August 21, 2008


Also via CG, Rachel Marsden's article on the politics of the Olympics:

Liberals even want to redistribute other people’s Olympic wealth. American swimmer Michael Phelps earned an unprecedented eight gold medals during the games, and is now possibly looking at endorsement deals of up to $100 million – all through years of hard work and sacrifice by him and his single-parent family. But in an interview this week, Ken Sunshine – flack to world class leftist “limousine liberati” luminaries like Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, and the Dixie Chicks – said to CNN’s Campbell Brown: “I mean, we’re just talking about a lot of money. The Michael Phelps phenomenon is so unique and his story is so great, and he just fits the pattern perfectly that it almost isn’t fair. I think what makes more sense are the people that won one medal or two medals and compare them. And it’s a double standard. We need to make it fairer and it’s not.” In that case, I’d like to use Ken Sunshine’s posh home in New York’s Hamptons for half the year, please - because I don’t have one, and it isn’t fair.

When I read that, I was so shocked I went looking for more info. I found the video clip and also another blog entry at The Four Winds.

Did someone really actually say that we need to make the Olympics fairer? It's not fair that Phelps worked his entire life and devoted himself to being the best? You have to be kidding me. Michael Phelps deserves every dollar he can get out of the years and years of work he put into being the greatest Olympian ever. Good for him. I hope he makes enough money to backstroke in hundred dollar bills. He has to walk around on land looking like a frog stretched straight out; he deserves cash for his effort. Deal with it.

What is wrong with our world is people like this Ken Sunshine who think that it's only appropriate to win one medal. More than that is showing off. It looks bad. But you know what? Our American society is great because it doesn't have a concept of lagom, where you should be content to be mediocre and be happy with "just enough." We don't even have a translation for that Swedish word. And thank heavens we don't. We wouldn't have Michael Phelpses or Lance Armstrongs if we did.

Olympic swimming is about as fair as the world gets: a gun goes off, all the swimmers enter the water, and the person who works hardest and wants it most gets to the finish line first. There's no Olympic affirmative action, where the swimmer from Palestine gets to dive in first because (cue violins) he doesn't even have an Olympic-sized pool in his entire territory. Boo hoo.

More fair? I'd like to slap CNN in the mouth for even running such a ridiculous segment.

Michael Phelps, you rule. Enjoy your 8 medals and come back and win 9 next time.

(And don't even get me started on how they said product endorsements are sexist. The Four Winds answered that one perfectly.)

Posted by Sarah at August 21, 2008 12:37 PM | TrackBack

HILARITY...."He has to walk around on land looking like a frog stretched straight out; he deserves cash for his effort. Deal with it."

I'm with you...this 'kid' (she says only 10 years older) just spent the last four years of his life living away from home, training 8-10 hours a day because this was his goal, to become the great Olympian. He dedicated himself to it, earned it, and now people are sobbing about it! Shoot, I'd pay him something to see him ingest that 8000-10000 calories a day and stay that fit because it's amazing.


Posted by: Tracy at August 21, 2008 12:51 PM

Thanks for the nod to my new blog, and I appreciate your comments!

One thing I'd say though about Ken Sunshine's comment: I think you misunderstood his comment about being fair. I think he was actually trying to tell Campbell Brown that she was making an unfair comparison between Phelps' eight-gold-medal performance (and subsequent endorsement potential) to those who had only won one or two medals and their endorsement potential. So he said it would be more fair to compare the endorsement potential of those who had only won one or two medals. That's why I said it was so bizarre that he still went on to say, while giving no evidence, that the endorsement deals were still sexist.

Posted by: Greg at August 21, 2008 01:24 PM

go sarah. I totally agree with you.

In my opinion, if we want things to be more "fair" we need to do away w/events that have judges. Is it "fair" to fall on your face during gymnastics, but still win a medal b/c of "judging"? I agree w/you - Swimming is as fair as it gets. You jump in, swim your a$$ off and whomever has the best time, wins.

And I agree w/Tracy. MPhelps rocks. I cant wait until they have his parade here (Baltimore) when he returns. I already told my husband we're going & taking my girls :)

Posted by: keri at August 21, 2008 03:32 PM

Tee hee! Sarah, did you get the lagom concept from Eat the Rich?

Posted by: Lissa at August 21, 2008 03:33 PM

Greg -- I totally see what you're saying. Perhaps reading Marsden's summary of it before watching the clip colored how I heard it. I think you're right that he could've meant it the way you say.

If so, the whole post is moot, eh? :)

Lissa -- I studied Swedish for two years and lived there for a summer. They eat/sleep/live lagom! I don't get it.

Posted by: Sarah at August 21, 2008 07:06 PM

Moot? Well, now that I look more thoroughly at your post and see that you were initially quoting from Rachel Marsden, it actually doesn't speak all that well of Rachel's post.

Posted by: Greg at August 22, 2008 07:24 PM