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Olympian2004

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Olympian2004 last won the day on March 27 2016

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About Olympian2004

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  1. And the ugly farce that are the Tories of the years 2015-2017 continues: (Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40231107) So Theresa May has now been officially taken hostage by her own party. Why doesn't she simply quit? Cringeworthy!
  2. Oh, and I have to add one more thing: While Germany has blatant social injustices of its own, most Germans are more or less well-off. Employment numbers are high, the economy is still developing well, you name it. And while those suffering from the aforementioned social injustices are suffering, the big well-fed and fairly satisfied majority prevents any major political change in this country. It's the old phenomenon: If you feel comfortable, you tend to stick to the same-old, same-old. And Angela Merkel is a genius of presenting a "Don't you worry, let mother do that for you" image to the voters. As I said, this is paralysing the political climate in Germany massively and hurts the chances of the SPD to make major inroads.
  3. *sigh* This is a long story. To cut it relatively short: This spring, the SPD lost three regional elections (Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia), mainly due to regional factors. In Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany's most populous state and therefore particularly important) the SPD even lost the regional premierships, while in Saarland, the very popular CDU premier got re-elected. Despite the regional factors that decided those elections, it hurt Martin Schulz' image massively and also killed the momentum for the SPD in the opinion polls. Adding to that, Schulz and the federal SPD also committed mistakes of their own: They waited too long with intruducing their manifesto for the federal election, or least parts thereof. The SPD premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hannelore Kraft, even asked Schulz not to interfere with her regional election campaign by making major political announcements for the federal election. This was of course a huge strategic mistake, as Schulz suddenly became practically invisble on the federal stage while Kraft did not manage to win her election due to her own political mistakes in her state. You can imagine that all this led to very negative reporting here in Germany (our press can be equally as ruthless and sensationalist as the British one) and now Schulz and the SPD suddenly have a "loser image" again, although they are trying to fight against it by rolling out their manifesto which shall be presented and adopted on a party conference by the end of this month. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is rejoicing about the stupid mistakes her Social Democrat rivals made - and does what she does best: nothing. This week, while the SPD presented its concept for a pension reform, the CDU even said that it doesn't see the need for any pension reform concept of its own. In Germany, this is called "assymetrical demobilisation": By promising almost nothing that can be deemed controversial and by adopting Social Democratic positions, Angela Merkel's keeps distracting traditionally left-leaning supporters from voting SPD while mobilising its own traditional supporters and thus winning federal election after federal election. It's highly frustrating since, unlike Britain, the political scene here in Germany repeatedly seems to be covered with three thick layers of gratin cheese. Angela Merkel has sucked almost all life out of the political process by her very presidential and rather non-controversial style of governing. Only since the advent of the right-wing populist AfD, the refugee crisis and then the Brexit referendum and Trump's victory in the US, people here seem to get more political again. And that was a momentum Schulz at first was able to use to his and his party's benefit. Now they have lost this momentum entirely. But at least the UK election showed: In these highly turbulent and volatile political times, you just can't predict the outcome of an election months or even weeks in advance. This might be the final straw for Schulz and the SPD, even if I don't expect Merkel and the CDU to make any major mistakes. Especially not mistakes of Theresa May's proportions. I'm certain that Angela Merkel has watched very closely what her British colleague did and how she acted in her election campaign. The only things that could damage her chances are the CSU or the right wing of the CDU (the CSU controversially fought against Merkel's course during the refugee crisis), any now unforeseen political scandal and the fact that Merkel, after 12 years in office, is simply worn out, even if she is still able to cover that up thanks to the mistakes of her rivals and the "assymetrical demobilisation" strategy of her own party.
