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Author Topic: Cheating in the Olympics
scifibum
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It looks like China is fielding underage gymnasts. Athletes are regularly caught doping (and I believe for every one caught, five have better medical consultants. Phelps and Bolt are not unaltered humans). In more than one Olympics the officiating has been corrupt.

What exactly is the spirit of the Olympic games, and is there anything left of it?

There's definitely a lot of money in this for a lot of different people, so it keeps going strong.

But as far as I can tell, the participants don't buy the ideas of fair competition. They just want to win: the athletes for personal gain, and the countries for bragging rights.

These problems aren't unique to the Olympics, either. Collegiate and professional sports are also plagued with doping, cheating, and corruption.

If we aren't going to insist on ethical sports, let's just be honest and say we want to watch people do impressive things, however they achieve them. Let's drop the pretense of good sportsmanship and good faith rules compliance.

We might as well, because however we insist on following the rules, it's clear that people try to get away with breaking them. Implementing more rigid controls to prevent this just makes a mockery of the whole affair. Background checks on officials? Visiting the home towns of athletes to confirm their ages? That kind of thing sours the whole affair. Let's just treat it like professional wrestling.

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Redskullvw
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If those Chinese gymnasts were 16 years of age, then China has serious problems in terms of the rate at which their "women" mature.
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flydye45
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Those girls did not forge their own passports. Either the newsreports were lies, or the passports were. There is sufficient reason to examine the issue.

We can't stop individuals from cheating. We try to catch them. For a NATION to cheat is something else.

I am engaging in full bore schadenfreude in that China welcomed all kinds of liberal journalists and expected them to not notice exactly how corrupt and controlling they are. After the Olympics, I expect a number of exposes.

If you are having a "coming out" party, it's good to look your best. It's more important to BEHAVE your best.

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cherrypoptart
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Maybe they need a new and edgy "Extreme Olympics" for all the people busted in the regular ones and all the people who couldn't even get into the Olympics, not because they can't do well, but because they are so altered that they'd never pass any of the tests. Xtreme Olympics. Everyone welcome. Even mutants.

I heard on the radio that 14 people were busted for faking their gender, whatever that involves (I probably don't want to know...). I wonder if they have some experienced people helping to bust these gender benders, like maybe the chicken sexers.

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Athelstan
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quote:
What exactly is the spirit of the Olympic games, and is there anything left of it?


Hasn’t it always been so? The 1908 Olympics were regarded as the first true Olympics, albeit without the Nazi Flame, as they started the bickering of Nationalistic Teams.

quote:
At the opening ceremony, the flags of China and Japan - with no athletes at the Games - were flown instead of those of Sweden and the United States.
The furious Swedes stormed out of the stadium, while the Americans launched the first of many official protests and refused, in turn, to dip their flag to the Royal Box.
The steep-sided cycling track provoked protests from the French and Canadians, while the wrestling refereeing led to further Swedish anger.
And the Americans lodged an average of one official protest a day, from the too-long running shorts to the ban on having coaches on the field.
Team manager James E Sullivan, an irascible Irish-American, became a hate figure in British newspapers, while US periodicals decried "unfair" and "snobbish" British refereeing. In 1908, as at all previous Games, the officials came from the host nation.
For one of Britain's gold medals - to test cricketer Johnny Douglas in the middleweight boxing division - was called on a split decision by the contest's ref, Douglas's own father. Perhaps the Americans had a point.

1908 Olympics

Mind you we Brits appear to be beating the Australians in the Gold Rush, at the moment, despite apparently not knowing where the soap is and only competing in sports you have to sit down in.

Quote from one Australian DJ Jono Coleman

If Team GB remains ahead of Australia come the end of the Olympics, there will be renewed enthusiasm for an Australian republic and they will take the Queen's head off the stamps.

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
The swimmer Jessica Hardy has left the United States Olympic swim team training camp in Northern California amid published reports that she tested positive for a banned substance.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Friday that Hardy, 21, had withdrawn from the team nearly a month after she tested positive for a low level of clenbuterol, a prohibited anabolic agent, at the Olympic trials.

"She accepts the fact that the testing was properly done and the results properly reported," her lawyer, Howard Jacobs, said in a statement released late Friday night.

I guess re-run kara lynn joyce is happy with her silver medal in the 4-100 relay ... ?

quote:
Olympic Briefs: U.S. team stripped of '00 medals IOC disqualifies the runners in aftermath of Pettigrew's doping

Sunday, Aug 03, 2008 - 12:07 AM


BEIJING - The International Olympic Committee stripped gold medals yesterday from the U.S. men's 1,600-meter relay team that competed at the 2000 Olympics in the aftermath of Antonio Pettigrew's admission that he was doping at the time.

The IOC executive board disqualified the entire team, the fourth gold and sixth overall medal stripped from that U.S. track contingent in the past eight months for doping.



