Archive for the 'international olympic committee' Category

Girl Power: IOC Considers Banning Saudi Arabia

Via Fanhouse: The BBC is reporting that the International Olympic Committee is pressuring Saudi Arabia to allow women to compete, or face the same penalty put upon South Africa in 1964. Bravo. Though it still took thirty years for apartheid to end, the IOC’s ban raised awareness of the terrible policy. Saudi Arabia’s policy on not letting women take part or watch any sports is no different. 

I completely appreciate and understand that women’s lives and roles in Saudi Arabia are different than mine. However, adding sports to the lives of women only has upside. Their society can remain segregated. Dribbling a basketball or hitting a volleyball does not violate any traditions and rules of Islam. The uniforms may cause a problem, but changes can always be made. I live near a sizable Muslim population in Chicago, and have watched many high school basketball and softball games where the young women have modified their uniforms, and worn a head scarf to stay true to their religion.  

Sports have added so much to the lives of millions of women who have played them, including mine. In addition to the obvious physical fitness benefits, women gain self-esteem, confidence, teamwork skills, discipline, the list goes on and one. I wonder why the clerics wouldn’t let women, who are already well-educated, to gain these skills – maybe they are afraid of what an empowered group of women would try to accomplish. 

Huzzah – Chicago Moves on for the 2016 Bid!

Chicago has moved onto the next round of cities who are being considered for the 2016 Olympic Games, along with Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. As a Chicagoan and quite obviously an Olympic fan, I’m just a little bit excited.

UPDATED: Here is more on the selection from the Chicago Tribune. Chicago’s competition is tough, but definitely beatable. The Tribune’s source said that Chicago is not in the top two, but during the competition for the 2012 games, London was not in the top two. If you are wondering why I am so supremely confident in Chicago winning the games, it’s that I know of our secret weapon.

No, not God, though I do think our secret weapon has God’s phone number. It’s Mayor Richard M. Daley, a man who has never, ever, ever not gotten what he wanted. If you’re not from Chicago, it can be difficult to explain just how powerful he is.  He wanted his brother to get a spot in Clinton’s cabinet – done. He wanted the country’s largest cities to start replicating the rooftop gardens we have in Chicago – done. He wanted the White Sox to win a World Series – done, unfortunately.

Some friends of mine have pointed out that the Olympics are on a much bigger stage, and that getting the Olympics may not happen as easily as the other items on Daley’s wishlist.These friends had worked for the USOC, so I trusted their knowledge. Of course, they told me this just before they assured me that Los Angeles would be the applicant city for the US.

Johnson Returns Medal, Jones’s Teammates Don’t

Saying that he felt betrayed by teammate Antonio Pettigrew, Michael Johnson returned his 1,600 meter relay gold medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. During track coach Trevor Graham’s trial, Pettigrew testified that he had used performance enhancing drugs. Johnson was not ordered to do so by anyone, but he felt as if it was the right thing to do.

Marion Jones admitted to doping, too. She is now in federal prison on perjury and check fraud convictions. Jones won the five medals at the 2000 Sydney Games, and she, like Pettigrew, ran the 1,600 relay, and the 4×100 relay. Her teammates medals have been stripped by the International Olympic Committee, but they have no intention of returning their medals.

In this case, both groups’ completely contradictory actions are correct. Continue reading ‘Johnson Returns Medal, Jones’s Teammates Don’t’