Did Rio cops distort the Lochte robbery story?

An investigation by USA Today says that there is more to the Ryan Lochte/US swim team robbery story than the Rio police have said.  Reportedly, a uniformed security guard did point a gun and demand money.  In his mind, he was telling the swimmers to pay for vandalism they committed.  In Lochte’s mind, the swimmers were being robbed.  That communication confusing came from neither side understanding each other’s language.

Read the USA Today story after the jump. [Read more…]

Swimmers go from honor to dishonor

Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte and three other members of the U.S. swim team lied about being held up at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.  Two of the swimmers reportedly admitted the fabrication.

What malice.  What a black eye for the American team, which is dominating the medal count.  What a black eye for America, as the foreign stereotypes about arrogant, disrespectful, unprincipled Americans are seemingly confirmed.

UPDATE:  Lochte apologizes.  His endorsement deals are in jeopardy.  Go here for more details.

[Read more…]

“Chariots of Fire” and the vocation of athletics

A rabbi writing in the Wall Street Journal offers reflections on Chariots of Fire, the 1981 movie about Olympic runners Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams.  The movie, of course, is about athletics as VOCATION.

Read an excerpt from the column after the jump, whereupon I offer some reflections about it, including the difference between Liddell’s Calvinist understanding of the vocation of an athlete and what a Lutheran view would add.

[Read more…]

St. Sebastian, patron saint of athletes and of Rio

You don’t have to believe in the Roman Catholic cult of the saints to find it interesting that St. Sebastian–the one who was shot through with arrows–is the patron saint of athletes.  Also of this year’s Olympics host city Rio de Janeiro.  What is the connection?  Find out after the jump.

Luther said that we should not pray to the saints, but that we can learn from their example.  Note what we can learn about athletics from St. Sebastian. [Read more…]

Oklahoma feels better now

While the rest of the country was celebrating the 4th of July, my state of Oklahoma mourned, as Thunder superstar Kevin Durant declared his independence and signed with the much-resented and already-too-good Golden State Warriors.  But now we all feel better, as the Thunder’s other superstar, Russell Westbrook–instead of being traded as everyone expected–gave up next year’s free agency to sign a three-year $85.7 million contract extension.

He is staying!  He is a thrilling player, who had been somewhat in the shadow of Durant but who excelled more than usual when Durant was injured.  Westbrook, the two-time MVP of the All Star Game, is now the face of the Thunder.  And Oklahoma’s favorite athlete. [Read more…]

The Olympics begin

Despite the Zika virus, Russian dopers, apartments said to be unfit for human habitation, fear of terrorism, and excrement in the water-events bay, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will have its opening ceremonies tonight, Friday, at 7:00 p.m. ET, to be televised on NBC.  (Go here for how to watch the ceremony and the subsequent games online.)

Despite the uncertainty and the concerns, the event, which goes from August 5-21, promises to be a good show.  Team USA is expected to do very well.

There have been years that I have resisted, but then I turn on the TV and get drawn in.  Part of that is how the games are covered:  The television shows not just the contest but also goes deeply into the “human” side of the games, telling about the different participants and their sometimes inspiring stories.

Are you a fan?  Will you be watching?  Do you know any dramas or interesting contests that we should be watching for?

[Read more…]


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