August 21, 2008

IOC's Rogge Should Have Held His Peace

What was up with Rogge's comments? - Game on -

Rogge's said the following about Usain Bolt's post race celebration :

"That's not the way we perceive being a champion," Rogge said and then
commented on the chest thumping the gold medalist did in the middle of
winning the 100 meters. "I understand the joy. "He might have
interpreted that in another way, but the way it was perceived was
'catch me if you can.' You don't do that. But he'll learn. He's still a
young man."

While Bolt's post race victory demonstrations were full of bravado and machismo which I'm sure played very well at home, he did nothing in my view that was over the top or particularly offensive that it was worthy of a public rebuke from the IOC president. Bolt is 21 and is clearly a young man with more maturing to do. Anyone observing him can see that. Furthermore, if you watched his post race interview, his comments were quite proper and he didn't display anything I would have called unsportmanslike. So I find Rogge's criticism unwarranted because Bolt enjoyed his moment in the sun in a manner not unsurprising for a young guy.

As the article points out, the French taunting of the Americans drew not a word (its okay to taunt Americans?). Rogge had no comment for the over the top antics of Lin Dal on winning the medal in badminton. I'm sure there are other examples as well.

In the absence of any balance in his commentary on this subject and the singling out of just this one black athlete for fairly inoffensive behavior, Rogge earns the prejudiced foot in mouth award for Olympics 2008. Next time, Rogge, just keep your mouth shut.