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The Olympics


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A word about the '80 hockey team.  Although it hasn't reached the same mythic status in the rest of the world, for the hockey playing countries it was a very big deal -- it proved the Soviets were beatable.  The Soviet Union completely dominated international hockey competition during those years.  They had won 4 straight gold medals from '64 through '76.  And between 1970 and 1980 they won 7 world championships.

hey, between 1928 and 1980 every real hockey gold medal was won by india or pakistan*.

 

 

The Golden Era of hockey in India was the period from 1928 - 1956 when India won 6 consecutive gold medals in the Olympics. During the Golden Era, India played 24 Olympic matches, won all 24, scored 178 goals (at an average of 7.43 goals per match) and conceded only 7 goals. The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

 

In 1956, after India won the last of its six consecutive gold medals, the manager of the Pakistan hockey team, Riazuddin Ahmed said, "This is the first time that we played India in the Olympics. The next time we play, the result will be different." His prophetic words came true in 1960, when after 28 consecutive victories in the Olympic Games, India lost 0-1 to Pakistan in the 1960 Rome Olympics final.

 

*actually, west germany won gold in 1972. and new zealand won in 76. complete olympic medals list from 1908

Edited by mongo_jones
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Hold on. Ice hockey is one sport, field hockey another. Congrats to India but it ain't the same. As if the US started claiming superiority in football over all the soccer champs.

my point is only that non ice hockey playing countries (of which there are more) care about as much about ice hockey results, as ice hockey playing countries care about real hockey. i was answering literally the rhetorical question, " Who can forget ... the US beating the Soviet Union in hockey..in the 80s."

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Hold on.  Ice hockey is one sport, field hockey another.  Congrats to India but it ain't the same.  As if the US started claiming superiority in football over all the soccer champs.

my point is only that non ice hockey playing countries (of which there are more) care about as much about ice hockey results, as ice hockey playing countries care about real hockey. i was answering literally the rhetorical question, " Who can forget ... the US beating the Soviet Union in hockey..in the 80s."

I guess the issue is the word real. When a puck's flying at you it's real enough. I take your point about cultural relativism, etc. The question you responded to shows the dominance of US media over the minds of our citizenry. Up next, War is peace.

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The thing now missing from the Olympics for Americans is an enemy.

 

The Olympics were more fun for Americans when we could not only root for our folks to do well but root against the evil Soviets and East Germans to lose.

 

I remember years ago rooting for the Bulgarians to beat Russian Alexei Visiliav (spelling?) in weightlifting.

 

Just no fun anymore without an arch enemy.

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The thing now missing from the Olympics for Americans is an enemy.

 

The Olympics were more fun for Americans when we could not only root for our folks to do well but root against the evil Soviets and East Germans to lose.

 

I remember years ago rooting for the Bulgarians to beat Russian Alexei Visiliav (spelling?) in weightlifting.

 

Just no fun anymore without an arch enemy.

This is sad, but true.

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The thing now missing from the Olympics for Americans is an enemy.

 

The Olympics were more fun for Americans when we could not only root for our folks to do well but root against the evil Soviets and East Germans to lose.

 

I remember years ago rooting for the Bulgarians to beat Russian Alexei Visiliav (spelling?) in weightlifting.

 

Just no fun anymore without an arch enemy.

This is sad, but true.

This is only true if the only part you are interested in is Americans winning.

 

This past Olympics was pretty boring, but not so much because the Americans didn't win. There just were no magical moments or any exciting personalities of any nationality.

 

Sadly, the Americans mostly distinguished themselves with their bad behavior and stinky attitudes, on and off the field. Pretty demoralizing all around.

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This past Olympics was pretty boring, but not so much because the Americans didn't win. There just were no magical moments or any exciting personalities of any nationality.

 

I think you are agreeing with me.

 

In the 1970's, who didn't root for the dastardly looking Soviet gymnast Ludmila Tourischeva to fall off the beam or the great Soviet goalie Valdimir Tretiak to let one go through his legs?

 

And the best boxing matches were always the U.S. vs either East Germany, the Soviet Union or Cuba.

 

I think the lack of an "enemy team" also has a lot to do with the position many of the U.S. athletes take today. That is, they are individual athletes that just happen to be representing the U.S. Not so much part of a national team

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Afraid I have to vote with the "no enemy, no fun" camp. How am I supposed to hate the NY Rangers' rookie goalie? Or hope Jagr breaks a leg? With the NBA, NHL and other pro sports so fully internationally integrated, and the media cable/satellite TV coverage providing us with international familiarity, I just cant get so worked up about this any more. Not that the Winter Olympics ever did much for me anyway, but it's almost true for the Summer games as well.

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