August 12, 2008, - 1:28 pm
Phelps v. Spitz–So What? Important American Olympian Remembered; A Reader’s Great Points About Team USA
By Debbie Schlussel
As I’ve already said a few times, I think the Olympic Games is a joke, and I’m mostly not paying attention. If Michael Phelps gets the 8 medals and sets the record, what will that do for you, me, or America? Not much. But it’ll do a heckuva lot for sales of that Speedo unitard swimsuit contraption. Didn’t Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Fonda, and Olivia Newton-John wear those in the ’80s? Remember, Mark Spitz was a true amateur in a tiny Speedo bikini with a hirsute body to slow him down. This guy, Phelps, is a well-paid, vitamin/electrolyte/magic protein-engorged professional encased in a second-skin cheater’s uniform.
That said, there two moments that are my favorites in Olympic history. The first is the win of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team against the Soviet Union in the semi-finals. Fortunately, I was around to see that, and it is well-depicted in the movie, “Miracle“.
The other moment–or set of moments–I was not around to see. In 1936, Black American athletes John Woodruff and Jesse Owens won gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, an incredible thumb in the face of Adolf Hitler. Though it is only half a thumb because Owens–who had already won several medals at the Nazi Games–and another runner replaced two Jewish athletes, Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman, on the 4×100 meter relay. They were benched because they were Jewish, and anti-Semites, like Average Brundage, ran the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Last week, a memorial was erected at Indianapolis’ Crown Hill Cemetery to honor Woodruff, the first Black American to win Olympic gold at Hitler’s Olympic Games. He won the 800-meter track event in a novel way: Finding himself trapped between runners in the 800 meters, he came to a full stop, switched lanes and passed all of his competition. He died, last year, at 92.
It’s unfortunate that Woodruff and Owens don’t get half the attention that the Olympians who did the Black Power salute got and continue to get.
They prevailed when prevailing was not about endorsements or NBC coverage. It was about standing tough against Nazis. Today, it is about appeasing Chi-Coms and Speedo and Nike and Palestinians and Iranians. Yesterday, Owens and Woodruff showed up our enemies. Today, we reach out to them under some fraudulent guise of Olympic “unity” and “spirit,” whatever that means.
Reader Kevin B. writes:
French teams: All white
Chinese teams: All Chinese
Japanese teams: All Japanese
Russian teams: All white
Iranian teams: All Persian
American teams: Black, Russian, Chinese, Indian, White, etc.
America, the great satan, the racist country who treats immigrants so horribly. THAT America.
And the silence is deafening from the Liberals in the media.
What a nice cover story it would make for the NY Times or the LA Times or even NBC to do about the inclusivity, tolerance and diversity which makes America great.
Don’t hold your breath. It doesn’t fit their “blame America first” liberal agenda.