USAIN BOLTS THROUGH MY HEART
“We have the best coffee on the planet. We have Bob Marley. And now we have Usain Bolt. We are overjoyed and overwhelmed” – Jamaican Minister of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports Olivia Grange. Usain Bolt broke former U.S. sprinter Michael Johnson’s 12-year-old world record in the 200m, and became the first Olympian since Carl Lewis at the ’84 L.A. Games to win both the 100m and 200m races…add a World Record to the mix and hopes for a third gold in the 4×100 relay on Friday and we got us a great story…
Bolt gave us one of the most genuine and unfiltered celebratory reactions- laying on the track, kissing it, taking off his Puma’s, smiling, infectious, worthy…so why we gotta hear negative reaction from that the president of the IOC, Jacques Rogge? “That’s not the way we perceive being a champion,” Rogge said of the Jamaican sprinter. “I have no problem with him doing a show. I think he should show more respect for his competitors and shake hands, give a tap on the shoulder to the other ones immediately after the finish and not make gestures like the one he made in the 100 meters.” Excuse my language kids- but Rogge can f*ck off. Rogge: corrupt, bought, angry and transparent. Do your research, I ain’t gonna waste any more space on his nonsense, because I think he may be the only person in the World who wasn’t jubilating alongside Bolt as he won, when he won, and while he was celebrating with an attitude we need to see more of…pure joy. Get number three Bolt, the world is watching…
Also watching are sponsor Puma and Virgin Media (U.K.). Virgin has asked Bolt to be the “face of its superfast broadband service,” according to Mark Sweney of the Manchester GUARDIAN. VM, which is set to launch a broadband product it claims will be more than twice as fast as rivals, is considering calling the product ‘Boltband.’
THANK YOU SZYMON KOLECKI
Joey Cheek, Team Darfur co-Founder, in an e-mail to the AP writes, “I would love to see even more athletes involved in speaking out about what they believe in. The problem is that even if there was an athlete that wanted to speak out on issues of human rights, he might be silenced by whatever IOC official is mediating that press event, with a bogus explanation that is my biggest problem with these Olympics: the idea that the Games are only about sport.” Cheek continued, “Every time the Chinese government has gone back on guarantees of free speech, free access for the media, and a number of the other issues, the IOC has acquiesced.” The Chinese have “done many amazing things, and for that they deserve a lot of credit.” Cheek: “However, these Games still would have been as successful without what appears to be massive suppression of any voice that the government doesn’t want heard” (AP, 8/20).
At least one athlete has ‘spoken’ out…Polish pro-Tibet activist group ‘The Other Space Foundation’ said Poland weightlifter Symon Kolecki ‘shaved his head in a gesture of solidarity with Tibetan monks’ before receiving the Silver Medal in his event. Kolecki after the medal ceremony told Polish sports magazine Sportfan, “This haircut is from this morning. I can’t directly say why I did it. It’s connected with certain things that the Olympic Charter forbids. But I will say that it’s symbolic.” Thank you Symon, but be careful…The WASHINGTON POST’s Sally Jenkins, in an online chat, wrote the Beijing Games will “go down with a terribly mixed legacy. This morning the Chinese government sentenced two women who are nearly 80 years old to a year each in reeducation camp, because they filed for permits to officially protest the destruction of their homes at an official Olympic demonstration site.”
And you ain’t gonna see any Apples in China either…Apple’s iTunes music store has been blocked in China, allegedly due to athletes listening to protest songs. It all started when more than 40 athletes downloaded “Songs for Tibet,” an album produced by U.S.-based Tibet group the Art of Peace Foundation. The foundation offered the album for free download to Olympic athletes, but China has since turned off the iTunes music store.
NBA ATHLETES: LEGENDS AND LEGENDS TO BE
“I’ve been on TNT for years, and no one’s ever asked me, ‘Who won the championship in Greece last year?’” – TNT’s Charles Barkley, on Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Heat G Dwyane Wade saying they would entertain offers to play overseas…maybe when these guys ARE playing in Europe you’ll be asked who won? Yes, our babies are jumping ship. And while I don’t expect to see Wade wearing a Greek jersey or Kobe donning an Italian one anytime soon, others are opting to play for Europeans teams. The most recent NBA players to jump the NBA ship for the Euro gold are…Former Phoenix Suns guard Gordon Giricek signed with a Turkish team…New Orleans (sixth man) guard Jannero Pargo will play in Moscow for 3.8 million…former Charlotte Bobcats guard Earl Boykins will be the highest-paid player in the Italian league…Carlos Arroyo, who played for Orlando, signed to play in Israel…Former Raptors Jorge Garbajosa and Carlos Delfino are headed for Russia, as is ex-New Jersey Nets forward Bostian Ncahbar…and Juan Carlos Navarro of the Memphis Grizzlies signed with a Barcelona team…but don’t worry about it Charles, no one is paying attention to the situation yet.
NBA LEGENDS HELPING KIDS HEAR
Last month while at Chris Webbers Bada Bling, I was fortunate to meet several NBA Legends who shared their ideas of a NBA Legends Resort that was in the works to be built. And this weekend I’m willing to bet that some of the Legends will be discussing the idea as they converge for a ‘Reunion Extravaganza’ in Puerto Rico to highlight their community outreach program. Hot Legends such as Moses Malone, Rick Barry, Chuck Person, Michael Ray Richardson and many more, wil be taking part in the group’s “Project Smile” community initiative with the Starkey Hearing Foundation…nearly 200 basketball greats will be descending on The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Hotel, Resort & Spa in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, on Aug. 21-24 for the anticipated National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) Legends Reunion…dear god, where’s my plane ticket?
‘Project Smile’ is a year-round program that aims to raise the spirits, bring hope, and deliver smiles to men, women and children worldwide. In partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the NBRPA will change the lives of 250 hearing impaired and underprivileged Puerto kids by providing them with hearing aids on Saturday, Aug 23 at the Teatro de la Universidad Interamericana, Rio Piedras Campus. A press ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. featuring Legends Earl Monroe, Spencer Haywood, Buck Williams, David Thompson, Tim Legler, Mark Eaton, Charles Smith and others. The Legends will distribute Webster’s Spanish/English Dictionaries to the children and I can’t believe I can’t find one sponsor willing to send me there…
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