The latest Olympic scandal: being happy when you win

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Just when you thought it was safe to stop hiding in your den, along comes another scandal threatening to tarnish everything the Olympic movement stands for.

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Opinion

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/02/2010 (4663 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Just when you thought it was safe to stop hiding in your den, along comes another scandal threatening to tarnish everything the Olympic movement stands for.

Fortunately, just as it did at the Summer Games in Beijing, the International Olympic Committee is ready to crack down on this growing menace — happy athletes.

In 2008, you’ll recall, IOC President Jacques Rogge bravely complained that Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was a great big hotdog, because along with shattering world records, he also mugged for the cameras, waved to the cheering crowds, swayed to reggae music and, worst of all, laughed as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press Canadian player celebrated their victory.

Well, now Rogge and the IOC are investigating a scandal that cuts even closer to the bone — shocking reports our women’s Olympic hockey team was seen openly celebrating after winning the gold medal Thursday night.

We were aghast Friday morning to learn Canadian players had been seen, still in uniform, gold medals around their necks, smoking victory cigars and drinking champagne and beer at centre ice after their 2-0 win over the United States.

Canadian women! Drinking beer! Smoking! In public! As right-minded members of the journalistic community, we are forced to issue this statement of deep concern: "Yikes!"

It’s comforting, however, to know that Jacques Rogge and the IOC, the guardians of Olympic etiquette, have promised to get to the bottom of this dangerous trend. They promised to do this right after the happy Canadian women were heroically ratted out by an American journalist who had just seen his team trounced. Et tu, AP.

"I don’t think it’s a good promotion of sport values," the IOC’s executive director of the Games grumbled. "If they celebrate in the changing room, that’s one thing, but not in public."

Right on! Think of the consequences if these public displays of happiness get out of hand, Jacques. Grown women. Smoking. Drinking. What’s next? Demanding the right to vote? Wanting to head major corporations? The mind boggles.

Sure, the Canadian women had just become the first team in history to capture gold at three consecutive Olympics. Sure, everyone in Canada was weeping tears of joy.

But that’s not the point, is it Jacques? This is the Olympics. People aren’t supposed to have a good time!

These celebrations have to be nipped in the bud. Imagine if happy Russian figure-skaters started downing vodka Jell-O shots. Or if Norwegian cross-country skiers openly consumed lutefisk. (That stuff will make you gag.)

Worse, what if MEN started to act like this? Hold on, Jacques, scratch that one. The truth is it’s not really much of an issue at these Games because it seems like women are the only ones winning gold, so their behaviour is the issue.

Consider poor Jon Montgomery, the beloved son of Russell, Manitoba. We saw him quaffing beer after winning gold in the skeleton event, but for some reason, no one complained. Could it be he’s been hanging out with the women’s hockey team? Did they lead him astray?

You need to investigate, Jacques. You need to investigate hard.

Think of the children! OK, technically, the children didn’t see the party because the arena was empty at that point and it wasn’t shown on TV. But still!

We did see our entire women’s hockey team later that night on CTV and many of them — prepare to be shocked — were wantonly hugging their babies and toddlers in front of anchor Brian Williams.

Makes you sick, doesn’t it, Jacques? Is it possible some of those babies weren’t securely fastened in approved child car seats on their way over to CTV’s studios? We may never know. This is going to be a really tricky investigation, Jacques.

But I may have a solution for you. Perhaps it’s time to kick amateurs out of the Games and only allow the pros to compete. There may be a few minor issues with the pros, such as their tendency to ingest illegal substances and brandish weapons like lollipops. But, if the NBA is any example, the pros usually keep their guns in the dressing room, so it should be OK.

The worst part of this whole scandal, tragically, is the fact the gold medals were awarded BEFORE the celebration occurred. Coincidence? I think not! There’s a clear cause-and-effect relationship.

Let’s face it — gold medals lead directly to beer. It may seem harsh, Jacques, but we are probably going to have to stop handing out medals altogether.

That should give everyone a reason to celebrate.

No, wait!

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Doug Speirs

Doug Speirs
Columnist

Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.

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