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Most Interesting Untold Stories Of Beijing Olympics That Need Coverage – NOW

14 August 2008 9 Comments

I love the Olympics. The manliness quotient is there and I get my fill every time I see another feel-good story about Mr. Phelps, his Mom, and his 24,549,584th new world record.

But what about stories that don’t make the headlines here in the US? There are amazing things happening over there we men aren’t even aware – but should be.

Here are 5 stories I found that need our attention. They aren’t as sexy (at least not all of them – see the Brazilian twins) as Phelps becoming the new Spitz; or the “Redeem Team” beating the piss out of anyone holding a basketball. However, they do deserve to be mentioned here.

The Elbow Incident (BEWARE: graphic photos)

It finally happened. I was worried about this for awhile, but can now see the carnage before me. The Hungarian weightlifter, Janos Baranyai, was trying to snatch 148kg in his third lift in the men’s 77kg division, when his elbow popped out of its socket. No longer able to support the weight of the barbell, his right forearm bent backward. The 24-year-old Hungarian fell to the floor in shock, shaking and crying out in pain.

These guys are freaks with how much weight they can lift and it was only a matter of time when the physics of the human body decided to say “nah, I don’t think so.” I get squeamish every time I look at these photos.  It almost doesn’t look real.

100,000 Condom Coalition

Olympic organizers in Beijing were playing it safe this year – literally. They handed out over 100,000 condoms to athletes in the Olympic Village. Organizers said athletes ran out in Sydney in 2000. In Athens, they doubled the amount and this year increased it again. They originally wanted 250,000, but protesters forced them to scale back this amount.  (This is a classic photo of LeBron just “hanging out”.)

Since there are just over 2,600 athletes in this year’s Olympics, that would mean just under 40 condoms per athlete for the 3 week event. Assuming guys like Phelps and the Redeem Team would need way more than this, and others wouldn’t need any at all (i.e. US Women’s Basketball Team), then they have a sufficient supply by my calculations.

Spanish Basketball Team

The Spaniards, who are serious threat for a medal at Beijing, decided to have a little fun pre-Olympics with this photo shoot. They are standing over a picture of Chinese dragon and holding their eyes to make a “slant-eyed” gesture. No one involved in the shoot or in Spain for that matter, feel there is any inappropriateness with its intent.

What the hell are the Spaniards thinking? This is not only inappropriate, it’s bad for business. The Spanish Olympic committee is doing everything they can to land the 2016 or 2020 Summer Olympics and they allow this to happen. Even if THEY feel there is nothing wrong in flipping off an entire country (heck, race for that matter) they might try to restrain themselves long enough to compete for the Games. Instead, the historical race insensitivity the Spaniards have towards pretty much everyone has ruled the day.

Steroid Era Of Swimming

I just heard this comparison on another site. What is happening in today’s sport of swimming is similar to what happened during the steroid era of professional baseball. Just look at all the world records being broken. Nearly every race has a new world record with different swimmers doing the feat.

I am all for better equipment helping and enhancing the game, but when it fundamentally changes the outcome of the entire sport, then maybe we should reconsider. The new suits pretty much all the swimmers are wearing are making swimmers of old look ridiculously slow. Every time I see a swimmer not wearing the full body suit (like Phelps) I can feel comfortable with the outcome. But when the top 4 finishers in a race (all wearing full body suits) all break the old world record, I can’t help but think back to Sosa, McGuire, Bonds and a few others ALL shattering the previously unreachable 61 homers. Something just doesn’t seem right.

Brazilian Travesty

Bia and Branca Feres, the Brazilian synchronized swimming twins, did not make the Olympics this year. They are 20 years old and their window is closing to be on the world’s biggest stage. This is a travesty of epic proportions.

I mean, if Michelle Wie can scam multiple exemptions to play in a men’s professional golf tournament, and these incredible swimmers/divers/whatever could not find an exemption somewhere, what is this world coming to? We have all been let down by this obvious mistake by the Olympic Rules Committee.

If you know of any other Olympic stories that need more attention, let us know so we can track them down and find out what is happening!


  • Mike Bates said:

    Skipped right past those elbow pictures, bro. I don’t mind cuts or scrapes or whatever. I’ve torn my ACL twice. But I just cannot watch dislocations and fractures. If that makes me less of a man, so be it.

    The Spain picture is ridiculous. And I can’t understand how they could not see that as offensive. I mean, sure political correctness can get out of control, but you’re essentially making fun of the way billions of people look. I mean, what if I made myself up to look like soft-bodied Eurotrash? Wouldn’t they be offended?


