Archivos Mensuales: agosto 2008
The primary problem with the NBA has been one of image. The NBA has many basketball players who are talented yet they are misjudged by a few people who have tainted it secondary to their misbehaviour. There is the image of NBA Players being overpaid yet giving little to the community at large. While the NBA has many problems that are in need of correction, I will be concentrating in the image section. While the US Mainstream Media has reported on the negative aspects of the NBA, there is some good that is occurring within the NBA.
According to a News Article published by Xinhua and CRI English, Danny Granger [who is a Guard Forward for the Indiana Pacers] participated in a joint USA and Indonesian event with the Indonesian Basketball Team Satria Muda Britama in the grounds of the US Embassy in Indonesia. The purpose of the event was to teach basketball to Indonesian Orphans. This event is also part of the NBA Charity Organization called NBA Cares.
In Indonesia, the NBA has donated more than Eighty One Billion Dollars, Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand of Community Service, and participated in the creation of more than 300 places of recreation for children and their families. In China, Deron Williams, Tayshaun Prince, and Michael Redd visited the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center to visit victims of the recent earthquake in China. The NBA and Toyota donated 438,142 US Dollars to the Shanghai Charity Foundation to help Earthquake Victims.
The NBA has not forgotten the United States of America. According to the NBA Care Webpage, the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Fever made a generous donation of 70,000 US Dollars to the American Red Cross in the form of clothing around the end of July 2008. In June 2008, the Indiana Pacers donated 50,000 US Dollars in relief for victims of flooding in Southern Indiana. It appears that the US Mainstream Media has overlooked that Alonso Mourning [a center for the Miami Heat Basketball Team] has received the NBA Community Assist Award for July 2008 secondary to his work in supporting the various educational programmes in the Miami Area. In fact, Alonso Mourning has his own charitable foundation which he established in 1997 which donates to youth enrichment centers including one that exists in the area of Miami, Florida called Overtown.
While the NBA has problems, all organizations have problems and will be judged based on the behaviour of the few. Regardless, the NBA is not just about basketball. The NBA is also an organization that has helped people in the world and inside the United States of America. The NBA is also a symbol of how sports [instead of politics] have helped people. If people were to report on this image, maybe other changes could occur within the NBA.
Xinhua; CRI English: “NBA Cares for Indonesian Orphans”
Xinhua: “NBA Players Visit Hospital, Donate to Earthquake Victims”
NBA: “Pacers make an “assist” to the American Red Cross”
NBA: “Mourning Receives Community Assist Award for July
“My Olympic Moment: Personal Reflections on the Beijing Olympics” written by Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso has been published by Lulu. “My Olympic Moment: Personal Reflections on the Beijing Olympics” is a collection of articles based on personal opinion and the experience of the author’s trip to the People’s Republic of China. “My Olympic Moment: Personal Reflections on the Beijing Olympics” can be purchased at the Lulu Book store at the above link.
At a time when Spain defeated Lithuania and the United States of America defeated Argentina in Olympic Basketball, the days are counting slowly towards the end of the Beijing Olympics of 2008. My feelings about the last days of the Olympics are one of profound sadness and fear. I feel sad that one of the greatest Olympics of the 21st Century is coming to an end. I am also afraid that people will forget about what it means to win with dignity, friendship, and love. I am also afraid that people [or at least the majority] will return to the ways of hatred, fear, and holding grudges that has destroyed the world many times over. The same raw emotion I feel today were the same that I felt in my last days, hours, and minutes in the People’s Republic of China. I would like to further elaborate about my feelings.
I. LAST DAYS IN CHINA
After Qingdao, I returned to Beijing and made preparations for the return to the United States of America. It was a thrill and emotional moment to be able to visit the CRI [China Radio International] Building and see the many displays from listeners around the world. It was also an honour and an emotional moment talking with the staff of CRI English [who are my family in China]. The conversation of sports, music, and family dominated the beautiful time spent. I left the CRI Building with happiness since I met the nice people at CRI and with sadness [my heart was crying since China and CRI left an impression that will always be with me].
I will never forget the dinner for the CRI Listeners with their interpreters held in one of the salons of the China People’s Palace Hotel. We vowed [even with tears in our eyes and hearts] that we will forever remain in touch. The people exchanged E Mails, Business Cards, gifts, and promises. We talked about how we will be received by family and friends. I had my fear that the prizes of the vase, stamps, and beer bottle from Tsingtao Beer would be confiscated by the US Customs Authorities. [In reality, they were not confiscated since the US Customs Officials in Chicago wanted to process everyone and go home early].
My last minutes in China was departing from the China People’s Palace with a heavy heart and proceed with Gao Huiying [my translator] and her husband to visit the palace of the Panchen Lama in Beijing and to visit another restaurant. Gao Huiying, her husband, and the chauffeur were very nice to me. I was able to appreciate what is the real culture of the Tibetan Autonomous Region instead of the artificial one created by Hollywood. During lunchtime, I was able to see a family celebrating the 60th Birthday of one of their relatives. I was touched since in the West, many people who are 60 years old do not get a decent birthday celebration. Gao Huiying’s husband told me about the celebration and my reply was I had fourteen more years to go.
