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Sochi Olympic Games Poll

The Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia are now over. Thankfully all went well from a security standpoint and the organizers are being praised. The same organizers who were being raked over the coals just two weeks ago when it appeared all was not ready for the arrival of the world.

In retrospect what did you think of the Games.

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Olympic Games and Discrimination

Deck_Olympics

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Sochi Games: Historical Olympic Tweets

HistOlypTweets


MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Venezuelan Opposition Protestors Fight for Rights and International Attention

Unfortunately for the protesters the whole world is watching the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, … or the situation in Kiev, Ukraine.

The situation in Venezuela is deteriorating rapidly. The daily confrontations in the streets between opposition protesters and government forces have resulted in four deaths so far, all of them on the opposition side, and countless injuries, to say nothing of the economic costs as businesses are forced to shut down for safety reasons.

The opposition faces an uphill battle on not one, but two fronts. First they are taking to the streets to protest the Maduro government’s continued Hugo Chavez policies. That’s a chore in itself, but they can’t really believe they will win the street fight against the heavily armed troops.  More important is the fight for the attention of the world. As I have written elsewhere, the opposition must rely on the world community taking an interest in their plight – as the anti-war protesters said in Chicago in 1968, the whole world is watching. To that end the recent arrest and detainment of opposition leader Leopoldo López is actually a good thing. Perhaps the Venezuelan opposition could take a lesson from the Irish Republican Army in the power of creating martyrs.

Opposition Protesters in Caracas/AFP

Opposition Protesters in Caracas/AFP

Unfortunately for the protesters the whole world is watching the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, and those who are more inclined to take a gander at world affairs are probably taking an interest in the situation in Kiev, Ukraine. If I may be facetious for a moment, that uprising is trumping Venezuela’s in both fatalities and spectacular fires, which seems to lead to continuous television coverage.

Of course what Venezuela has on its side when it comes to widespread world attention is oil. One school of thought sees foreign intervention couched in doing the right thing for democracy but actually being concerned about the vast reserves of oil. While poorer countries have had to rely on hideous scenes of genocide to get the attention of the world, Venezuela’s huge supply of much coveted natural resources may hasten all important international interest.

The protesters will know they are on the right track, and that their efforts are not in vain, when they see CNN, not just CNN en Espanol, setting up shop. Mind you the recent experience of one CNN journalist, Karl Penhaul, of being robbed of his equipment at gunpoint may not be sending the right message!

Godspeed Venezuela!

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Drones Add New Angles to Sochi Games Coverage

I think Aussie would have liked these things, and not just because he had a tendency to drone on … and on … and on about his many afflictions and gripes!

There is an interesting article in The Atlantic’s online edition about the use of drones. The same unmanned beasts that are so controversial when used to spy and bomb are being used at the Sochi Winter Olympics to photograph several sports. From ski-jumping to snowboarding these worker bees of the technology world are getting into positions no human could hope to gain access to and the result is some great different angles.

Sergei Grits / AP

Sergei Grits / AP

Almost thirty years ago, as a student working summers as a tennis court attendant, I had the pleasure of meeting an interesting character by the name of Aussie Whiting. Aussie, yep, originally from Australia made his way to Canada where he established himself as a world-class, award-winning sports photographer.

Aussie was one of those people who, when asked how they are, actually tell you – usually at great length. Whitings photos appeared in many publications, but his actual employer was Montreal’s The Gazette. He covered local teams including the Canadiens, Expos and Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. His camera was always with him, I’d tell you what make it was, but by the time I met him it was mostly cardboard and duct tape.  In those days a photographer had a deadline that necessitated him leaving most evening games before they were over to get back to the paper and develop his work for inclusion in the next day’s edition. Aussie always hoped for a good shot early in a game to give him lots of time to make his way back to his editor.

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau walks arm in arm with Miss Grey Cup Nancy Durrell at the 1970 by AUSSIE WHITING

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau walks arm in arm with Miss Grey Cup Nancy Durrell in1970 by AUSSIE WHITING

I mention Aussie in relation to the use of drones for sports photography because I wonder what his take would have been on them. He did once tell me that the easiest sport to photograph was baseball, given the pace of play. He explained that he would set up a camera on a tripod in the photographers section of the dugout, focus it on second base. When a base stealer such as Tim Raines made it to first base, Aussie would take the cable release and, as the runner broke for second base he’d hold down his thumb and get any number of images, almost guaranteeing a terrific shot.

I think Aussie would have liked these things, and not just because he had a tendency to drone on  … and on … and on about his many afflictions and gripes!

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Sochi Hockey Polls

For those of us in Canada, when it comes to the Winter Olympics the main event is Hockey because as the inventors of the game we feel our teams – men and women – must win. Other countries, particularly our neighbors to the south, the USA, have become very competitive over the years, and now make things difficult for Canada to reign as champs.

Now that all the teams have had some exposure here’s a little poll regarding your thoughts on what country will win the gold.

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Olympics and Sleep: You Winsome and You Luge Some

I would have medaled, probably repeatedly, had sleeping been an Olympic event.

With the Sochi Olympics in full swing I’ve been wondering what sport I would have excelled at had I been so inclined when younger. Let’s be honest, Olympic games are all about youth, winsome smiles seen through hockey cages, childlike exuberance and apparent complete lack of fear while riding a luge literally at break-neck speeds. When it comes to the Olympics, you winsome and you luge some.

