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About Olympian2004

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  • Birthday 10/08/82

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    Haan, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  1. I think the worst aspects of this killing spree were that 1) among the nine victims, there were eight young people ranging from 14 to 20 years old - while the killer was an 18-year-old man himself (and committed suicide later last night, by the way). They all had a full life ahead of them - and while one of those nine decided to throw his life away, he even raptured the other eight's chances to live that life, to fall in love, to have children, to have a steady job... It's heartbreaking. 2) so many social media (and even people who - probably abusively - called the police) users spread rumours last night, claiming that there were further shootings at different prominent locations throughout the city of Munich. All that led to a major terror scare and probably also to the fact that the Munich shooting became such a big news story around the world, even including immediate statements by people like President Obama. I think it's really bad if society gets so scared by all the recent terrorist attacks in France, Germany and other parts of the world that they already start panicking as soon as they hear of a shooting. In any case, the past 24 hours were grim ones for Munich and especially for all who worried about loved ones being affected by the actual and alleged shootings. And, even more so, for those who even lost loved ones. I sincerely hope that anything like that doesn't happen again for at least quite a long time. I'm simply fed up by all those negative and bloody news in the past few days.
  2. I know I'm a little bit late for the party, but that suspended structure within Maracana Stadium sure looks interesting - even if it might have nothing at all to do with the cauldron! But it looks very much (at least in the present state) like the sun, so it could be incorporated in the theatrical part of the ceremony but it could also be some sort of "Rio 2007 cauldron" remake. And if it's the latter, I deem it possible that that structure will be raised behind those boxes as soon as the final torch bearer(s) have/has ignited it, thereby symbolising the rising sun. It could be a very exciting lighting scenario. But after having been certain until only a few days before the 2012 Games that London will have a cauldron somewhere outside the Olympic Stadium, I have become quite cautious about making cauldron predictions!
  3. I must say that even two days in hindsight, the final and its result are pretty disappointing. But this tournament which offered a lot of tactical, minimalistic and defensive football probably got the only suitable champion, a tactical, minimalistic and defensive team like Portugal. I agree that historically, they absolutely deserved a title - they were so close to winning a title so often in their history, and they sure are an important force in world football. But it's disappointing that they won with probably the most defensive tactics in their entire history. The days of a Portuguese "jogo bonito" are long ago. Compared to Brazil 2014, France 2016 was by far the less exciting tournament. But bearing in mind what happened in France last year, it's almost relieving that we rather got bored than anything else during this tournament. Even if they did a bad job at first in dealing with the English and Russian hooligans, the French police, armed forces and security workers ensured a safe and calm tournament, and this is probably the biggest achievement of all during Euro 2016. Football-wise, we had some (albeit few) highlights, of course: Portugal-Hungary was surprisingly exciting, Iceland and Wales showed stunning performances and Germany-Italy was even more of a thriller than many of us expected beforehand anyway. At the same time, especially Ireland's, Iceland's and Northern Ireland's fans won our hearts. So there will still be quite a few things to remember, even if Brazil 2014 was much more of a "festival of football". Here's hoping that we'll see a more offensive and less tactical tournament in two year's time in Russia! It would be a nice counterpoint to the fact that Russia got the World Cup under somewhat shady conditions and that Russia currently is the pariah of world sports. In any case: Merci beaucoup, la France! Vous pouvez être fiers de ce que vous avez obtenu (même si le résultat de la finale est décevant pour vous)!
  4. Well, Schürrle played three times in the course of this tournament - and each time, he did not convince at all. Just like Götze and even Müller, Schürrle is currently only a shadow of his former self. So Löw gave him a chance more than once, Schürrle failed to deliver, and that's why one surely can't blame Löw for not using him anymore during the rest of tournament.
  5. I wouldn't say that Löw made coaching mistakes. As a matter of fact, he made very good tactical decisions throughout this tournament. But if major players go missing due to yellow cards and injuries and the replacement players (especially in the offence) are only a mere shadow of their former selves, what can he do? I think, Löw did the best job of his entire tenure as Germany's head coach, besides (of course) his job at the 2014 World Cup.
