Friday, August 15, 2008

"Let the Celebrations Begin"

So says the front page of news. In the midst of tense all-party talks to form a unity government in that wracked nation, the "top story" is headlined "Coventry Does it the Only Way She Knows How: Breaking the World Record". The gold medal means so much in a time of such sorrow for Zimbabwe.

Think of Manus Boonjumnong, the Thai boxer who upset for a gold in Athens...and received a call from the King of Thailand at ringside.

It's a thrill to see Phelps chase a gold rush in Beijing, but some of those individual medals are worth more to the athletes and nations than a mountain of gold. There's Benjamin Boukpeti, who won Togo's first-ever Olympic medal -- a bronze -- in canoeing (yes, canoeing). His photo is in two different places on the index page of the federal government's website.

Rasul Boqiev scored Tajikistan's inaugural Olympic medal as well, a bronze in Judo. I suspect Boqiev is getting similar treatment in Tajik media and government, but it's kinda tough to tell what with their wacky alphabet.

Every medal has a great's worth tracking them down.

I remember an offensive poster that was produced by Nike in 1996 that read "You don't win silver. You lose gold." Much better is Visa's tag line this summer.

Go world.

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