|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
OLYMPIC SELL-OUTS DESERVE COME-UPPANCE
A country shouldn’t be able to just buy Olympic medals, right?
If you agree, here’s a story I love repeating. It’s one about importing athletes and money down the drain. Hark back to the 2000 games in Sydney and the lovely country of Qatar.
Qatar? Yeah, I know. Sounds more like a musical instrument than a sovereign nation. Sounds like something Yoni would pick up and sing “Oh where, oh where have “U” gone?”
Okay, okay, I’m not going to make a big deal about Qatar missing its “U”. After all, Qatar has enough oil money that if they wanted to they could buy a “U” from another country.
And I’m sure Kraine would sell it to them.
Back to the story.
The Sheiks of Qatar were sitting around (on silk pillows stuffed with soft, fluffy one-hundred-dollar bills) thinking they need to win Olympic medals and might do so in the weightlifting events. But then they looked about and saw all their citizens smoking hookahs and figured water pipes can’t weigh that much. They even noticed the giant feather fans cooling them were being waved by foreign servants. So where were they going to find champion weightlifters?
Duh?! Even I know the answer – Bulgaria!
They hatched a scheme to import Bulgarians. Yes, in Bulgaria weightlifters grow on trees. Well, not really… but they live in them. And Qataris look a little like Bulgarians. Well, except for the muscles parts. But close enough they could change a few names, doctor up citizenship papers. You get the picture.
Also they were to pay the Bulgarians the kind of money they don’t see in Bulgaria. If the Bulgarians had Qatari money, they wouldn’t be living in trees.
Plus they gave the new Qatari citizens new names. Angel Papov became Said Assad. Yani Marchokov became Jaber Salem. Andrei Ivanov became Abbas Nadur.
So here’s the payoff. In the Olympic village each country has its own dietician and prepares meals to suit country customs. Qataris love rice mixed with dates and a little lamb so long as it’s doused with sugar. Bulgarian weightlifters, on the other hand, revel in high protein, high fat items like milk, cheese and beef. Are you ready for the sweet irony? When the new highly paid citizens sat down to their Olympic Village Qatari meals they developed a heavy case of diarrhea. And when you’re talking weightlifters it really is heavy duty. So much so they had to withdraw from the events. There wasn’t enough Kaopectate in all of Australia to bail them out. Because if there’s any sport you don’t want to chance if you’ve got diarrhea, it’s weightlifting.
So here you go. Qatar paid Bulgaria millions for their weightlifters, plus they paid the guys millions only to see all that money going down the toilet. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of cheats.
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|Silliman On Sports
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