Tag Archives: Olympics

Tim Egan has a funny definition of “winning”

I like Tim Egan a lot. So much so that when I had to write an essay about my favorite journalist (in order to enroll in a law school writing class), I chose him like some kind of pikachu. But something in his latest column for the New York Times left me scratching my head.

The central conceit of his column — titled “We’re winning!” — is that, well, we’re winning. “We”, in this instance, being America. “Winning,” in this instance . . . well, that’s what I wanted to talk about.

Continue reading Tim Egan has a funny definition of “winning”

Why isn’t this Olympic gold-worthy tweet going viral?

This morning, Olympic spectators were treated to the sort of heart-warming interaction that encapsulates why so many people enjoy watching sports, and especially international competitions. As the New York headline described it, “Tripped-Up Olympic Runners Finish Race Together in Apparent Attempt to Make Me Weep Uncontrollably at My Desk“. In case that doesn’t paint you enough of a picture, here’s what that looked like in the form of a moving one:

Continue reading Why isn’t this Olympic gold-worthy tweet going viral?

John Oliver, meet Amelia Bedelia

In the course of last night’s discussion of why the International Olympic Committee is having so much trouble finding a city willing to host the 2022 Winter games, John Oliver noted that perhaps the organization’s extravagant demands had something to do with the lack of interest on the part of formerly-interested countries like Norway.

For example, the IOC requires that host countries stock their hotel rooms with seasonal fruits and pastries. “Incidentally,” Oliver continued, “what the fuck [this is HBO] is a seasonal pastry in Oslo in February? I’m guessing it’s something like herring with vanilla frosting.”

Continue reading John Oliver, meet Amelia Bedelia

The New York Times left its World Cup analysis incomplete; I completed it

Right before the World Cup, the New York Times devoted an entire issue of its weekly New York Times Magazine to the upcoming international soccer tournament.

Americans love to make facile comparisons, especially when they talk about sports, so in one of its heroic efforts to make soccer more understandable/relatable, the Times tried to equate players who would appear in the World Cup to their American “counterparts”:

Continue reading The New York Times left its World Cup analysis incomplete; I completed it

Denmark went on a giraffe-killing spree during the Olympics. What was it thinking?

[Editor’s note: I originally pounded out a post based on roughly the same set of facts back when they appeared in actual headlines. That post got a lot of views, but suffered from the fact that it didn’t make a lot of sense. I decided to take advantage of a brief airport layover to reformulate what I had written into something more sensible. You can still check out the original post, in case you want to compare for some reason.]

Denmark has had a pretty quiet showing at the Olympic games in Sochi, amassing precisely zero medals thus far. Maybe that’s because it’s been busy taking care of some business back at home.

Giving lie to the aphorism that any publicity is good publicity, the country managed to make headlines in the world of sports for the sharpshooting talents of the Copenhagen Zookeepers:

A Danish zoo sparked outrage Sunday when it put down a healthy young giraffe . . . The fate of 18-month-old Marius shocked animal lovers around the world, with thousands signing an online petition to save him and a billionaire offering to buy him and keep him in his Beverly Hills garden.

However last-ditch efforts to spare Marius were to no avail . . . A crowd of visitors, including small children, looked on as the giraffe was put down. Some grimaced while others took photos as he was autopsied and chopped up.

In case that wasn’t enough, news soon leaked that another Danish zoo was planning to kill a second young giraffe by the name of — you guessed it — Marius. Real creative, these Danes.*

Continue reading Denmark went on a giraffe-killing spree during the Olympics. What was it thinking?

You won’t believe what one Danish ice skater wore to his Olympic performance

[Editor’s note: I originally pounded out this post in a huge rush. It got a lot of views, but suffered from the fact that it didn’t make a lot of sense. I decided to take advantage of a brief airport layover to reformulate what I had written into something more sensible. You can check out the replacement post, in case you want to compare for some reason.]

