Author Topic: Olympic nationalism  (Read 14105 times)

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
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    • Humanist Celebrant.
Olympic nationalism
« on: July 30, 2012, 06:04:51 pm »
Most of the athletes at the olympics compete against each other all the time as they are all international pro or semi pro champions.  They compete mostly to be the best. Nationality is fairly irrelevant. (Or so it was when I was competing).
At the olympics though it is very strongly packaged as national.  Its a bit of a fantasy though - Bradley Wiggins is not really mostly about Team UK but much more about Bradley Wiggins isnt he?
I thought the athletes exploit the Olympics for the funding and resourcing suppoprt etc, and in return they have to act up the national bit for the audience to increase emotional engagement and connection.
I guess I was a bit shocked to see the Chines flag raising ceremony accompanied by what I took to be army officers in another thread on weight lifting - it introduced a nasty militaristic message that makes overt what is otherwise only implicit.
 
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Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 06:31:41 pm »
There have been service people acting as stewards at Wimbledon (as in the lawn tennis & croquet club championship) for donkeys years and surely its no surprise there are service people at the Olympics. Stick service types in a hall when there are flags being raised and they're sort of obliged to put their hats on and stand to attention. That's it, really.

If you want to complain about militaristic imagery at the Olympics then you're four years too late...

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 06:36:22 pm »
To be fair, you'd be best off complaining about the whole concept of nation states in this postmodern blah instead.  ;)

The patriotic vibe I'm picking up, almost entirely, is "Come on our lot!" and "Isn't that other chap bloody good? We deserved to be beaten by them!"  There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism, and I think it reflects upon the poster to find darkness where the rest of us are finding light.

It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 06:40:08 pm »
... the whole concept of nation states in this postmodern blah instead.  ;)

I'm looking forward to Microsoft v Apple in the Greco-Roman Wrestling...

mattc

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Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 06:49:56 pm »
The patriotic vibe I'm picking up, almost entirely, is "Come on our lot!" and "Isn't that other chap bloody good? We deserved to be beaten by them!"  There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism, and I think it reflects upon the poster to find darkness where the rest of us are finding light.
Hear-hear  :thumbsup:

(and it is getting a bit boring, this repeated accusation of nationalism with no evidence. It crops up with every international contest, so I guess the Olympics were bound to trigger yet another nutter  ::-)  )
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---------
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Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 06:56:57 pm »
... the whole concept of nation states in this postmodern blah instead.  ;)

I'm looking forward to Microsoft v Apple in the Greco-Roman Wrestling...

<a href="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=6304687408656696643" target="_blank">http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=6304687408656696643</a> Steve Ballmer would get the Gold.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 07:10:03 pm »
I got cheered by a couple of soccer types with a resounding 'Bradley, Bradley' on the way back from the pub on Sunday, I've just been out for a ride, and coming back a lad in an Astra opened his window and shouted that our girl made up for Saturday yesterday, so patriotism  has its uses. I'm always cheered by England successes in Soccer, Rugby and Cricket, but I know next to nothing about those sports.

Those who do know, tell me that it's something of a relief when a boring England team falter in a tournament.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 08:27:05 pm »
I got cheered by a couple of soccer types with a resounding 'Bradley, Bradley' on the way back from the pub on Sunday.

Were you in your Black and White stripes?

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 08:35:13 pm »
The PBP 2005 shirt, so Black and White Stripes were involved.

Here's a picture of Ivo touring in one.
I'd put the captions in, but they're in Esperanto, not much of a nationalist our Ivo, he's more of a Limburger.



Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 09:08:16 pm »
It's a little known fact that he was born in Esperantia.

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 09:11:33 pm »
The patriotic vibe I'm picking up, almost entirely, is "Come on our lot!" and "Isn't that other chap bloody good? We deserved to be beaten by them!"  There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism, and I think it reflects upon the poster to find darkness where the rest of us are finding light.
Hear-hear  :thumbsup:

(and it is getting a bit boring, this repeated accusation of nationalism with no evidence. It crops up with every international contest, so I guess the Olympics were bound to trigger yet another nutter  ::-)  )

Yeah, that.

I had a great time waving a gert big union flag at the end of the Tour, and at the road races this weekend. I've stuck a slightly smaller one on the bike (there are heaps of vehicles with flags driving around the area where I work, so why not...plus fluttery things on the bike made drivers give me more room...)

It does make me think of the bit in Adrian Mole where Barry Kemp is sent home from school for wearing a union flag t-shirt, and told he was a fascist, but never mind about that  ;D

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 10:10:00 pm »
It's a little known fact that he was born in Esperantia.

Bizzarely, such a state did sort of exist close to Maastricht from 1816 to 1920.

Quote
Neutral Moresnet[1] was a tiny Belgian-Prussian condominium that existed from 1816 to 1920 between present-day Belgium and Germany. Prior to Belgian independence in 1830, the territory was a Dutch-Prussian condominium. During the First World War, the territory was annexed into Prussia, although the allies did not recognise the annexation.
 
The former territory is now in the Belgian city of Kelmis. Today, it is especially of interest to Esperantists because of initiatives to found an Esperanto-speaking state on the territory in the early 20th century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_Moresnet

I found out about in a Christmas novelty book called 'Whatever Happened to Tanganyika'. Always a good source of useless erudition.

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 10:24:52 pm »
To be fair, you'd be best off complaining about the whole concept of nation states in this postmodern blah instead.  ;)

The patriotic vibe I'm picking up, almost entirely, is "Come on our lot!" and "Isn't that other chap bloody good? We deserved to be beaten by them!"  There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism, and I think it reflects upon the poster to find darkness where the rest of us are finding light.

