Posts tagged “olympics

NBC’s Olympic coverage – or lack thereof

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) has broadcasted the Olympics 13 times since the games started being televised in 1936. Photo by: afagen / Flickr

If you’re old, like me, likely you recall how ABC Summer Olympics anchor – the late, great Jim McKay – provided the world with the most up-to-date information on the carnage that was the Munich massacre. McKay, who already had established himself as the Wide World of Sports staple, was a trustworthy, educated and informed reporter. In a sense, he was the Walter Cronkite of sports journalism.
So when Palestinian terrorists stormed the athletes’ village on that ill-fated July day in 1972, the world held its breath as McKay delivered the news – that 11 Israeli athletes and coaches had been murdered. Murdered – at the Olympics. The Games stopped for a day, to mark the passing of these poor victims. McKay, who would go on to cover 12 Olympiads, broadcast the news for 14 consecutive hours.
I was six years old at the time, still learning what the Olympics meant. My parents had a black and white, 19-inch TV. We didn’t have cable because we couldn’t afford it. Instead, we gathered around the set and watched anything and everything ABC would broadcast. It was an event I look back on as one that defined my passion for the Olympics – the same passion my wife Lisa and I have passed along to our three daughters. We watch rowing, archery and equestrian in the summer and curling in the winter.
But something about this year’s Olympics Games doesn’t seem right. It has nothing to do with London and everything to do with Bob Costas and NBC’s, dare I say, less than stellar performance in the first few days of their prime-time coverage of the  Games. In a nutshell, they have dropped the ball, taken a hop on the landing and died down the stretch.

100-meter run-off gives USA another athletic black eye

BY VIN CAPPIELLO, contributor

American sprinter Allyson Felix will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics after tying for third with Jeneba Tarmoh in a dead heat during a qualifying race. Photo by: Doha Stadium Plus Qatar / Flickr

Americans always have been the top sprinters in the world. Hence, a spot on the Olympic team is as a coveted as the last Twinkie on a camping trip.

So don’t act surprised that Jeneba Tarmoh’s walked away from a tie-breaker run-off. Instead, blame USA Track and Field and the US Olympic Committee for its ineptitude in not handling the 100-meter third-place tie, which ultimately resulted in Tarmoh bowing out to veteran Allyson Felix after the two finished in a dead heat for the final spot in the 100 at the recently competed Olympic trials.

Tarmoh and Felix had been given about a week to determine the solution, finally deciding on Sunday they would get together Monday night for a run-off – a woman vs. woman 100-meter dash to ascertain which talented sprinter would earn that third spot.

This never should have gotten to this point, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Tarmoh thumbed her nose at everyone, refusing to run and conceding the spot to Felix, who absolutely smoked the field in the 200-meter dash final, which included Tarmoh, who placed fifth. (more…)

David Stern proposes that Olympic team adopts 23 and under policy

BY GORDON ROBINSON, syndication 

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose would perhaps be the most exciting player on the USA Olympic men’s basketball team if the NBA adopts a rule that would only allow players 23 or younger to participate. Photo by: Auio Visual Junkie / Flickr

On the 20th anniversary of “The Dream Team,” NBA commissioner David Stern has gone on the record to state that maybe Olympic Basketball should adopt a soccer type of system where players on the roster are 23 and under of age.  The idea seems to be a popular one as many NBA team owners have agreed with the concept. It is yet to be decided if FIBA (International Basketball Federation) and the other countries would be up for that model.  It would be an interesting concept and it makes putting a competitive team together a little tougher, so let’s take a look at who some of the candidates would be to make a 23-Under Olympic Team.

Point Guards

  • Derrick Rose (questionable with the knee injury) (Chicago Bulls)
  • Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Caveliers)
  • John Wall (Washington Wizards)
  • Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks) (more…)

Professional hockey players should not play in Olympics

Players from the National Hockey League have been allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics since 1995. Photo by: roaming-the-planet / Flickr

BY JOHN SCOTT, contributor

Every four years when the Olympics come around, there’s talk about whether professional hockey players should be allowed to compete in the Winter Olympics.

In all honestly, I think pro hockey players should not be allowed to compete in the Olympics, mainly for two reasons: fame and fortune. A little more than half of the men’s hockey players compete in the NHL, and some teams are made up entirely of NHL players.  The 2014 Olympics is Sochi, Russia, should mainly be comprised of amateur athletes representing their country.

Amateur hockey players should be the ones putting on their country’s jersey because they play the game out of love, not for money. Most Olympic athletes receive monetary support from their country, but these amateur players would much rather play for the love of the game. Many NHLers already make seven figures per year and compete in an 82-game season, sometimes more. They’ve already made it to the top of the hockey level, and it’s time for them to let amateurs take the Olympics. Maybe these amateurs competing in the Olympics can get noticed and move on to a higher level of hockey, such as the NHL.

Also, the NHL players already have the fame in the sport, so why not step aside to let the not-so-popular players noticed? Let the countries show how good they are by the amateur players they can produce, not by how many NHLers they can send to the Olympics.

Five words: 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team. Done. That’s all that needs to be said. This team was a true Olympic team, consisting of 20 college players who ended up beating the supposed unstoppable Sovies. Those are the teams I want to see in the Olympics, and I’m pretty sure I speak for most hockey fans on this one.

Herb Brooks nailed it when he said, “All-Star teams fail because they rely solely on an individual’s talent,” and this quote can go both ways, for All-Star teams and for Olympic teams. The Olympic hockey teams would be better and more fun to watch if they consisted of amateur players because they wouldn’t rely on an individuals talent. Instead, they would work as a team just like the 1980 team did.

Allowing only amateur players in the Olympics would allow for them to showcase their skills to world,  and to let the world see outstanding amateurs they wouldn’t have been able to see if professional hockey players were allowed to play.

Who would not want to see another team like the 1980 Olympic team? Going back to amateurs in the Olympics would put the Olympics back where they should be. Who wouldn’t want to see another Olympics like that in Lake Placid in 1980 and to be able to say they witnessed the impossible happen?

John Scott is a junior at Cody High School and longtime youth hockey player in the Wyoming region.