With the Olympics starting today, it seems appropriate to hand out some Shame Medals to a few countries before the USA and China win all the real ones.
After Japan used last week to showcase its misogynistic side, this week other countries mounted their challenge for the gold in Olympic notoriety.
Morocco presents Mariem Alaoui Selsouli, who is heading home after failing a drugs test. A favorite for the women’s 1500m and as fast as a leopard, Selsouli only recently returned from a two-year doping suspension, proving that while you can change drugs, you cannot change your spots. She won’t be getting a gold here, either; getting caught using banned diuretics is decidedly unoriginal, with nine lesser athletes heading home with her for similar drugs offences this week alone.
Host nation Great Britain managed to moronically introduce North Korea’s women’s soccer team with the big screens emblazoned with the flag of South Korea. The North Koreans walked off, and made a hollow threat not to return. Prime Minister David Cameron explained the attempt at reigniting the 1950s war between the Asian neighbors as, “an honest mistake, honestly made.” Providing he was being honest when saying this, and the North Koreans accepting subsequent apologies, there can be no medal here.
A similar fate befalls the International Judo Federation, who decreed that Saudi women will not be able to wear their hijabs in battle. In a sport where chokeholds and strangleholds are permitted, it would be dangerous says the IJF and therefore is not allowed. Seems to make sense, and since the IJF isn’t actually a competing nation, there’s nothing more to add.
The US wanted in on the action through Mitt Romney, who questioned the preparation and ability of Britain to handle the Games. While awkwardly ill-advised for a presidential candidate to insult a friendly nation, it’s not enough to warrant silverware.
Such scandal can cause breathlessness, so it’s time to move on to the podium of Shame medal winning nations.
Taking the bronze is Egypt, which gave its athletes fake Nike clothing to wear.
“The bags…have (a) big Nike logo in the front and the zippers are adidas,” tweeted synchronized swimmer Yomna Khallaf.
Nike are aghast at losing a sale, but the Egyptian Olympic Committee remain proud that, given their countries economic woes, they were able to snag the counterfeit gear at half the genuine article’s price from a Chinese distributor.
Were it only the swimmers it’d be hard to disagree with their savvy ways, but spare a thought for the fencing team who have complained, “about the sizing of their training kit.” Forget exposed muffin-tops, with below the belt blows an official Olympic scoring target for the bladed weapons, blood may well be spilled.
Relief for Japan, which misses out on gold and must share the silver with Australia, another country that places gender ahead of success. Putting its pitiful men’s team in Business Class while the World Champion women’s basketball team fly coach is an exact replica of Japan’s treatment of its soccer players. I’d prescribe a dose of waking up and realizing it’s 2012 for the Olympic Committees of both nations.
Thanks to one woman, gold could only go to Greece. On the undercard, Dimitris Chondrokoukis, a leading high jumper who received his marching orders Thursday after testing positive for horse meds. He’ll be sitting next to a jumper of the triple variety, Voula Papachristou, another real medal-hopeful who tweeted, “so many Africans in Greece at least West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food.”
With an immediate and frank apology, Voula may have been able to explain this as a joke gone wrong and fight off the circling vultures of political correctness thus allowing her to compete in an event she’s prepared four years for. But why risk finishing second in the real Olympics when you can win the gold in sheer ignorance without breaking sweat?
After praising the country’s far-right party, headed by woman-beating Ilias Kasidiaris, she then rounded on those who criticized her thoughts on Greek immigration.
“That’s how I am,” twittered the arch-Aryan. “If I make mistakes, I don’t press the replay! I press Play and move on!”
Belated (and most likely forced) apologies aside, it sounds like she’s ready for Maury:
Image courtesy of AP