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  Friday, November 21, 2014
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xtra xtra!
February 6, 2014
Good Fortune, American Athletes
By Rick Winterson


The bronze statue of South Boston’s James Brendan Connolly, the very first Modern Olympic medalist, completing his Triple Jump in the 1896 Olympics at Athens, Greece.

South Boston Online wondered about this, especially since Olympic broadcasts in the past have always concentrated on the athletes and their accomplishments - on Olympic athletics, no matter what.
   
We might have stumbled across the reason for all this negativity.  The accommodations for the various and multiple media people arriving in Sochi haven’t been made ready as of this writing.  
   
The media people are feeling a certain amount of “discomfort”, so they are all reporting on that, instead of on Olympic news of more general (i.e., athletic) interest.  The global media had better stop their whining and get down to work on their basic task:  Reporting on the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.  Period.
   
Before going further with our commentary, South Boston Online would like to pause and wish our American athletes the best of fortune during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.  We hope they bring home a bushel of Olympic gold, silver, and bronze.  We are certain that their efforts will be notable.  Equally as important, we know that all of our athletes will be courteous, fair good sports, despite all the competitive pressures they’ll undergo.
   
Are you at all superstitious, even though you are an intelligent reader of South Boston Online?  We have no other kind of reader, of course.  Whether you are superstitious or not, pay a visit to the statue of South Boston’s James Brendan Connolly on the knoll in Moakley Field near Saunders Stadium.  
   
Back in 1896 in Athens, he was the world’s very first medal winner in the Modern Olympic Games for his hop, skip, and jump – now called the Triple Jump.  You can almost see the freckles on his face, even though his statue is bronze.  Place your hand on his shoulder and wish our U.S. Olympians the best as you do.
   
Canada is favored to dominate this year’s Winter Games, but we’ll see about that.  Anyhow, look at the 2014 Winter Olympics as a North American contest to get your interest up.  
   
Women’s Ski Jump is new event – watch those airborne ladies for the first time.  A brother and a sister - Phil and Amanda Kessel – are on the U.S. Hockey teams.
     
Certainly, Russia will be going all out to garner as many medals as possible.  We wish our host nation successful Olympic Games, along with a peaceful fortnight of sports competition.  And to be fair to the media, there was a very informative article in Sunday’s Boston Globe on the history of the Winter Biathlon (marksmanship, cross country skiing), a key event in Russia.
   
For certain, Russia in the person of President Vladimir Putin has made the Olympic Games into a political statement. 
     
That’s too bad, but what nation hasn’t, including the Peoples’ Republic of China during the Summer Games in Peking?
   
And the black cloud of terrorism has hung over the Olympics for more than 40 years, ever since the massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972.  America has not been free of this threat.  A crazed bomber disrupted Atlanta’s Games in 1996; there was legitimate fear about Salt Lake City’s 2002 Winter Olympics, which were held only five months after 9/11.
   
But beyond the fears and complaints, the Games will proceed.  The news at these Games should and will be focused on our athletes.  South Boston Online wishes them all the very best, including a safe trip back home.

There have been ominous reports about the readiness of the 2014 Winter Olympic venues in Sochi, Russia.  Not a single report has been favorable; nearly all of them have been quite unfavorable.  Media from everywhere, including global news journals like The Epoch Times, have been almost uniformly negative. 
   
South Boston Online wondered about this, especially since Olympic broadcasts in the past have always concentrated on the athletes and their accomplishments - on Olympic athletics, no matter what.
   
We might have stumbled across the reason for all this negativity.  The accommodations for the various and multiple media people arriving in Sochi haven’t been made ready as of this writing.  
   
The media people are feeling a certain amount of “discomfort”, so they are all reporting on that, instead of on Olympic news of more general (i.e., athletic) interest.  The global media had better stop their whining and get down to work on their basic task:  Reporting on the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.  Period.
   
Before going further with our commentary, South Boston Online would like to pause and wish our American athletes the best of fortune during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.  We hope they bring home a bushel of Olympic gold, silver, and bronze.  We are certain that their efforts will be notable.  Equally as important, we know that all of our athletes will be courteous, fair good sports, despite all the competitive pressures they’ll undergo.
   
Are you at all superstitious, even though you are an intelligent reader of South Boston Online?  We have no other kind of reader, of course.  Whether you are superstitious or not, pay a visit to the statue of South Boston’s James Brendan Connolly on the knoll in Moakley Field near Saunders Stadium.  
   
Back in 1896 in Athens, he was the world’s very first medal winner in the Modern Olympic Games for his hop, skip, and jump – now called the Triple Jump.  You can almost see the freckles on his face, even though his statue is bronze.  Place your hand on his shoulder and wish our U.S. Olympians the best as you do.
   
Canada is favored to dominate this year’s Winter Games, but we’ll see about that.  Anyhow, look at the 2014 Winter Olympics as a North American contest to get your interest up.  
   
Women’s Ski Jump is new event – watch those airborne ladies for the first time.  A brother and a sister - Phil and Amanda Kessel – are on the U.S. Hockey teams.
     
Certainly, Russia will be going all out to garner as many medals as possible.  We wish our host nation successful Olympic Games, along with a peaceful fortnight of sports competition.  And to be fair to the media, there was a very informative article in Sunday’s Boston Globe on the history of the Winter Biathlon (marksmanship, cross country skiing), a key event in Russia.
   
For certain, Russia in the person of President Vladimir Putin has made the Olympic Games into a political statement. 
     
That’s too bad, but what nation hasn’t, including the Peoples’ Republic of China during the Summer Games in Peking?
   
And the black cloud of terrorism has hung over the Olympics for more than 40 years, ever since the massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972.  America has not been free of this threat.  A crazed bomber disrupted Atlanta’s Games in 1996; there was legitimate fear about Salt Lake City’s 2002 Winter Olympics, which were held only five months after 9/11.
   
But beyond the fears and complaints, the Games will proceed.  The news at these Games should and will be focused on our athletes.  South Boston Online wishes them all the very best, including a safe trip back home.



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