[ August 23, 2008, 09:33 AM: Message edited by: TheSteelenGeneral ]

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Gaoics79
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Could some explain to me why fielding an underage competitor is cheating? Seriously, I understand that there are age restrictions in place for competition, but what is the actual performance edge being obtained in this case? Are 10 year olds better gymnasts than 16 years olds? I don't get it.
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Gaoics79
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Incidentally, I don't know about any of you guys, but my experience with Asian girls has been that half of them look significantly younger than their real age. I've met Chinese 20 year old women who could have passed for 13 year old girls.
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Everard
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"Could some explain to me why fielding an underage competitor is cheating? Seriously, I understand that there are age restrictions in place for competition, but what is the actual performance edge being obtained in this case? Are 10 year olds better gymnasts than 16 years olds? I don't get it."

Female Gymnasts are regularly kept on diets that keep them from maturing properly, as some of the changes from puberty affect build, balance, flexibility, center of mass, and the lines that a gymnast can make. The age restriction is in place to help ensure that a higher percentage of the competitors are actually into puberty.

There are advantages to be gained due to the bio-mechanics of having hips and breasts vs not, but the age restriction is also in part to help prevent abuse of the female gymnasts.

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Redskullvw
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In women's gymnastics, if you can get the basic skill set trained into an athelete early enough then you get a very big advantage.

Namely, the athelete so trained has the benefit of incredible bone flexibility as well as joint flexibility since the bones have not fully developed, nor have the joints completed the transition to the more restrctive adult archetectures.

Another advantage is women who have yet to hit puberty, don't have the issue of disproportionate arms and legs, hips expanding to change the way a gymnast can use some equipment especially pommel and ballance beam. And there is the blatantly obvious issue of breasts.

As a gymnast, when they appear, your career days are almost always numbered. Having a sudden influx of 15 lbs of extra tissue on your torso compromises all that training by rote they go through when they are young.

If you can steal a child from their parents at age three, implement a training regime that is normally only applied to girls who are 12-13 in the Western Democracies, Have the girls be as proficient at age 10 as their peers in the west are at age 14/15- then the advantage should be obvious.

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TheSteelenGeneral
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And relying on x-ray bone testing, reeking of Eugenics isn't gonna help either.
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-gymnasts23-2008aug23,0,6150137.story
These tests have been calibrated almost exclusively on whites, so ...
It has made it easier for the EU to kick out Africans, however. Africans seem older in comparison to whites, or such is the folklore.
Asians DO seem younger than whites, to me.

But, good question: why is it unfair to use 13 year olds? if that's unfair, how about shawn johnson? she's has these weight lifter legs above a really short torso! [Wink]

But seriously, how about a height limit?

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by Redskullvw:
In women's gymnastics, if you can get the basic skill set trained into an athelete early enough then you get a very big advantage.

And there is the blatantly obvious issue of breasts.

If you can steal a child from their parents at age three, implement a training regime that is normally only applied to girls who are 12-13 in the Western Democracies, Have the girls be as proficient at age 10 as their peers in the west are at age 14/15- then the advantage should be obvious.

Age? Khorkina was 22 when she won 3 golds
And if you think that American gymnasts aren't starting at the same age as Chinese, think again.

Breasts? The US no3 Carcone seems to be sporting a good cup B, as does the Chinese 20 year old Cheng Fue.

But your basic point seems to be that there's some Evil Chinese Communist Harsh Regime Plot that STEALS girls from their parents to WHIP (???) them into Robot Slave Gymnasts??? Or should that be KILLER Robot Slave Gymnasts???

Do you really think that Karoly, Nadia Comenecis trainer would advise US gymnastics to start training us girls several years later than the rest of the world?

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Jesse
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"The furious Swedes stormed out of the stadium, while the Americans launched the first of many official protests and refused, in turn, to dip their flag to the Royal Box. "

That's not the primary reason the American Flag was not dipped. Several members of our team were financial supporters of The Gaelic League, and members of The Irish American Athletic Club.

Our Team Captian, Martin Sherridan (Born in County Mayo) told Ralph Rose, the poor schlub carrying the flag, that if it dipped he'd be waking up in the hospital - and he told him that on the boat on the way over.

Now, Sherridan had five golds in shot put and discus, so I can understand how Rose might have been a bit intimidated.

I can see why the BBC might have glossed over some of the story [Smile]

Gymnastics -

STG is right. We still start girls in tumbling class at three. That's not the point.

There is no reason to push ten year olds AS hard to do dangerous routines if they won't be in the Olympics untill they're 16, instead of when they're 12. Fewer cracked 12 year old skulls.

Gymnists go on extreme training regimes and diets in the last two months leading up to international competition which are far more taxing than the ussual training program.