  6. Germany delivered a great game in the first halftime, but they were very ineffective in their scoring opportunities yet again. And this is what easily makes a difference against a top team like France. And the handball by Schweinsteiger, just one match after Boateng's stupid handball against Italy (which almost cost us victory as well) is just unbelievably bad luck/karma/whatever. This was where fate turned against Germany and towards France. They gained more confidence and one must say that their defence did a much better job than in their previous EURO matches. So all in all, while Germany's defeat was really unnecessary, France's victory is well deserved, and I sure will root for them in the final. Portugal delivered only one decent match in this tournament, namely against Wales - this is simply not enough in my view to deserve the title of European Champion. France, on the other hand, has somewhat a golden generation - their time is now, and I expect even a rather convincing victory of them on Sunday. Allez les bleus!
  7. I think Iceland simply had used up the luck it needed (besides their undoubted talent to play football) to get that far in the tournament. While I was hoping for yet another "Icelandic sensation", tonight's match showed clearly that also their power and abilities are limited as soon as they meet a courageous top-class team like the French which manages to score early and get a good psychological momentum which carries them through the match. In any case, I look forward to yet another classic football duel next Thursday: Germany vs. France. It will be yet another tough match for Germany, especially now that Gómez and Hummels definitely can't play the semifinal (Gómez due to a muscle injury which finishes his whole tournament altogether, Hummels due to his yellow card against Italy) and it is unsure whether injured Schweinsteiger and Khedira can play. But, the comforting thing is: For France, it will be a difficult match, too. Bring it on!
  8. I'm totally exhausted, just by watching. As ever so often when Germany plays against Italy at a major tournament, it was an extremely exciting match - exciting up to the point of "horrifying". I sure thought several times during the match (and especially the unusually bad penalty shoot-out performance by Müller, Özil and Schweinsteiger) that we are on the brink of losing against Italy yet again. But oh, how sweet is the victory especially after such a stressful match. Germany sure deserved to win, Italy had some great scoring opportunities, but somehow they were only a shadow of their former self. I guess that the loss of De Rossi hurt them significantly. That said, it hurts a lot to see that Hummels won't be able to play the semifinal. And regardless whether we will have to play it against France or Iceland, we sure need a strong defence there. So I cross my fingers for Thursday already now... Those were bloody awful indeed. Didn't you think sometimes, "Is that still Team Germany in that penalty shoot-out - or Team England"?
  9. I have to correct my earlier statement: Cameron was of course the standard bearer of the Stay campaign in the last few months before the referendum, not of the Leave campaign.
  10. While I agree that this disaster was in the making way before Cameron took office, I couldn't disagree stronger with the notion that Cameron acted "courageously". In fact, he played a false play: First, he nourished the Eurosceptic feelings of large parts of his party, nagging about the EU for years - just to become the standard bearer of the Leave campaign in the last few months before the referendum. If instead, he had stood up against his parliamentary party and said: "You can expect a referendum on such a crap.py and plainly stupid idea like leaving the EU only over my dead body", now that would have been courageous! But no, he hoped to get the best of both worlds: the benefits of staying in the EU and keeping his job, even after having destroyed the EU's reputation among many of his fellow countrymen even further over the course of several years. Bad idea, mate, really bad idea. Instead, Britain experienced an awful week since the referendum - and that's why I'm still disappointed and angry as hell about this senseless decision, even one week later. "I hate to see Britain in decline" - those were Margaret Thatcher's words when Britain was the "sick man of Europe" in 1979. And now I share her sentiment, even if it came from a different political motivation and ideology than mine, while Britain turns to become the "sick man of Europe" again. Even if the auspices are somewhat different than 37 years ago, Britain now is not as strong as it could be. Large parts of its electorate believed in blatant lies ("Let's give the 350 million pounds to the NHS instead", "Let's take control of our borders again", "Let's use the benefits of the free world, we don't need the Common Market") made by political clowns who have absolutely no clue how to manage the Brexit negotiations with the EU. It hurts to see that a growing number of Brits seem to realise how they were betrayed, and even the yellow press which was very much pro-Brexit before the referendum seems to be appalled and to turn to a more differentiated and even critical view towards the Brexit. This is what I criticised one week ago: Britain (or at least those parts of its electorate who voted "Leave") is belittling itself, while it actually could be the respected and strong international partner it has been for so many years. What an utter shame!