Denmark has had a pretty quiet showing at the Olympic games in Sochi, amassing precisely zero medals thus far.

Meanwhile, giving lie to the aphorism that any publicity is good publicity, the country has managed to make headlines in the world of sports for the sharpshooting talents of the Copenhagen Zookeepers:

A Danish zoo sparked outrage Sunday when it put down a healthy young giraffe . . . The fate of 18-month-old Marius shocked animal lovers around the world, with thousands signing an online petition to save him and a billionaire offering to buy him and keep him in his Beverly Hills garden.

However last-ditch efforts to spare Marius were to no avail . . . A crowd of visitors, including small children, looked on as the giraffe was put down. Some grimaced while others took photos as he was autopsied and chopped up.

Apparently no one told Denmark that shooting giraffe is a competition traditionally held during the Summer Olympics. (Unsurprisingly, Kazakhstan dominates.)

But Denmark wasn’t done. In an event that has yet to air in the United States, the country sent one of its skaters out onto the ice looking like this:

Continue reading You won’t believe what one Danish ice skater wore to his Olympic performance

Stephen Colbert comes out of the closet, basically

During last night’s Colbert Report, Colbert Reported on plans to boycott the 2014 Olympics because of host country Russia’s harsh treatment of homosexuals.

In the course of his segment, Colbert belittled one athlete’s attempt to protest by wearing a rainbow pin in Sochi as follows:

Continue reading Stephen Colbert comes out of the closet, basically

Something good came out of that Olympic moment of silence controversy

I was recently talking to someone about this blog, and he said one thing that stuck with me – something like but not necessarily, “It’s hard to believe you write the blog. You seem like such a nice guy in real life, but online, you’re such a critic.” And I get it: it’s easier to tear things down than build them up, and — since I often choose the former route — it’s possible I don’t always come off as the nicest guy online.

But though that may be the rule, every rule has its exception (except Godwin’s), and in this post I mean to draw your attention to an instance in which Paper Treiger served to unite rather than destroy.

You may recall when, in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a brief controversy erupted over whether the IOC ought to hold a moment of silence in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics, which saw 11 members of the Israeli delegation killed by the Palestinian terrorist organization Black September.

The controversy created a minor debate in the Jewish blogosphere. Some, like Deborah E. Lipstadt, forcefully argued that the IOC was wrong to deny this request. After all, London was permitted to honor the victims of the 7/7 subway victims, an event which had absolutely nothing to do with the Olympics (save its location), while the tragedy in Munich had occurred inside the Olympic village. Others, like noted pro-Palestinian activist and sometimes terrorist sympathizer Elisheva N. Goldberg responded that the IOC ought not to hold the moment of silence at the opening ceremony because the IOC President held a separate commemorative ceremony elsewhen.

Meanwhile on Paper Treiger, I thought that the two sides were arguing for absolutely no purpose. Whether or not the IOC decided to hold a moment of silence was irrelevant, because such a commemoration could never be enforced in practice. I’m not going to rehash the post’s entire argument – if you want to see how I imagined the moment of silence would play out, see What would happen if the IOC actually held a moment of silence for the 1972 Munich Massacre? – but I do want to draw your attention to the effect it had: it brought the two warring factions into agreement.

And I only just learned this fact.

I recently searched Twitter for “Paper Treiger” – you know, a blog vanity search. It was the first time I had ever done this, so I found myself scrolling back pretty far in time. And when I got to July 2012, I came upon something amazing:

Continue reading Something good came out of that Olympic moment of silence controversy

Wrestling knocked out of the Olympics – where to go from here

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the International Olympic Committee voted the other day to drop Wrestling from the 2020 games. The reactions I’ve encountered have been universally condemnatory.

Here’s one sample Facebook status (I chose this one in particular both because it’s amusing and because I suspect the person who posted it is likely to come across this post) that I think is pretty representative:

Continue reading Wrestling knocked out of the Olympics – where to go from here