In the West, a kid has more personal authority when they are 14 than when they are 10. They've got more power to quit if they really don't want to continue.

[ August 23, 2008, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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Athelstan
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Jesse

In fairness to the BBC, and I’m sure you’d want to be, exactly your point about the Irish connections were made in the hour long dramatised documentary 1908 The First True Olympics shown a few weeks ago on the BBC.

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scifibum
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Jesse is making the most sense. Gymnastics is a dangerous sport and if you can't compete as early, then you don't work as hard to get into fighting shape as early either, so you're less likely to get injured at a very young age. (I imagine some injuries might even affect future growth.) It even encourages countries to safeguard the health of their most promising athletes - training them, but keeping them out of dangerous events until they are old enough to start shooting for the Olympics.
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RickyB
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"Incidentally, I don't know about any of you guys, but my experience with Asian girls has been that half of them look significantly younger than their real age. I've met Chinese 20 year old women who could have passed for 13 year old girls."

Absolutely. I once hit on a chinese woman only to be introduced (extremely nicely, during family lunch at the restaurant her family ran)to her teenage sons. [Big Grin] Still. They were listed as 14 a few months ago. Case rested.

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scifibum
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So the question is who bribed who to get the passports?

I work with a Chinese woman who is in her 40s but from more than 5 feet away would pass for late twenties. Of course this isn't uniquely a Chinese thing: look at Catherine Zeta-Jones (not yet 40 but showing absolute no signs of aging).

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Jesse
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Athelstan, that was a tongue in cheek remark.

I understand why they didn't go into all of that in a short article.

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RickyB
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"look at Catherine Zeta-Jones"

I do. Often. No results yet... [Razz]

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Jesse
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I once snubbed a Japanese woman who was hitting on me, thinking she was underage and not wanting to get mixed up with a 16 year old.

It turned out she was 29 and divorced with two kids...so it wasn't really a loss.

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flydye45
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"Having a sudden influx of 15 lbs of extra tissue on your torso"

(Sighs whistfully)

Except for anomalies like CZJ, would that it were...

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flydye45
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"So the question is who bribed who to get the passports?"

That is an extraordinarily generous interpretation. How exactly does a lowly official forge controlled paperwork, with the end result of embarrassing his home country?

How exactly does this lowly official somehow pull all news references from the web on the age of the gymnasts?

I know, he got transferred. It's a much more likely explanation then China forcing a 100,000 girls through gymnast boot camp until finding the best ones, then lying about their ages when they fell short in the age department. Because Communists have been so punctilious in the past, and China has been a gleaming beacon of honesty and transparency...

[ August 24, 2008, 12:55 AM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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seekingprometheus
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Well said, fly.

The "boot camp" bit might be a tad hyperbolic--but then again, it might just as likely be dead-on.

It's a shame that China is going to mar their opportunity to showcase their value to the global community with such a blatant violation of the spirit of the games.

I feel bad for the little girls. Their's was a phenomenal achievement, and it's a shame that the decisions of their government have cast such a heroic accomplishment into this unflattering limelight.

[ August 24, 2008, 01:25 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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seekingprometheus
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BTW, to my mind, the machinations of the chinese state only serve to make the accomplishment of these little girls more amazing to contemplate. I do hope that the western media will accentuate this distinction as it excoriates the cheating government.

The chinese people have heroes on their hands, and the western world would be wise to recognize this heroism for what it is--and to use its glow to shine light into some of the obscure corners of chinese socialism.

[ August 24, 2008, 01:39 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
and China has been a gleaming beacon of honesty and transparency...

Maybe not, but evs point is also ridiculous: that us authorities or usoc have been always on the up and up? At the very least they lied in 1968 to Tommie Smith and John Carlos when they told them the games would be about the brotherhood of man and coming together.
But more in general, the notion that only(?) the usa is squeaky clean, while others are not ... highly unlikely.

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
"Having a sudden influx of 15 lbs of extra tissue on your torso"

(Sighs whistfully)

Aha. [Wink]

[ August 24, 2008, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: TheSteelenGeneral ]

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
Gymnastics -
STG is right.

Always a shocker to read that here, unless i missed the sarcasm [Wink]
quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
1. There is no reason to push ten year olds AS hard to do dangerous routines if they won't be in the Olympics untill they're 16, instead of when they're 12. Fewer cracked 12 year old skulls.
2. In the West, a kid has more personal authority when they are 14 than when they are 10. They've got more power to quit if they really don't want to continue.

1. OTOH, gymnastics has a lot to do with fear of falling (together with nyctophobia and phonophobia the basic fears) and the younger you start training them, the better it is. Starting at 10 or 12 really seem the more dangerous option, since they are just too old, think to much, etc. reason about it. Shawn Johnson started at 3. You've got to make em believe they can do a salto mortale on the beam before they realize how dangerous it really is, and start pondering about the consequences. And I haven't heard of major occurences of paralyzed girls in gymnastics, so ... (barring a major conspiracy, of course ...)

