DLANZ Media Sports Watch Scenes of Corruption and Hooliganism like a Movie
eg Rio Olympics plus UEFA Soccer Cup The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Views from the Disabled Couch I could have thought I was watching a JAMES BOND movie with all the lead up.
INTRODUCTION Views from the Disabled Couch
Speaking from the couch as a viewer of the PRIME TV coverage (No SKY here and had a crook tummy so couldn’t do much else), I could have thought I was watching a JAMES BOND movie with all the lead up. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly might have been the byline for this item, but for the fact that the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Rio de Janeiro has displaced thousands of Brazilians and not heeded either Indigenous or Environmental concerns relating to social equity and distribution post Olympics. The misdirection of shortchanging monies, allocated to the Paralympics and used to cover over-runs by the local organizing committee is as much embezzlement as what the Brazilian President Rousseff is being charged and impeached
I started writing this just prior to the Olympic Opening and after watching news items, on outlets like Aljazeera etc on the UEFA European Soccer Cup, (where I saw disabled people caught in the street violence), and concerns for our Paralympians and Olympic athletes / officials being exposed to the likes of the Zika Virus etc. The Games have long gone, bit concerns still remain. So this personal account is what was running through my head at the time and in hindsight “, and I hope you will enjoy the Show” (Sgt Peppers – Beatles)
THE GOOD Two Bodies …One Flame
If one is to look back at 2016 we can see how the original concepts of international sports meetings like UEFA Soccer in France and Rio de Janeiro (which are supposed to be of the spirit of goodwill in competition); was being marred by interference from influences driven more by political or commercial aims, rather than for the betterment of athletes and sport in general. The decision by the International Paralympic Committee IPC to blanket ban Russia regarding the serious allegations of systemic cover ups over doping, bears a light amidst this darkened world of subterfuge. Instead of being honored for listening to both athletes and officials who did not want Russia (unlike the able-bodied Olympics) their Paralympic Games were challenged to keep the spirit of sports alive. Before I go on, haere mai and welcome home to all athletes who, with or without medals (and disabilities), went out and did their best, making Aotearoa NZ proud watching you all on TV
OLYMPICS….Given all the dramas surrounding environments of: bad and unsafe sanitation, street robberies political unrest etc, it was seeing athletes like Nikki Hamblin NZ and Abbey D”Agostino USA, both stopping their race to help each other, after a collision that made it worthwhile. The elation on Eliza McCartney and Tom (the Builder) Walsh faces after winning medals is an inspiration to all our young ones. A special mention goes out to NZ’s own Andrea Hewitt Triathlon runner who before the Olympics tragically lost her partner and co-athlete. She finished a credible 7th and was a bit upset for not doing better, as she felt she was running for both her country and her late partner. You did well Andrea as seventh is no mean feat, to coin a phrase…Arohanui to you and your Whanau. .
Aside from the sport, it was good to see a team representing Refugees and from areas not normally able to compete at such an international level. Giving opportunities to disadvantaged should be a cornerstone of the Olympic Movement and long may this foundation continue. Also congratulations to Lisa Carrington – Canoeist for becoming 2016 Maori Sports Person of the Year…thoroughly deserved. This highlights what great role models kids of today can strive for. A few years ago the same award was given to Peter Martin - Captain of the NZ Paralympic Team
PARALYMPICS….Held a couple of weeks, after the Olympics, a lot of media attention focused on the good news to offset low turnout, was to drop the admission prices and offer them to the peoples of the Favela / Poor District. There were reports that many locals couldn’t attend Olympic events due to high prices, and this move seemed to be a success. It was awesome when watching the swimming, two locals won gold….along with their kids held high….standing proud in front of the crowd. This was the first time the Para Games was on public television and was just as exciting to watch.