  4. This sums it up perfectly, Rob. However, I'll add my two pennies worth as well: As a Social Democrat, I was of course elated at first last night, when seeing the exit poll results. I won't deny that Jeremy Corbyn as a person was never the kind of Labour leader I wished for, even if he made an interesting political point. And I'm glad that such a social justice manifesto can produce huge gains in elections. This is particularly important (or even poignant) when I look towards our national election in Germany on September 24, where the SPD and its candidate for the chancellery, Martin Schulz, are currently fighting an uphill struggle with a comparable social justice manifesto against "I have no other ideas than promising you more of the same-old, same-old" Angela Merkel. But this morning, my feelings rather turned to sadness and bitterness. As you guys know, I have a soft spot for Britain and her people. I love your humour, your resilience and the many great things you gave to the world. Britain simply does not deserve to be governed to pieces by greedy, irresponsible, clueless and/or oblivious politicians. And this includes, to some extent, even the two Labour administrations of the 1990s/2000s who failed to recognise that their enthusiasm for the European idea was not shared by considerable parts of even its own electorate. And what the Tories have delivered in the past seven and especially the past two years is utterly ridiculous. They keep shooting the country - that they allegedly are so proud of - into the foot and risk that after its relationship to the European Union, also its own internal union will break up. Where David Cameron was a shortsighted nitwit, Theresa May is even more of a political disaster on legs. And isn't it ironical that she wants to punish Britain even further by clinging to 10 Downing Street with the help of the egoistic and unfit DUP and of her own "strong and stable" parliamentary colleagues who obviously can't wait to get an opportunity to finally topple her and replace her with Boris "If you like this mess, you just have to thank me" Johnson or another Tory dud? Just like the presidency of the insane orange man across the ocean, the British government is presenting a real-life satire of previously unknown proportions. And therefore I ask, even louder than after the Brexit referendum: Where has the "Great" in "Great Britain" gone? And no, I don't direct this at you, all the good-humoured and well-intending people of Britain. I direct it at the political class that risks your country's great reputation for cheap policial "victories". So, in the final analysis, I couldn't be sadder and angrier today.
  5. Read and rejoice: Banned drug found in Jamaican sprinters' 2008 samples — report Sadly, I couldn't find an English article from a more reliable source so far. What this article doesn't mention is that according to the ARD report, the IOC and WADA were unable to provide any proof for their assumption that the clenbuterol findings were due to a meat contamination. As a matter of fact, ARD showed that Beijing 2008 had very strict controls for all meals served in the Olympic Village and athletes were also not allowed to bring their own food into the village. Furthermore, the Jamaican team was actually very cautious itself about preventing contaminations while preparing for the Beijing 2008 - and brought its own food and its own cook to their training camp. The ARD report also showed that due to clenbuterol traces in his urine sample from Beijing 2008, Polish canoeist Adam Seroczynski got banned for two years in 2009. WADA denied any possibility back then that Seroczynski got contaminated by eating meat - and even said that such contaminations happen only extremely rarely and under extreme conditions. So the pattern of Rio 2016 seems to continue: Whenever a powerful and/or financially important sports nation dopes, the IOC closes its eyes and gives them a free pass. When a fairly unknown and unimportant athlete dopes, they react rigourously. If you ever asked yourself why I have fallen so silent on these boards during the past year or so: Exactly developments like this lead me more and more to lose my former enthusiasm for the Olympic idea and the Olympic Games. More and more I think that the Games are just a farce - and the IOC and WADA are deeply corrupt organisations. Some people might say, "Well, we told you so!" - but I never thought until last year that the corruption within the sports world roots so deep. I still somewhat hate to say that: But more and more, I start to applaud those citizens of Hamburg, Munich, Garmisch-Partenkirchen etc. who said "no" to the Games. Sometimes I even think: "Let the Games die". Yes, it has come so far already.
  6. Trouble-Free Games for PyeongChang?