2. personal authority is nice, unless you have to perform, thats the flipside. do you really think all those concert-pianists are always motivated? they're not. There's a danger of giving up too soon if you're not getting pushed. Of all westerners, americans should get that. to us, americans are so pressured by surroundings, family, church whatever, that they compete much harder than others.

Obviously, the Chinese don't 'whip' them into shape, they've struck a balance, and think it's a good one. The Americans have too, and i guess it's a different balance.

But the Chinese have just won the most golds with ALL nations competing, as opposed to 1980 and 1984.
The usa just hit their usual 36 golds mark. (it's kinda funny how often the usa has gotten exactly 36 golds postwar: 1964, 1988, 1992 2000 2004 and 2008.
5 times out of 13, not counting 80 and 84)

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Jesse
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Can you explain the relevance in this conversation of the total count of Gold metals a Nation won?
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flydye45
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No one is arguing that Americans don't cheat. I have never heard of the U.S. government trying to "game" the games, but I don't know everything that happens in the Olympics because I generally don't care. Not to say it NEVER happened, but either America is absolutely fantastic at covering up Olypic cheating or it happens pretty seldom.

However, we have seen many examples of Communist countries cheating over the years. Sportsmanship is not a Chinese virtue. Interesting anecdote: A European diplomat was watching some other Europeans playing tennis with a Chinese higher up. When asked what he thought of it, the Chinese man said it would be much more sensible to have some coolies undergo the gyrations and watch it.

Not particularly relevant except as a cultural indicator that the Olympics is a bit foreign to many cultures. The Chinese care because we care.

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Brian
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This isn't about cheating, but it is about the olympics:

What's the story with Brazil playing for Georgia in beach volleyball?

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Ron Lambert
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It has been said that Mike Phelps has an unusually fast metabolism, which gives him greater stamina than anyone else. We are supposed to believe that is natural. Maybe. But what would be so unfair then about another athlete using some kind of metabolic stimulant to make his metabolism and stamina equal to Phelps'?

Sooner or later we will have some athletes show up who have metal combat chassis endo-skeletons--a.k.a. terminators from the future.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
Sooner or later we will have some athletes show up who have metal combat chassis endo-skeletons--a.k.a. terminators from the future.
You let me know when that happens. I usually don't pay any attention to the olympics, but this would certainly get me to watch [Smile]
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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by flydye45:
No one is arguing that Americans don't cheat.

quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
[QB] At least our government doesn't lie on behalf of our athletes in order to help them break the rules of the games, unlike some nations I could mention...

Allow me to laugh out loud.

fly, this was on similar thread

http://www.ornery.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=012014;p=1#000001

[ August 25, 2008, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: TheSteelenGeneral ]

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Everard
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Allow me to introduce you to a subject called "reading comprehension."
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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
Allow me to introduce you to a subject called "reading comprehension."

Nitpicking.

PS
Oh wait, it's even worse. Ev, do you suggest that your govt doesn't consist of Americans? Amazing. NOW, who needs reading comprehension?


Eeeeeeehm Ev, about those butterfly ballots come November ....

[ August 25, 2008, 07:24 PM: Message edited by: TheSteelenGeneral ]

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian:
This isn't about cheating, but it is about the olympics:

What's the story with Brazil playing for Georgia in beach volleyball?

They were Brazilians who were given Georgian nationality. Given the current Georgian situation, I'd say they deserve this tiny joy.
Besides, the practice of giving foreigners passports to play for you is not at all new.

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Everard
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STG-
I suggested that the american GOVERNMENT doesn't cheat. This is made up of americans.

Flydye said no one is saying americans don't cheat.

You REALLY need to work on your reading comprehension. While trying to insult me, you failed to read and apply basic logic.

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
STG-
I suggested that the american GOVERNMENT doesn't cheat. This is made up of americans.

Flydye said no one is saying americans don't cheat.

You REALLY need to work on your reading comprehension. While trying to insult me, you failed to read and apply basic logic.

HA HA HA HA! [Wink] [Smile]

[ August 25, 2008, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: TheSteelenGeneral ]

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TheSteelenGeneral
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Okay, it took me some time but I've worked it out:
Ev means that when cheating americans take part in the american govt, they and it magically transform into some entity that doesn't cheat?
Dude, have it your way.

I've got to stop reading his posts, since warped logic could be infectious ... [Wink]

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Everard
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dude, your logic just SUCKS.
Try using a ven diagram. It might help you out here.

No one, including me, is saying americans don't cheat. They do. What HASN"T happened is our government lying on behalf of our athletes.

Again, you're a freaking idiot.

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