I don't think I'm watching the same olympics as you*, or, at least, not with the same people.

But patriotism/nationalism usually winds me up.

(*I've watched not very much of it)
L'enfer, c'est les autos.

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 10:34:06 pm »
From a couple of days of wandering around the Olympics, I've found people to be more friendly, and we were approached by more people, precisely because we were carrying a flag of another nation. People kept asking to have their pictures taken with us and our stupidly large China flag.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 10:58:52 pm »
I don't have much time for nationalism.  But, since Mexico in 1968 (the first Olympics I remember), I have been impressed by sporting excellence, without being hampered by having to support people just because of their origin.

My sporting heroes are from Belgium, France, UK, Italy, Colombia, India etc
Getting there...

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2012, 11:24:50 pm »
To be fair, you'd be best off complaining about the whole concept of nation states in this postmodern blah instead.  ;)

The patriotic vibe I'm picking up, almost entirely, is "Come on our lot!" and "Isn't that other chap bloody good? We deserved to be beaten by them!"  There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism, and I think it reflects upon the poster to find darkness where the rest of us are finding light.

I don't think I'm watching the same olympics as you*, or, at least, not with the same people.

But patriotism/nationalism usually winds me up.

(*I've watched not very much of it)

Yeah, and some people think there's no nationalism:
competitors compete in national teams (can anyone take part as an individual?),
"xxx xxx wins gold for name of country",
medal tables,
national anthems galore,
constant flag waving,
watching a sport you have no interest in just because someone from your country might win,
broadcasting an event you would never show on TV at any other time (coz it's a weird minority sport, worldwide) just because someone from your country might win,
get ecstatic cos the winner just happens to be from the same country as you,
get really disappointed just cos the winner just happens to be not from the same country as you,
it's a final, but we're not going to show it on TV, coz none of the people are from our country,
person comes second and they're on every national newspaper front page of their country,

etc

It's the Olympics.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2012, 11:33:15 pm »
person comes second and they're on every national newspaper front page of their country,

etc

It's the Olympics.
"Cav didn't win" is headline news - with no mention of who actually did win!
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2012, 11:36:44 pm »
I do think though that there's nothing wrong in supporting a competitor or wanting them to win just because they're from your country - or a country you associate with or like for any reason. What's bad is being against people because of their nationality, citizenship or origin.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2012, 11:57:13 pm »
person comes second and they're on every national newspaper front page of their country,

etc

It's the Olympics.
"Cav didn't win" is headline news - with no mention of who actually did win!

Personally I'd be happy not having Vino's name and picture all over the papers, but I understand that is beside the point.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2012, 12:39:11 am »
From a couple of days of wandering around the Olympics, I've found people to be more friendly, and we were approached by more people, precisely because we were carrying a flag of another nation. People kept asking to have their pictures taken with us and our stupidly large China flag.

I had you down as Hong Kong, I was certainly impressed by the performance of Wong Kam Po in the road race.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wong_Kam_Po

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2012, 05:29:48 am »
I wonder if there is a better way of improving interest in a minority sport than showing it on national television?

Maybe a pub team putting on a display advertised by an A5 flyer on the Parish Notice Board would do it?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2012, 09:01:24 am »
Patriotism is simply a way of claiming identity and shared experiences and aspirations. It is no more (and no more sinister) than supporting your local village team - for those of us that still live in villages. Nationalism, to me at least, is something else entirely with far more sinister overtones. As for the presence of 'military officers' (very unlikely - the officers will be in the bar!) at the flag ceremonies, with something like 16,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen doing the jobs that G4S fucked up on, it's quite likely you're going to see quite a few of them. And they're doing those jobs bloody well.

mattc

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Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2012, 09:15:22 am »
Yeah, and some people think there's no nationalism:
competitors compete in national teams (can anyone take part as an individual?),
"xxx xxx wins gold for name of country",
medal tables,
national anthems galore,
constant flag waving,
watching a sport you have no interest in just because someone from your country might win,
broadcasting an event you would never show on TV at any other time (coz it's a weird minority sport, worldwide) just because someone from your country might win,
get ecstatic cos the winner just happens to be from the same country as you,
get really disappointed just cos the winner just happens to be not from the same country as you,
it's a final, but we're not going to show it on TV, coz none of the people are from our country,
person comes second and they're on every national newspaper front page of their country,

etc

It's the Olympics.
Those are all patriotic actions.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2012, 11:01:43 am »
Makes more sense to me to support those from similar class backgrounds.
Getting there...

Re: Olympic nationalism
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2012, 11:28:26 am »
Makes more sense to me to support those from similar class backgrounds.

I agree with you completely on that one Clarion.
In my case I support competitors based on body type. I'm tall, with a long body, long arms, relatively short legs and big hands and feet. Anyone with that morphology doing well is an inspiration to me.
I was particularly cheered by Indurain's message to Wiggins on the Tour, which mentioned their similar builds.
I was watching the Beach Volleyball last night, the women were in full tracksuits, which was better, as it gave more focus to their actual playing. I preferred the Czech blocker over the equally tall US blocker because her legs weren't as long.
I wonder to myself if it's a form of racism, although anyone of the same build, regardless of ethnicity, is 'one of us'. If I can see that they wouldn't be able to buy shoes on the high street they become part of 'Team Long'.
The 'Thorpedo' was the ultimate.