It was awesome also to see a number of athletes of, or similar too my Impairment (Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita AMC). Back in the early teenage years (early70’s), of my life, many doctors had told me they had never met someone with my impairment. From, what I can remember, I’d only met 2 o3 guys (good men) and it wasn’t till the 1990’s did I meet a women of the same. Saw more of ‘our’ younger generations in these Games than before so I hope you can understand my sense of elation at seeing a new, and young generation for all our future’s future. Insofar as humor is concerned, my favorite is Liam Malone and his USA sidekick laughing at each other during a Heat Race…chur
THE BAD - From Russia with Love
Russia’s ‘bolshie’s’ attitude in Sport of Medals over Morals deserved a rebuke. This sanctioning of state agencies to support cheating, and trying to defend that stance by saying others do it too, is no excuse and if other countries are found to do the same, they too should fare the same. Back in France at the UEFA Soccer Cup, there had been a series of street and stadium clashes between supporters of England, Russian supporters which spilled out onto the streets involving locals. There had also been clashes between rival groups within the Croatian supporters. All involved injuries, arrests and if I remember rightly, one person died. All very shocking, yet it was Russian officials, like MP’s, who were reported as saying fighting was part of football culture, and ‘good on them’, to coin a phrase.
Being raised from the 1950-60’s, the old story of ‘we didn’t win the match, but won the fight’ was commonplace of those times, however not today and unlike governments of those respective supporters (England, Croatia), the media reports coming out of Russia in support of those actions of violence are both antiquated and barbaric Perhaps ‘poetic justice’ was served England losing to underdogs Iceland and Russia going down to Austria 3-0….’shaaame’ and embarrassments.
No surprises then that after revelations of doping and state agencies going out of their way to mask the drug taking, in the Sochi Winter Games and other Olympic events, the media was given the excuse that this was pandemic and Russian Paralympian athletes were pawns is understandable, given the regime they have to live under. Still no excuse and it were encouraging to see on Aljazeera News the attitude from the Paralympian athlete looking ahead to Tokyo 2020.
THE UGLY …Corruption in Sport….the Commercial side
It’s funny, but there is a lot to what the Russians are saying in defense of their systemic doping and that is, it’s pandemic. Not just with the performance enhancing drugs protection racket, but the franchising to large corporations of exclusive rights to food outlets at Olympic venues as like what was done in London 2012. I remember seeing local vendors denied access so franchises like McDonalds having ‘a free hand’ to sell there wares. I acknowledge the rave reviews of the food available, but as like was done at Rio; local vendors should have been given the opportunity to compete, and weren’t. .
Broadcasting rights or exclusive access was cited as a leading player when it came to allegations of bribes of officials including those who selected the Olympic venues. Claims like this go well before today, so the revelations are not startling yet add to a decline in the integrity of the Olympic Movement. , and its inspirational foundation, especially for the youth / Rangatahi of all nations in mobbing forward beyond a violent world Unlike Russia and other like minded Sovereigns of the past who directly meddle with how the sports movement is run within their country, the Western World led by The United States and Europe play a different game.
As the foundation of capitalism is centered on the key concepts of private enterprise, individualism and competition in a laissez faire / market led environment, its big business and individual self gain instead of nationalistic statehood which appears to drive the motive, not just in the Olympics. Cyclist Lance Armstrong, Athletes like Ben Johnson and Flo-Jo Joiner is only a small example of doping in sports, where companies profit. These profits are generated as taxable revenue, which is turn, goes to these Western governments…..sort of a silly cycle, where one ends up in their dirty laundry
SUMMARY…An Idealist Light amidst a Darkened Deficit Based World still Flickers
It was in the late 1800’s when the Modern Day Olympics was reintroduced at Athens, Greece. Historically these Games carried great weight among societies of the 20th Century. In Berlin 1936 Adolf Hitler tried to promote Nazi Germany as superior to the rest of the World, through the Olympic Games leading to catastrophic events around the Globe. Those sitting on Boards of Commerce or Executive Councils of Sovereigns would do well to remember it is their next generations and their environments that have to carry the can for this to happen again.
DISABLED LIBERATION AOTEAROA NZ
DLANZ Spirit of Wairore