Why is it we are so slow getting what we are told? Far from the first time, quite openly, Russia has been told her people belong in a special reservation for economically and mentally underdeveloped nations. Yet we are not getting it, no matter how they try! Possibly, in our childhood, we were taught too long the outdated Soviet notions concerning sports and honest competition being synonyms. Now we are being taught the full Olympic version of the opposite! When on the first day of the Olympic games in the Mormon country, Larisa Lazutina, looking into a TV camera, honestly told about fazed degenerates in uniforms who, in the state of anti-terrorist psychosis, had crowded locker rooms of Russia's female athletes, digging through personal effects and doing other things just short of breaking into occupied shower cabins, there was a thought the kindly hosts might not like her being so 'ungrateful'. And look at them! They did not forget. Just think of it, they found haemoglobin in Lazutina's blood! Just think of it, her blood was red! Of course, that could have been the result of the insufficient level of coca-cola in it.
Our 'Olympic mentors' had failed to purge that 'imperial' red haemoglobin from the blood of Russia's athletes who continued competing honestly where everything had been long bought and sold. What is there to be surprised about if the very location of the Olympic games had been bought and sold for bribes so large it simply had to come out! Who says simple judges who depend on their national organizations, international federations and the International Olympic Committee should have been more conscientious and incorruptible that the International Olympic Committee itself?
As God is my witness, I did not want to write about this, yet there's been too great a load of all kinds of everything! I dare say, deep in his or her heart, every Russian citizen has a bunch of scars on his or her national pride inflicted by so-called 'biased judges'.
My personal list of such scars begins with the hard to forget soccer game, USSR vs. Belgium, in Mexico City, in 1986. Then our brilliant 'Kiev' team of stars was most dishonestly thrown out of competition through the efforts of the Spanish referee. After the game, I saw terrible sadness in the eyes of Igor Belanov, who had so many times thrown himself against the embrasure that had kept firing bullets because someone had paid for it. The same sadness I later saw so many times in the eyes of so many our very best athletes. Today, for God knows which time, I saw that sadness in the eyes of Larisa Lazutina the skier and Ira Slutskaya, my favourite figure skater. I have very few words left, yet there are plenty of bad emotions. My fists clench involuntarily and the level of haemoglobin in my blood shoots up. 'Olympics as the school of hatred' sounds truly terrible. Yet this is exactly what the organizers of Olympics have managed to turn the games into by treating our athletes the way they do.
Somehow, the 'foreign mentors' have lately been mostly taunting our female athletes. Regretfully, we have begun to forget the way they treated Lyubov Yegorova, our great skier. Yet the memories of Sidney are still fresh: Svetlana Khorkina trembling from injury and anger. Those who tried to get her out of the way did not stop at anything. Actually, they were close to crippling her. I have no idea where she got the strength to put herself together and still get her gold. She probably also had too much haemoglobin.
During the Salt Lake City winter Olympics, corrupt nobodies who wormed their way among the judges stole from Olga Korolyova her 100%-assured victory in freestyle aerials just as they did from Irina Slutskaya. As to our women's skiing team, they knew that once the race was on they could do nothing. So they decided to do away with the team before it took off on track. While the Olympics continued, we found out that Russian gymnasts, Alina Kabayeva and Irina Chashchina had been disqualified. And that Russia was going to protest - as usual. After this, the President of the International Olympic Committee had the gall to assure Russia's President Vladimir Putin that all that was incidental, the judges were not biased and Russia had no reason to be upset.
Well, Let God be the judge of the corrupted. This is not about them. Let us better have a look at our high officials. What about their haemoglobin? Didn't any of them foresee such a development or prepare for defending Russian athletes? The impression is they did not. When the scandal around victorious Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze arose, the lesson that should have been learned was not about the Canadian pair who screamed and kicked for their second-hand 'gold', smearing snot on their faces. The lesson was about how our proud victors were somehow forced to attend in person the handing to their rivals of the trinkets they had begged for crying. After that demarche it became clear to everyone that whatever Russian sports officials said could be simply dismissed.
