel's Yael Arad winning the silver medal in women's judo, 61-kg class,
and dedicating it to the memory of those killed at Munich.

High Point:

Gail Devers crawling to the finish line in 110 M hurdles, finishing
fifth in a race she would have clearly won had she not hit the last hurdle.

High Point:

Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia and Elana Meyer of South Africa circling the
track together after finishing 1-2 in the women's 10,000 meter race.
In your face, apartheid supporters!

High Point:

Algerian Hassiba Boulmerka winning the woman's 1500 M race.  This great
athlete has had to contend with idiotic fundamentalists (Hmmm...I s'pose
that's redundant) back home who are upset that she exposes her legs
by wearing shorts when running.

Low Point:

The coach of the EUN women's basketball team wondering aloud why the USA
hadn't appointed a male coach for their women's basketball team.

High Point:

The Lithuanian basketball team's warm-up gear, brought to you
by the Grateful Dead.

High Point:

Great Britain's Derek Redmond enduring incredible pain in an attempt
to hobble to the finish of the 400 M semifinal; the sight of his father
coming down out of the stands to assist him was moving beyond words.

Low Point:

The noninclusion of some Olympic sports I'd like to see:

        Mine Field Hockey
        Full-Contact Badminton
        Whitewater Polo
        Tropical Storm Yachting
        Shallow-Pool High-Diving
        Armand Hammer Throw
        Synchronized Drowning
        Equestrian Pole Vault
        Burning Floor Exercise
        400 M Invisible Hurdles

High Point:

Despite the increasing commercialization, professionalization, and
politicalization of the Olympic games, thousands of athletes
from all over the world still seem to discover the true meaning
of the Olympic spirit: peaceful athletic competition among the
peoples of the world, honor in performing to one's potential,
glory in victory, and dignity in defeat.

 
 
 

High Points and Low Points of the '92 summer Olympic Games

Post by Liz Bradl » Tue, 18 Aug 1992 02:48:57

   Canadian rower Silken Laumann coming back from severe injuries to
   win a Bronze medal.  (And coming from me, that's saying a lot:
   I think all fla***er boaters, especially rowers, are weenies -- but
   I'll make an exception for her.  I still can't figure out how they managed
   to have an accident rowing in straight lines on flat water, though.)

Weenies?  And how do you measure weenie-ness?  The highest ***
lactate levels ever measured have come from rowers.  I think XC skiers
are a close second (Ron?  Kai?  Correct me if I'm wrong.)

The ignorance about the sport implied by your last comment (not
knowing that rowers face *backwards*, which makes accidents common
when people are lax about lanes and directions) offers some
explanation for your lack of respect.  Ironic, but common, for people
to have such strong negative opinions about things they know little
about.

Liz Bradley
MIT AI Lab

 
 
 

High Points and Low Points of the '92 summer Olympic Games

Post by Rod Swi » Tue, 18 Aug 1992 17:37:32

Quote:

> Here's some semi-cynical semi-humorous semi-commentary that I've
> hashed out over the past few days.

> Copyright Rich Kulawiec, 1992.

You forgot one of the worst low points outside of the USA v JPN Volleyball
match.

That is the punch up poolside at the Water polo Final.

But a high point was it going into 3 overtime periods.

Juan and the King & Queen liked that one!

Rod
--
              ****
              ****        **             *******     *******     *******
    ****      ****       ***            *       *   *       *   *       *
    ******             ****            *         * *         * *         *
      ********************             *       *******     *******       *
        *****************               *     * *   * *   * *   * *     *
          ************                   *******     *******     *******
                                             *         * *         *
  **********************                      *       *   *       *
 ***************************                   *******     *******
                       *******

    The Games of the XXVth Olympiad --- Barcelona --- Friends for Life