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BEST PART OF THE WINTER OLYMPICS HAS ALREADY OCCURRED!

By Elwood “Sandy” Sanders
The best part of any Olympics (I wait for it every Olympics!) is the opening ceremonies.  Each nation comes into the stadium with their athletes, one (sometimes the only one) carrying the flag of their nation, except for Taiwan, the Republic of China, our old ally in WWII until President Nixon sold them out to Red China.  Taiwan cannot now carry its flag in (This was not always true:  There is a scene in the 1924 Olympic movie Chariots of Fire where there is an unusual five striped flag and that was the old flag of the Republic of China) and goes by Chinese Taipei.  This is shameful and we ought to protest but Red China might sell some of its Treasury bonds in response!  No one has won; no one has lost yet and all nations and athletes (except Taiwan, see above) are equal in dignity.
I was especially impressed by the athlete from Peru’s story.  I know he has no realistic chance to win a medal, but I’ll root for him anyway!  Maybe he’ll have the run of a lifetime and win the gold!  Could happen!  I also plan to root for the Republic of Georgia after their tragic situation.  I also root for all the small countries who have no chance or who have never won a medal before.  Paraguay had never won a medal in any Olympic sport until 2004 in Athens when they won the silver in soccer.  (I went on a missions/eclipse trip to Paraguay and it is an interesting nation few get to go to!)  I also root for the three Baltic Republics (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), occupied illegally in 1940 and thankfully never recognized as part of the USSR by our nation and finally independent at last!
In a new and potentially disturbing development, Canada is taking a decidedly unCanadian attitude toward this Olympics:  Own the Podium!
From the USA Today of January 29:
“Canada has an aggressive new attitude,” Stephen Colbert said on his Comedy Central TV show. “In contrast to their previous slogan: ‘Pardon, would it trouble you if we won a medal or two? It would? OK. Never mind!’ ”
Rarely in Olympic history has the host nation failed to win even one gold medal. Twice, the too-gracious host has been Canada — at the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.
That won’t happen again. “Own the Podium” is more than a battle cry. It is a $117 million Canadian (about $110 million U.S.) business plan that provides Canadian athletes in select sports with more coaching, enhanced training and paid travel — plus this ambitious goal: Place first in the total medal count.
Perhaps this is the wave of the future.  The larger countries will use their technological advantages to dominate the medal count and further shut out the smaller nations.  One thing about the Winter Olympics is that smaller nations like Norway can do well.  Hence my enduring interest in the opening ceremonies – the nations, their costumes, their flags etc.!
In some ways this encourages a degree of cynicism.  I always figured during the Cold War days, the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies would cheat their way to the podium while one of our athletes would be banned from the games for cold medicine!  I watched the famous ending of the USA-USSR basketball game in 1972 and shook my head in derision (I think they interrupted that game to show Taiwan being kicked out of the UN!) at how the ref put time back on the clock and the Soviets then won.
Understand, I do want USA to do well!  BEAT CANADA!  But if some small nation that has never won or hardly wins a medal wants me to organize their curling team, I’ll take some lessons and read the rules and help them win a medal!  Ought to be a nice consulting fee out of it!  Just contact me through this blog entry!
Remember, for more information about curling near you, contact USA Curling at this webpage.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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