Gao Huiying and her husband told me how the elders are respected in China. They also stated that I need not worry; I am respected in China and by my family in America. After lunch, my heart was still heavy when I arrived at the airport and said goodbye to Gao Huiying, her husband, and the chauffeur. I was sad that I had to leave China and yet fearful of what would happen in America.
Before leaving, Gao Huiying, her husband, and the chauffeur told me to never allow fear to conquer my heart. After clearing customs and boarding the plane, my heart cried but the words of Gao Huiying, her husband, the chauffeur, and CRI [to believe in myself] helped me through the flight and afterwards.
It is this same emotion that I feel as the Beijing Olympics are drawing to a close.
I learned from CRI English and from listening to and watching the Beijing Olympics 2008 on CRI and CCTV [China Central Television] that in order to win, a person has to win with dignity. The way to win with dignity is to treat the defeated with respect and dignity they deserve.
II. NEGATIVE PEOPLE
The negative people [which include those in the profession of mass media] were humiliated in the Beijing Olympics 2008. Regardless, the negative people refused to give up on their attempts to sabotage the Beijing Olympics with stories such as “Whether the Chinese Athletes was underage” and “The Lip Synching”. I had to respond to these lies with my articles especially when Jessica Simpson and other Western Artists use lip synching when presenting their new recordings to the general public. When writing to respond to these lies during the Beijing Olympics, I used diplomacy. One of these people was a certain Mr. Reynolds of the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] Beijing Bureau who wrote about the “Insecurity of China”. I have here my response to his last minute tirade against the Beijing Olympics and China:
Dear Mr. Reynolds:
China does not have a victim mentality. They usually remember their history so that it cannot be repeated. The people of China also remember their history since they believe that in order to go forward, one has to remember the past.
If there is anything that has to change is the mentality of the West. The West has to stop judging people on the exterior and accept them for what they are. The People’s Republic of China has accepted people for what they are on the inside and outside. The people of China have also a sense of decency, morality, and fair play which is nonexistent in the West [including my own country the USA]. The people of China also believe that with freedom there has to be responsibility and that marriage is a sacred union between man and woman [This last sentence was censored by the Western Press because according to them, marriage has different definitions].
The Western World [especially the USA] does not remember its history [except for the minorities] and there is the possibility that the Western World may repeat the errors [decadence, materialism, hatred, and aberrations] that lead to the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD.
China will be secure in itself and it will not conquer the world. The Western World should learn from China in how to be decent and gracious in sports as well as life.
I also have a message for US Latin Singer and Actress Jennifer Lopez for her comments that belittled the accomplishments of Michael Phelps. For Jennifer Lopez, the accomplishments of Michael Phelps surpassed any accomplishments that you made in your career. Michael Phelps was able to surpass insurmountable odds and was able to accomplish a lot. For Jennifer Lopez [without belittling your accomplishments], Michael Phelps has class and dignity.
III. THE CLOSING CEREMONIES
After seeing the United States Basketball Team defeat Spain and receive the gold medal, I heard the special closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008 on CRI English. I was able to appreciate the dances, the fireworks, and the people saying hello and good bye to each other. I also saw how the Olympic Flame was extinguished with the Olympic Regalia passed onto London. My response has been one of sadness. It is the first time in my life that a closing ceremony of the Olympics has left the emotions of sadness and a heavy heart. I also have the profound fear in my heart and soul that people will forget the lessons learned and ask the people to think of the Beijing Olympics 2008 with its slogan of One People One World.
The Dancing and the Acrobatics was excellent and the Fireworks were exciting. Regardless, I have had to reconcile my sadness and fear with the fact that the games are over. Many people in America did not want the game to end because they do not want to see the so called political conventions of two parties that offer nothing but empty promises. The singing also left a state of more sadness because the Beijing Olympics 2008 WAS THE OLYMPIC GAME OF THE 21ST CENTURY.
As I am witnessing the Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics 2008, I am often thinking of the greatest moments in time. I will never forget how Michael Phelps won his eight gold medals and was able to match and maybe surpass. I will never forget how Togo won its first Olympic Medal in Kayaking. I will never forget the accomplishments of China in its victories. The songs dedicated to the Beijing Olympics 2008 have been composed and recorded from the heart and soul. My heart and soul are still in an emotional state since I have the profound sadness in my heart.
The Beijing Olympics of 2008 was a historical occasion which has seen people rise to be what they want to be. The world was a witness to the historical pursuits of Michael Phelps and his record breaking victories, the Republic of Togo winning its first bronze medal in kayak, and Latvia winning its first gold medal.
Personally, I think the Beijing Olympics has been a success for the People’s Republic of China. In spite of the attempts of the negative people to use the age factor, lip sync factor, and pollution; the Beijing Olympics have seen people feel good about themselves. This was the game where people felt like family and poor sportsmanship was not tolerated. I saw this during my trip to the People’s Republic of China in June/July 2008. I will be missing the talk of family and friendship after the Olympics. I challenge people to feel good about every day. I also challenge the governments of the world to stop funding wars and start funding athletes.
