ode to olympic studs

with the olympics in full swing, i found it necessary to post on a standard list of american olympic heroes from the past. nothing too surprising here, and i'm sure you'll recognize most.

btw, opening ceremony: it was pretty bad ass, especially the beginning and the dancing/rolling around/painting shit. unfortunately, i got extremely bored for the next two hours during country intros, waiting to see dirk carry the german flag. so bored in fact, that after team china came into the stadium, i passed out, missing the actually lighting of the torch. props to albert for tivo'ing the rest for me. i hear the end was pretty sweet.

onto the list:

1. Jesse Owens - 1936 Olympics in Berlin
stuck it in hitler's face by not having blonde hair and blue eyes, but mostly for being black. it goes without saying that it would have been even more awesome if owens were jewish. this is also notable as the beginning of the end for whites in sports (except swimming and hockey of course).

nazi taps owens on the shoulder. "flugerhasterfaustenschiesterweinerschnitzel" = "dude, move. i can't see my furher."

2. Mark Spitz - 1972 Olympics in Munich
yeah yeah he won 7 golds while setting world records in all 7 events; whatever, i did that last weekend too. but as you may have guessed by my track record, the real story here is that righteous mustache. swimmers nowadays are pussies, shaving all body hairs for supposedly less drag (and that oh so soft skin), but mark spitz defiantly said no (or maybe there was no such thing as science in the 70's, whenever that was), and he was rewarded handsomely by the gods. michael phelps, take note.

a line popularized in the 70's after his timeless performance - "do you spitz or swallow?" and for mark spitz, and mark spitz only, those choices were both one and the same.

3. Tommie Smith and John Carlos - 1968 Olympics in Mexico City
if i were black, i would have a poster of this on my wall, to go along with MLK jr., malcolm x, and will smith. it takes balls the size of the moon to pull this kind of move, especially in front of all these white people. and i'm all about sticking it to The (White) Man. no words necessary, just shoes off, head down, and fist in the air. awesome.

a little history for ya'll: might seem like an awkward situation for silver medalist australian peter norman, but in fact he supported the actions of smith and carlos. note the round patches on each sprinter; it was a symbol for athletes who opposed apartheid in south africa (big ups to nelson mandela rofl), australia's 70-year old "white australia" policy, and racial injustice in general. did you ever wonder why smith and carlos are raising different hands? no lie: carlos left his gloves at the olympics village, and it was norman who suggested they just split smith's gloves. big shout out to peter norman, who's probably out riding kangaroos and shit down under.

that being said, i've always found it funny that sports, especially the olympics, could be used as a podium for political statements. i love sports, but cmon...it's sports. this is just supposed to be who is better at what sport. yeah, the world is watching, but unless you pull something off like in munich (which was not cool), you're just gonna cause a fuss, and then everyone will forget that it happened at all. i am not at all taking away from the significance of this act because it is an incredibly striking and inspiring image in civil rights history, but at the time, it was probably forgotten a few weeks after it occurred. did the president say, "oh shit look at those nigs on the podium with their fists up. better give them some rights." probably not. again, great statement, but unless they were active members of the black panthers, all they did was have blacks celebrate for about a week, and then realize they still didn't have any rights. this still applies today: conditions in tibet and sudan suck, and no matter what happens at the olympics, they will still suck until actual governments, not athletes, try to do something about it. feel free to prove me wrong. back to the list...

4. Michael Johnson - 1996 Olympics in Atlanta
first, i just want to know who decided, of all the cities in the US, that Atlanta was the best choice to hold a worldwide event that takes place only once every 4 years. anyway...
before there was bling, there was gold. and no one put this on display in a better way than dallas-native (hell yeah) michael johnson. if big chains wouldn't have slowed him down, he probably would have worn them (though to be fair, with the way he was running, it might not have even mattered). even more incredible is that johnson gave the finger to traditional running technique, choosing to run with his torso completely upright and with short, quick steps, as opposed to leaning forward and taking long strides (not to mention one of his feet is longer than the other). as young as i was, i was still in awe of his incredible speed and his "i'm so awesome i'm gonna look at the timer while making a world record" move.

umm...no real caption for this one.

who wants to take a trip to planet hollywood in dallas with me? i believe that's where his shoes are currently put on display. and then we can eat some extremely overpriced shitty food.

btw, michael johnson - mustache? check.

coincidence or trend? to answer that question, all i got to say is that things are looking up for the US men's basketball team...and curiously enough, the women's as well.

1 comment:

Justin said...

chinese taipei is such a shitty compromise for taiwan.