Tag Archives: 2008

UPDATE: Latvian “giant killers”, gone but not forgotten…

Though you wouldn’t know it from watching NBC’s frustratingly America-centric coverage of the games, two of my favorite Beach Volleyball players, the Latvian “giant-killers” Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs were knocked out of the running for the quarterfinals a few days back.

Honestly, most people never thought they had a chance at even getting past the preliminaries, but after killing Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in their opening game at Beijing, the “giant-killers” were on a roll. After a surprising loss to Argentina on August 11th, they beat Switzerland 2-1 on August 13th, and were seriously on their way to the quarterfinals before getting wiped out by Austria on August 16th in a crushing 2-0 match at Chaoyang Park.

But even if they didn’t get much screen time — I had to settle for photos of their matches online! — these Baltic beach bums kicked some serious ass in Beijing and certainly put Latvia on the map in my book.

So, rock on, my Baltic brothers. Hope we see ya again in London in 2012!

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Opening Ceremonies in Beijing!

Just finished watching the epically cool Olympic Opening Ceremonies from Beijing and all I can say is, rock on Zhang Yimou!

The most acclaimed of China’s Fifth Generation of filmmakers, Yimou has always been one of my favorites, but after watching the magic he worked as director of this year’s opening ceremonies, well…wow! Give this dude a gold medal already!

I already knew Yimou was a bad-ass storyteller with a killer eye for detail — if you haven’t seen “Ju Dou”, “Raise The Red Lantern”, “Hero” and the shockingly subversive “Happy Times”, rent them, immediately! — but who knew he could create something so breathtakingly beautiful on such a gigantic scale?

Utilizing upwards of 15,000 individual performers, Yimou crafted an opening ceremonies for the ages, and whatever you think about China and the power-mad oldies running the country, that show kicked some serious ass! The costumes, the movement, the scope…this show had everything.

And unlike previous opening ceremonies where details tend to get lost in the mix, Yimou took the time to highlight some really delicate, intricately beautiful moments. The little girl with the kite? The old dude at the end running sideways to light the Olympic torch?

Hell, even the way those crazy dancers moved around that glowing globe while Sarah Brightman sang her heart out (in what sounded like Chinese!) with Chinese pop star Liu Huan…amazing!

And though Christine and I reached for the kleenex more than a few times during the four hour-plus show, I think our favorite moment of the night was when nine-year-old earthquake survivor, Lin Hao lead the Chinese athletes into the Bird’s Nest beside the towering Yao Ming. Oh…my…God…so awesome!

And best of all, that was just the first night of the Olympics! Yay! Bring it on, Beijing! We won’t stop taping till our Tivo catches fire!


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We heart Obama!

Musty old McCain and his cronies have been having a field day mocking the world media’s love affair with Barack Obama this week — even going so far as to create the strangest so-called “smear clip” ever — but all I gotta say to those blue-haired squares is…jealous much?

I mean, seriously, our country could use a little goodwill right now, and if it takes sending Jedi Master Obama on a Eva Peron-ish “Rainbow Tour” to get it…then rock on, black Evita! If you ask me, the Obama world tour kicks ass. I seriously cannot wait to read the paper every morning to see where he’s landing next…

So, while McCain struggles to generate some much-needed heat stateside, I think the rest of us should buy groovy logo t-shirts like the one pictured below and call it a day. Go, Obama!

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Edwards endorses Obama!

Despite his crushing defeat in yesterday’s West Virginia’s primary, Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama — pictured below in a rocking Photoshop tribute by über blogger Kevin Chu — managed to score another major endorsement today, this time from ex-rival John Edwards.

And though I still wish Edwards himself was a part of this race — go, Tar Heels! — I gotta say that with Johnny Edwards joining the ever-expanding roster of powerful Dems endorsing Obama (hell, even Clinton’s political mentor George McGovern has announced his support for Obama!) Clinton seems destined for a VP position, at best, at this point.

And I’m not saying that would be bad…I mean, even Clinton supporters have gotta agree that an Obama-Clinton ticket would be damn near unbeatable come November. Of course, I’m sure she’d rather be on top of that ticket, but hey…she’d make a damn fine VP too. I mean, shit…after eight years of President Cheney making most of the decisions in Washington, it’d be kinda cool to have co-Presidents who actually know what they’re doing this time around!

But until Clinton accepts the inevitable and joins Obama to rule the galaxy as President and Vice President she can take comfort in some of the really cool things Edwards said about her today.

Sharing the stage with Obama at a rally in Grand Rapids, Edwards said: “She’s a leader in this country not because of her husband, but because of what she has done.” and gushed further that: “We are a stronger party because Hillary Clinton is a Democrat.” Whoa…talk about your Southern charm! Edwards might have stabbed Clinton in the back, but man, he did it with style!

Seriously, though…I couldn’t agree with Edwards more. Hilary Clinton (and Obama) have made this battle for the Democratic presidential nomination one of the most electrifying in recent memory. I mean, think about it, people who’ve never voted in their lives are actually getting up off their asses and voting…in primaries! Amazing!

So, keep on keeping on, Jedi Master Obama. The Force is clearly strong with you. And something tells me that it’s only a matter of time before you are joined on the ticket by Vice Jedi Master Clinton…or at least I hope so.


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