The splash of official ardour, after the President had mentioned the need for sports in Russia to be revived, bore no fruit that might have shown during the Olympics. Had everything gone fine, the sports officials would have trumpeted the glorious victories as their own - loudly enough to be heard across the Atlantic Ocean. Yet now they just kept silent: first when our figure skaters had been spat in the face, then they could not open their mouths to stand for Pavel Rostovtsev, then again shut up after what had happened at freestyle aerials. When finally there was nothing much happening except a lot of spitting in the face, all they could do was wait for what Russia's leaders might do. They are still waiting for a roar from the State Duma or a stern reaction from the President. Gotta be the lack of haemoglobin in their blood or something.
The history of Olympics is a history inseparable from politics. This has always been true since the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin. Yet earlier, the world of politics was like an aggressive outside environment, within which the Olympic movement and big-time sports existed of necessity, while resisting the intrusion. Just remember the courageous participation of several American athletes in the Moscow 1980 Olympics officially boycotted by the U.S. or Ted Turner's delightful initiative as to organising the Good Will Games. However, now the world of politics seems to have invaded Olympics completely, eating the games from the inside until, by now, not much of sports seems to be still left there. Yet sheer politics wouldn't have accomplished this much hadn't real big money been involved.
Just 20 years ago no one could imagine the schedule of Olympic events shaped and reshaped to match the format and fit the prime time of American television networks. Who could imagine then the introduction in Olympic games of sports completely unknown outside North America? And absolutely unimaginable was the pre-competition estimation of the chances of athletes to win, depending on the values of their advertising contracts. Today this all seems quite normal however.
Chemists have a substance that in Russia is called 'The Tsar's Vodka', that is, a mixture of concentrated sulphuric and nitric acids capable of dissolving even gold and platinum. Maybe we should begin to speak about 'Olympic Tsar's Vodka' that stinks high and is very poisonous, the substance of big American politics of big money. In Salt Lake City, this stuff dissolved pure Olympic gold and silver, leaving alone bronze. The resulting solution is used for gilding the idea of American leadership in everything without exception.
One thing is still unclear, which is what is the primary objective of those hiding behind the International Olympic Committee. Is it, as Sergey Yasrzhembsky, President Putin's, aide says, to squeeze Russia out of big-time sports while forcing her best athletes to not just leave for someplace else and get trained abroad but maybe also change citizenship? Or maybe the purpose is to support ideologically the very stale and stinking Russophobe sentiments in America through proclaiming all Russia's athletes frauds working for Russian mafia? Is their purpose the complete takeover of the Olympic movement while turning Olympics into a pleasant and profitable party for members only, something not unlike the Oscar award ceremony, all outcome prepaid?
May their objective be creating in 'these Russians' an inferiority complex, the feeling of being citizens of a 'redundant' country no one needs? May they achieve this forcing the Russians to endlessly and senselessly rummage through their resentments, in and out of sports, while the very taste of victory becomes forgotten? If this is true, then Olympics may be a part of a larger programme for turning Russia into another 'renegade state'.
Before anything, we must stop and think what exactly has happened and what is it we should do now. Is what is happening an attempt to substitute sports war for cold war? If this is so, then may be we should remember what a wise American poet once wrote: 'they declared a war but nobody showed'.
P. S. Today, while I write this, I do not know yet what the Russians vs. Americans ice hockey game in the semi-finals will be like, a Canadian referee in charge. What I know, however, is that there will be plenty of haemoglobin in the blood of all Russians and that is a good thing to clear up coca-cola-flooded brains.
An unidentified man wielding a knife attacked civilians in the Church of Notre Dame in the French city of Nice. Three people were killed, several others were hospitalised with injuries.One of the victims was beheaded