  • Mike Bates said:

    By the way, I’m holding my own Olympics next year and would like to invite the Feres twins to compete. I don’t have a pool, per se, but I do have a jacuzzi tub that they should fit in.

  • Hayden Tompkins said:

    Oh, God, the ELBOW.

    Hayden Tompkinss last blog post..What Does Your Elementary Report Card Say About You?

  • Kevin (author) said:

    @Mike – sorry bout the ACL. I am twinging right now. Spaniards are a bunch of idiots. If someone from Spain doesn’t like that comment, I apologize and maybe they will then apologize for this photo. If the American team did this, I would dedicate an entire week of digital ink bashing them.

    Seriously, the twins needed to be there this year. “Don’t have a pool per se”…classic.

  • Joe said:

    Regarding the Spanish basketball team…. Maybe we should all be a little less sensitive. When we operate under the assumption that any imitation is equivalent to mockery, we’ll always have plenty of reasons to be offended. I heard the team was asked to do this by the photographer. It’s something I would be very hesitant to do, but I don’t see why it has to be a huge deal. If an alien species landed here on Earth, and began trying to imitate our appearance and mannerisms, would that be offensive? I know that’s a very contrived analogy, but my point is to ask, “Why can’t we just read things at face value more often?”

    Regarding the new swimsuits…. For men, I don’t see the huge difference between wearing the lower half versus the whole thing. The way I understand these things to work, they squeeze certain parts of your body to make you more streamlined in the water. Thighs, buttocks, and breasts. That’s why I don’t see the difference between the half- and full-suits for men. What is the upper half going to streamline?

  • Kevin (author) said:


    Thanks for the comments.

    I am a huge fan of being less sensitive and I agree with you. But if you don’t know the backstory like what you just mentioned, it is VERY easy to get offended – especially if you are Asian. Not to mention, the country is in the running for a future Olympics – bad karma…

    Swimsuits – not an expert, but love to watch. The experts say it helps a lot (which is why everyone is wearing them, of course). As a fan, I loved watching every other ball go over the fence during the steroid era as much I love watching every single race fall to a new record. If I’m Spitz, though, I’m probably saying to myself…man, come on…I even did mine with the classic 70’s porno mustache…

  • Mike Bates said:

    With respect, Joe, when have you ever seen anyone make “slant eyes” gestures without making fun of Asians? And it’s not like they imitated a group’s style of dress or the way they walk. They pulled on the side of their eyes so they’d superficially appear Chinese. Personally, if an alien species landed and was all “hey, look at me, I’m a pasty white guy” and did whatever we pasty white guys do just for the hell of it, I’d probably feel like that alien bastard was having a go at me and want to throw down (until he pulled out his lazer).

    And it’s the same reason why you and I (I’m assuming you’re white, Joe) can’t drop the N-bomb and get away with it. Even if you don’t mean anything offensive by what you say, your words actions don’t exist in a vacuum. They have a whole history, in some cases a history of 9 year olds singing “Me Chinese, me play joke…” I mean, these things have a meaning that is specific to a time an place. And so, while we can’t call Al Jolson a rascist for performing in blackface (it was culturally acceptable and encouraged for Jazz performers), we’d be outraged when and if Miley Cyrus were to do it.

    It’s not that I’m terribly politically correct. But it’s ludicrous to suggest that your words and actions shouldn’t have consequences, or that whoever is listening to you should be on your exact wavelength so that they know exactly what you’re saying at all times. It’s not the listener’s fault if what you were saying isn’t clear to them.

    Look, I respect Spain’s right to do something that makes them look like immature, obnoxious, Eurotrash d-bags. But they can’t complain, then, when I call them immature, obnoxious, Eurotrash d-bags. And somebody on that team needed to step up and say, “Hey guys, um, we’re going to be hanging out with a BILLION of these people in a few weeks. Maybe it’s a bad idea to make fun of the way they look.”

    I apologize for the essay here, Kevin. I’ll try not to let it happen again.

  • Kevin (author) said:

    @Mike – couldn’t have said it better. Long comments are welcome as much as the short ones.

    Interesting discussion around the N word. At first, when that covered the news a few weeks ago, I was offended by black people using the word and saying I couldn’t use it (I am white). Then, I asked a few Polish folks (including my wife) about Polish jokes and if there were a difference in Polish people making fun of themselves vs others making fun of them.

    She was very clear this was a sensitive issue. I asked a Mormon the same question and he said the same thing. It was educational to me and I learned some valuable things about ragging on other folks’ race/ethnicity – don’t do it. That is my own advice for me, though.

    To each their own, but like you said, no one should get offended by me calling them out on it.

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