Then it all became clear. I would have medaled, probably repeatedly, had sleeping been an Olympic event.

When it comes to sleeping, I’m one of the lucky ones

I fully appreciate that I am one of the lucky ones when it comes to sleep. I certainly could sleep for Canada; from long, full nights in the arms of Morpheus to catnaps and siestas I can do them all. Waiting-rooms in doctors’ offices – that’s me snoring in the corner.  I’ve even been tempted at longer red traffic lights to pop the car into park and nod off until the guy behind me honks, but I’d  probably just reach out to hit the snooze button.

I certainly could sleep for Canada; from long, full nights in the arms of Morpheus to catnaps and siestas I can do them all. Waiting-rooms in doctors’ offices – that’s me snoring in the corner.

Like many a growing lad I racked up countless hours of sleep as a teenager, but that’s not what I’m referring to. Nope I’m talking about fully adult sleep. On an ideal day, let’s say a weekend, I like to get up before eight o’clock – I’ve become a morning person as I’ve aged – and I like to ease into the day. Some people can wake up and get up. Not me, I have to slowly work my way out of the slumber that has been enveloping me for the past several hours. No jumping out of bed for this agent lest the smell of smoke permeates the room. A few whacks of the snooze button usually does it. But once up, I’m great. No crankiness or morning grumpy mood – nor do I have much patience for those who display these traits.

Catnaps and siestas

National Sleep Foundation

National Sleep Foundation

Early afternoon, right after lunch, is nap time. Somewhere between one and three o’clock is my target. Any later than that and I’m not a happy camper upon waking.  This siesta can be 30 minutes or an hour and a half depending on available sleeping time; after all, I do have some sense of responsibility. But any and all sleep is worthwhile. I used to organize and coordinate political conventions for a living. The time spent at the actual meeting, usually a weekend, was very intense and extremely tiring. I can recall on many occasions when, much in need of sleep, I would set my travel alarm clock for six or seven minutes as that was all the time I had. Even that small respite added some juice to my depleted batteries

Close attention must be paid to possible doping

And of course the marathon; who can sleep the longest. Strict attention would have to be paid to possible doping: no hot rum toddies, no chamomile tea, and certainly no nighttime cold medications.

The way I see it the Olympics could feature short sleep events like dropping-off time in which contestants vie to be the first to achieve REM sleep.  Depth-of-sleep competitions would see participants sleeping through loud noises such as sirens, music and babies crying – wake-up and you’re out, last one asleep wins. And of course the marathon; who can sleep the longest. Strict attention would have to be paid to possible doping: no hot rum toddies, no chamomile tea, and certainly no nighttime cold medications.

I was going to try to get a movement together to lobby the IOC for these events to be included in future Games, but then I realized it was nap time,

This post is a bit old, but seems to fit the Daily Post

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Sochi 2014:I Knew They Should Compete Nude!

Yep, those rock-throwing-brush-pushing-slip-sliding-hurry-harding ladies rule when it comes to getting naked for a camera.

In a recent post I mentioned the ancient Greek tradition of Olympic athletes competing naked. Evidently Russian bronze-medalist  Olga Graf agrees with me. Upon completing the 3000 meters, the speed skater, during her cool-down lap unzipped her skin-tight skating suit forgetting she was not wearing anything underneath (at least that’s her story – she did wonder if it would end up on YouTube!). One can only imagine what she would have done had she won gold!

REUTERS/Phil Noble

REUTERS/Phil Noble

The incident has been referred to as a wardrobe malfunction, but if I was the person who manufactured the suit I’d point out that undoing the zipper doesn’t count as a malfunction!

When it comes to modern Winter Olympians speed skaters are not leading the way in nudity. Nope. That lofty title belongs to none other than female curlers. Yep, those rock-throwing-brush-pushing-slip-sliding-hurry-harding ladies rule when it comes to getting naked for a camera.

Swiss Curler Carmen Schaefer

Swiss Curler Carmen Schaefer

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Sochi Olympics 2014 Requirements: Good Luck and Good Security

I wish all athletes the best of luck in their sports, and I wish all who attend the Games venues in any capacity a safe experience.

With today’s opening ceremony in Sochi, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will officially commence, even if there are so many competitions on the schedule that some actually began yesterday to fit the time-frame.

It is a sad reflection on our current state that, in the run-up to the Games, more attention has been paid to security concerns and politics than the athleticism of the participants. The latter I accept as a given; anytime you group people under national flags there will be politics. But the sad situation of security requirements is another kettle of fish. These young people from around the world train to compete in sports they love. Some vying for Olympic medals and fame while others taking advantage of participating against word-class athletes  to improve themselves. The only thing on their minds should be the drive and spirit of competition, not the fact – or fear – that someone is just as driven to destroy that spirit with terrorism.

Think what could have been done with the billions of dollars that had to be spent on Games security.

And so as the games are set to begin, I wish all athletes the best of luck in their sports, and I wish all who attend the Games venues in any capacity a safe experience.

Sochi

Canadian cities have decided to fly the gay pride rainbow flag atop City Halls during the course of the Games in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws.

In the ancient Olympics the contestants participated nude. In a 180 degree shift, it might be sensible, not necessarily comfortable, for those attending Olympic events to do so naked. Let’s see you hide a bomb now!

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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