    I think that organisation-wise, Pyeongchang and South Korea will deliver very solid Games (at the very least). But atmosphere-wise, I'm not so sure. I still remember the biathlon world championships in 2009 there which had a ridiculous lack of spectators (and that drew a lot of criticism from international athletes, officials and media) and even snow (but that can change, of course, and can't be influenced anyway). I think that South Korea lacks so much of a strong winter sports tradition that they will probably struggle hard to fill their venues. But, as always, I'm of course open to positive surprises. And if I might be a bit nationalistic (after Brexit and Trump's election, this seems to be very much in fashion currently ;)): From a German point of view, Pyeongchang could become enjoyable Games, at least more enjoyable than Sochi. I mean, the biathletes and nordic athletes (especially in nordic combined) currently are very strong, and I hope they can repeat that performance one year from now. The only downside for us in Europe is the time shift with many events taking place early in the morning by our time. Tough times for working people like me, but that will be the case of course for all Olympic Games up to 2022.
  7. George Michael 1963-2016

    Nevertheless, an insanely bizarre and tragic death at this time of year of all times. This year 2016 has been an entire bad joke.
  8. More tragedy from Sochi

    I highly doubt that. If that had been the case, the plane would have crashed a lot later than only a few moments after take-off. Planes usually do have plenty of reserve fuel on board so that they could fly an additional hour or so after having reached their destination.
  9. And there you have it, in his CBS "60 Minutes" interview Trump said today that he wants to deport up to 3 million people from the United States. I guess that's the premature end to that farcical "I feel the burden of my office already now and therefore I act more humbly than anyone expected of me" show he presented in the few days between the election and today. Regarding what @baron-pierreIV said about Kaine: While I recognise that he is a nice guy, he actually made pretty quite a fool of himself in the vice-presidential debate, with all his interruptions and his inability to place just one effective jab or punchline against Pence or Trump. I don't think he has the format for running for President, and sometimes I thought during this campaign that even the shoes of a Vice President are slightly too big for him. I rather think that the Democratic Party is well-advised to nominate a rust belt politician or at least someone with real street credibility (in terms of blue-collar Americans) in 2020. I don't know if there are any promising Democrats in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania or Michigan, but someone like Cory Booker from blue-collar state New Jersey could be an interesting choice along those lines, also due to his appeal to the African-American electorate and his still rather youngish age. And regarding what you, @Ikarus360, said about the Colombian referendum: Well, my boyfriend is Colombian and he was affected by the FARC conflict in his childhood, too - and also because of this, he was devastated about the result of the referendum - and so was I. By the way, that result wasn't all that self-evident after all those polls before the referendum showed a clear majority for the peace treaty (so there we go again with those untrustworthy polls in that politically crazy year of 2016...). So I guess I have actually pretty good insight into that topic. And by the way, the peace treaty was mostly rejected in regions of Colombia which weren't as strongly (or even not at all) affected by the FARC conflict. So I don't share your rationale that Colombians rejected the peace treaty because they were fed up from all that violence and suffered most from it. But I digress...
  10. Well, neige, not the Republican Party itself chose Trump as their candidate (and least not predominantly), but the voters in the primaries. And as you can see, Trump has a strong movement behind him which carried him through the primaries and now to victory in the general election. Besides that, I'm puzzled as well how something like that could happen. But already the campaign showed that formerly impossible thing are now possible in America, and also around the world. @phandrosis If you equal "bluntness" to "authenticity", you may be right. But in fact, Trump is one of the most unauthentic people one can imagine. He mainly says what his audience wants to hear, and he even takes that to new extremes. And therefore, I think that his voters fell victim to a great big misconception about the term "authenticity".
  11. While I see that you are no Trump supporter, I wonder where you recognise "authenticity" in Trump. I mean, this guy is a blatant liar and it is actually ridiculous that so many working class Americans deemed him "their champion" despite his incredible wealth and his long history as someone who actually cares a damn about the needs of the non-privileged people who worked for him and whom he dealt with in other regards. This is really one of the big bad miracles of this election.
  12. Surprisingly, I'm not as shocked as after the Brexit referendum - although this result will have an even bigger impact on the world than the Brexit. I'm rather sobered and worried about the direction our planet takes. The UK chooses to leave the EU from which it profited strongly; Colombia decides against a peace treaty which would have ended decades of death, violence and suffering; the Philippines have elected a total nutjob president; Austria is set to elect a right-wing populist president; populists throughout the world are on the rise, and such is hate, intolerance, denial of facts and the popularity of conspiracy theories. Combine this with the madness surrounding formerly inspiring sports events like the Olympics, and then you get a very worrying picture: Things which mankind drew inspiration from in the past count no more. Safeties and certainties do exist less and less. Even if I strongly disagree with those who voted Trump, for the Brexit, against the Colombian peace treaty etc.: I think one has to take those voices more serious than ever before in order to find a way to combat those rising populist sentiments and movements. But that will be tough, especially since no one in the "rational camp" seems to have found a recipe against those sentiments and movements so far. I guess we have to hope (even if that leads to worrying effects for the US and the world) that as soon as they have to govern, those irrational populist movements will prove to be what they are: phonies. Trump has promised amazingly much to voters who are already disillusioned, disappointed and angry. I'm pretty sure he will step on quite a lot of feet there as soon as he he won't deliver. But it's sad enough that one has to resort to such a hope in order to (somehow) "save the world".
  13. Thanks to all for the information regarding Ivete!
  14. And instead, the ARD now shows the replay of a political talkshow regarding the xenophobic attacks last week in the German city of Bautzen. They couldn't have chosen a more sobering reminder of how hateful and ugly our world can be. What a downer after that show of harmony, love, tolerance and global understanding that was just presented in Maracana. Ugh! I better go to sleep now, I guess. It was a pleasure, guys - even if I could only join for a few minutes! Keep Rio 2016 in your hearts! Even if I became very silent on these boards, the Cariocas sure warmed my heart with the hospitality they were able to show (due to lower ticket prices and the sheer "supportive nature" of the Paralympics) during the past ten days! And even if the Olympics were slightly more troublesome, Rio sure did a good job! More maybe later in the verdict thread. Obrigado outra vez, Brasil!
  15. Here in Germany, the video compilation was a very rushed and abbreviated thing. So ARD and ZDF still are somewhat a disappointment when it comes to Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies. I will never forget how in 2012, they showed the Paralympic opening only on tape delay and only parts of the Paralympic closing.
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