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WEEKLY WHINE

No horses allowed

The Games of the Restricted Olympiad are now complete.

That’s right, China PR! You heard us!

Although China PR may excel more in putting on ceremonies than allowing people to have rights, when they do put on ceremonies, everybody has fun, except for the people whose rights were taken away. But for those of us whose rights haven’t been violated [yet], these Olympics were lots of fun. People won stuff, people lost stuff, people got mad at stuff, and people watched each other do stuff. And, just as you might expect, we here at GoobNet have reviewed all of the action and have determined which people really deserve awards. Hint: It’s not the people who were swifter, higher, or stronger.

Note: If you are one of the below honourees and you still haven’t received your official GoobNet gift package, you should not be surprised.

GOOBNET BEIJING 2008 REVIEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  • Deb Harratsch, GoobNet managing editor
  • Amber Lynn, junior contributor
  • Edvard van de Kamp, former dynamite eater
  • Rich Stencove, chair, GoobNet Special Projects Enhancement and Enforcement Division [SPEED]

Best Event

Gold medal match, men’s volleyball

Edvard says: It was a real shock to the system to hear of the attack at the start of the Olympics, when Todd Bachman was stabbed to death at Beijing’s Drum Tower. Bachman’s son in law, Hugh McCutcheon, is the head coach of the US men’s volleyball team. The team stepped up and won their first match, then another, then another. In all, the US won all eight matches, including the gold medal match against favourites Brazil.

Worst Event

Fourth day, taekwondo

Deb says: This was a long series of fuckups and embarrassments for the World Taekwondo Federation. First, China PR’s Chen Zhong defeated Great Britain’s Sarah Stevenson in their women’s ≥67kg quarterfinal match... or did she? The judges later decided that Stevenson’s head kick at the end of the second round should have counted after all and put Stevenson into the semifinals instead. Alexandros Nikolaidis of Greece also complained about the officiating in the men’s ≥80kg gold medal match. But the biggest disaster for taekwondo’s image was Cuba’s Angel Matos, who kicked referee Chakir Chelbat after being disqualified from his bronze medal match. Matos, and his coach Leudis Gonzalez, face a likely lifetime ban from taekwondo.

Silliest Event

Equestrian portion, men’s modern pentathlon

Rich says: Horse after horse crashed in the rain soaked course, including that of David Svoboda of the Czech Rep. Svoboda’s horse, Hunhun, failed to complete the course, and Svoboda, who had set a record in the shooting portion with 191 out of 200, ended up in 28th.

Jeff Agoos ¡Autogolazo! Award

Slobodan RAJKOVIC, men’s football, Serbia

Edvard says: Rajkovic, attempting to head a Côte d’Ivoire corner wide of the goal, ended up heading it into the goal. It wasn’t all that ¡autogolazo!tacular, but an ¡autogolazo! is an ¡autogolazo!.

Most Obsolete Sport

Modern pentathlon

Rich says: It may have been conceived as the test of the complete athlete, but today, the “modern” pentathlon is anything but. Firing a pistol, waving a foil, and pulling reins do not translate well to other athletic endeavours. The modern pentathlon has been supplanted by the triathlon in its role of demonstrating all-around athletic prowess. GoobNet is currently working on proposals to update the modern pentathlon to better reflect the skills required of today’s athletes – join us again in a couple of weeks.

Most Irrelevant Sport

Equestrian

Amber Lynn says: Nobody cared about the equestrian events at these Olympic games, because 1) nobody understands the dressage, 2) they were way the hell out in Hong Kong, and 3) a sport cannot be taken seriously if the competitors wear tophats.

Lapel Pin Award for the Most Irrelevant Story

Fake fireworks, opening ceremony

Deb says: The world media’s response to the news that the producers of the opening ceremony had inserted fake fireworks in a video introduction: “Oh noes teh whole thing iz sham!!!!!!!!”. Sane people’s response to the same news: “Who gives a shit?”.

Best Fuckup

Capsizing the canoe, canoe/kayak

Amber Lynn says: Here, we define a fuckup as a mental mistake that the individual cannot blame on anyone else. But if you must fuck up, the best way to fuck up is by turning your canoe over, as did Michel Felix and Sebastian Piersig of Germany. At least it’s a spectacle.

Worst Fuckup

Dropping the baton, track relays

Amber Lynn says: Note that for this category, fuckups that cause injury are not eligible; those are classed as disasters if they are unintentional, outrages if they are intentional. Though there are many types of fuckups that can befall Olympic athletes – shooting at the wrong target, turning the ball over in the final seconds, missing a gate, competing in the same event as Michael Phelps – the worst is dropping the baton in a relay. The baton pass is critical to success, even though the procedure is not directly related to the objective of the event: to find the fastest four person team. Shockingly, the US men and women both fucked up the 4×100m relay in the preliminary heat, and the Jamaican and British women fucked up in the final.

Most Unlikely Medallists

Men’s handball team, Iceland

Edvard says: Rank outsiders Iceland stormed to the final of the men’s handball tournament, and, despite losing to France, still earned Iceland’s first silver medal in 52 years. Iceland president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson says that he is considering awarding each player the highest honour in Iceland, the Order of the Falcon. But here at GoobNet, we’re awarding them a higher honour: We’re renaming this award the Icelandic Men’s Handball Award for the Most Unlikely Medallists.

Most Sportsmanlike Play

Pavle KOSTOV and Petar CUPAC, men’s 49er sailing, Croatia

Deb says: Just as the leaders, Denmark’s Jonas Warrer and Martin Ibsen, were to start the final race in the men’s 49er sailing event, their mast failed. But in a move that the late Jim McKay would have delighted in narrating, Kostov and Cupac rode to the rescue and allowed the Danish pair to use their skiff. Warrer and Ibsen barely made it to the start line in time in the skiff labelled CRO and finished in seventh place, just good enough to secure gold.

Least Sportsmanlike Play

Angel MATOS, men’s ≥80kg taekwondo, Cuba

Rich says: There really isn’t much more to say about him, other than that this is a long way from his gold medal performance in Sydney. The dishonourable mention goes to the Spanish and Italian men’s 49er sailing teams, who appealed Denmark’s race.

Arrested Development ‘Well, That Was a Freebie’ Award for the Most Appropriate Coincidence

World Taekwondo Federation

Deb says: Making it easy on comedians everywhere, taekwondo’s international governing body is called the World Taekwondo Federation, abbreviated WTF.

Grigori Perelman ‘No Prizes Please, We’re Disappointed at Your Ethical Standards’ Award

Ara ABRAHAMIAN, men’s 84kg Greco-Roman wrestling, Sweden

Edvard says: Abrahamian removed his bronze medal and left it on the mat after losing his semifinal against Andrea Minguzzi of Italy on a disputed penalty call. Abrahamian and the Swedish team later appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which upheld the substance of his protest that there was no mechanism in place for him to appeal the match result. On the whole, it was a very good attention grab.

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