  11. I yet have to recover - yesterday, I was honestly depressed about the result. While it was apparent that the Leave camp might win for weeks, I regained my old hope that reason (and therefore, the Remain camp) will prevail during the last few days before the referendum, bolstered by the rather positive opinion polls and betting odds. I really hoped that the murder of Jo Cox (even if it might not have been motivated by the referendum at all) would change the mood in Britain to a more contemplative, less cynical and even hateful atmosphere. And now it hurts a lot to see how this referendum leaves behind a divided country, regardless of whether this will lead to a split-up of the United Kingdom or not. Even if I certainly don't agree with everything that comes out of Brussels: This was truly a senseless referendum, motivated only by David Cameron's need to secure his power and his office against an increasingly divided and (in parts) highly irrational Conservative Party. And so it's only cold comfort in these grim times that ironically, Cameron resulted in losing his power and his office by means of this very referendum. While he deserved to be punished, Great Britain sure did not. Great Britain (and I use the word "Great" intentionally) always was a very important factor in world politics, and while the Brits kept complaining about the EU throughout all those years, they always knew what their responsibility was. The Brits displayed greatness and responsibility in World War II when they helped liberate this very continent from tyranny and death, and they did so in the years since World War II. And even if I know that this referendum doesn't have to be the end of everything that made Britain great as a international player, I regret very much how the Leave voters decided to belittle their own country they are (allegedly) so proud of. This referendum sure doesn't make Britain greater, and that is the thing that I regret most (besides the fact that the young, rather Europe-friendly generation of Britain was shrugged off in this referendum), since I have a huge amount of respect and even affection for Britain, its culture, its traditions, its strength, its humour and its role in (also recent) history.
  12. It sure is a quirky EURO - in a positive and in a negative sense. Relatively few goals, a hooligan and streaker problem while all the world concentrated on the terror threat, many likeable outsiders who make it to the second round (due to the new play mode) and a loopsided draw which will result in many (initially) strongly favoured teams eliminating each other already before the final. And EURO 2020 could become even more quirky, with all those venues spread out across the whole continent which will probably be very harmful to that special "tournament atmosphere" we all know. But, back to 2016: I think we might even be up for a surprise regarding who will reach the final. We should keep an eye on Wales, Croatia and Hungary - and only God knows which extra energies Ireland and Iceland might develop after their great last-minute tickets to the round of 16! Belgium vs. France would almost be too boring and predictable compared to that, just like any final that involves Germany (although I sure hope for that one, still ).
  13. And yet, we will have to discuss the gun rights issue again, and again, and again. Has anything changed after previous killing sprees? No. Those ignorants of the NRA, the Republican Party or right in the middle of the American society make me puke - and still, after all those senseless deaths of the past and the (inevitable) senseless deaths of the future, they will fight for their archaic rights in a society that increasingly lacks the good old American "common sense" and instead, becomes ever more hateful and schizophrenic. And no, I don't reduce that social criticism to the USA - I see quite a similar irrational trend within Germany's society, only with the difference that here, the most extreme among the German people will rather tend to physically attack refugees and other foreigners or putting their homes on fire instead of shooting them (due to the stricter gun laws).
  14. I thought that the EURO's opening ceremony was bleh and rather filled with clichés (as a matter of fact, those can-can dancers made me cringe). France is much more than can-can, Edith Piaf, the parks of Versailles and the Eiffel Tower and it would have been nicer if they had tried to convey traditions and a more modern image of the country. But hey, that's what you get if they only have a 10-minute-slot for an opening ceremony - it's probably impossible to fill those few minutes with something else than piffle and tripe. France will certainly do a much better job when it hosts the Olympic Games again, just like Rio will certainly deliver a much better opening ceremony than that hot mess presented at the 2014 World Cup.
  15. Very true, Stefan. I guess we have to explain to our international friends what we mean with Gauland, though: A leading politician of the right-wing populist German party AfD, Alexander Gauland, recently gave a newspaper interview where he claimed that many people like (black) German defender Jerome Boateng as a footballer, but wouldn't like him if he was their neighbour. That caused quite an outrage in the German public and many gestures of solidarity towards Boateng and the German football team (and one must say that it was particularly stupid from Gauland to attack a member of the national football team, shortly before a major tournament, in football-crazy Germany). Since then, many Germans say that they would much prefer Jerome Boateng over Alexander Gauland as their neighbour. And yes, I was particularly proud and pleased that two players with migration background played such a massive role in Germany's victory tonight. There couldn't have been any clearer message to those stupid a**holes in Germany who are currently trying to destroy our country's good reputation (especially after the 2006 World Cup) by saying racist and discriminatory nonsense and getting appallingly much applause from at least parts of the German society. This development has to be stopped, and the performance of our national team could play a considerable role in that, at least for the moment.