I would also like to issue a challenge to the Government of the United States of America [I am a US Citizen] to withdraw their tanks and instruments of war and replace them with funding for the US Olympic Team as well as other Sport Associations.
I have decided to maintain the spirit of the Beijing Olympics 2008 in my heart and soul with the friendships forged in the People’s Republic of China with the different representatives of different countries and services of CRI English. I have also decided to spread the goodwill to the rest of the world if only to promote the notion of world peace through sports.
Thank You People’s Republic of China for hosting what was the most historical sports occasion of the world.
According to an article on the USA Wrestling Webpage, the CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] ruled in favour of Abrahamian. The ruling was based on the following factors:
1. The coach was not allowed to have a video review.
2. FILA [International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles] did not appear at any hearing by CAS.
3. FILA violated the rules of fair play in the Olympic Charter and its own rulebook.
CAS also ruled that a court of appeals must be established in the future to avoid similar incidents.
After careful review, I have checked that Abrahamian was right in being a victim of injustice but still should not have thrown the bronze medal to the floor.
Parece que los atletas cubanos recibieron el mismo castigo como el sueco Abrahamian. Un deportista cubano en Tai Kwan Do cuyo nombre es Angel Matos fue expulsado de las Olimpiadas despues de patear al arbitro sueco Chakir Chabat. El tecnico Leudis Gonzalez no queria pedir disculpa y fue expulsado. La expulsion es vitalicia.
Lo que paso fue que Lopez demoro mas de un minuto para recuperarse [una violacion de las reglas Olimpicas de Tae Kwon Do] y como resultado fue descalificado en su contienda contra Arman Chilmanov de Kazajistan. Lopez [ganador de la Medalla de Oro en Sydney Australia en 2000] asalto violentamente al arbitro y fue expulsado de las Olimpiadas. El tecnico Gonzalez defendio las acciones de Lopez y fue expulsado.
Las Olimpiadas es un juego para disfrutar y participar todo el mundo. El comportamiento de Lopez y Gonzalez es una violacion de las leyes de la Republica Popular China y las Olimpiadas. Incluso, el comportamiento de Lopez y Gonzalez es anti social, anti deportivo, y simbolo del imperialismo republicano/democrata/yanqui que sostiene un gobierno autotitulado como comunista pero es titere del imperialismo yanqui/republicano/democrata.
Como cubano de sangre quiero reiterar los siguiente: Viva La Republica Popular China, Viva las Olimpiadas de Beijing, Viva el Profesionalismo en los Deportes.
It appears that Ara Abrahamian [the Swedish Athlete who threw his Bronze Medal to the floor] is not the only one who has misbehaved in the Olympics. Acoording to ESPN, Angel Matos who is a Cuban Tae Kwon Do Athlete lost and was disqualified in his match against Arman Chilmanov from Kazakhstan. The reason was for taking too much time [instead of the one minute requirement] for his injury. The response of Matos was to kick the referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden. Matos then spat on the floor and was escorted out.
Cuban Coach Leudis Gonzalez stated that he refused to apologize and that the ruling was “excessively strict”. The result was a lifetime ban for Matos and Gonzalez. In the same way that Abrahamian got what he deserved, Matos and Gonzalez received their just punishment. Whether the ruling was legitimate or not is not the question. The question is that unprofessional behaviour should not be tolerated and the punishment was just. Anyone who defiles the Olympics or any Sporting Event should be given harsh punishments regardless of race, creed, colour, ethnicity, ideology, or even previous status as Gold Medal Winners [of which Matos was a recipient in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.
The attitude of Matos goes against the beliefs of the People’s Republic of China and the Beijing Olympics 2008 in the promotion
Xinhua;CRI English: “Violence Puts Sydney Olympic Champion Under Life Ban”
ESPN: “Matos Banned For Life After Kicking Referee Following Match”
I do not pretend to be an expert in the history of beer since I am not a beer drinker. The only thing I could discuss about the history of beer has to do with Tsingtao Beer in China. The Tsingtao Brewery is one the hidden secrets in China and was established when Qingdao was a German Colony in China separated from it [in the beginning of the 20th Century. While the Germans [like most colonialists] treated the Chinese people like second class citizens in their country, it can be said that the only good thing that occurred was the Tsingtao Brewery where the famous Tsingtao Beer is manufactured it also has a museum dedicated to the history of Tsingtao Beer.
I had the honour of touring the Tsingtao Brewery with the CRI [China Radio International] Tour Group during my visit to Qingdao in July of 2008. Tsingtao Brewery was founded in the early 20th Century by a British and German Consortium. The Japanese Colonial Authorities who later replaced the Germans took over the Tsingtao Brewery after World War I and were the owners until World War II. After World War II, the Kuomintang Government attempted to administer the Brewery but was unsuccessful. After the Proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Tsingtao Brewery was administered as a State Owned Enterprise.
The Tsingtao Brewery was able to make remarkable progress in the domestic and international market in spite of the obstacles. In 1972, Tsingtao Beer became one of the primary favourites of American Beer Drinkers [as well as Budweiser and Schlitz]. In 1991, The Qingdao International Beer Festival was established in order to promote Tsingtao Beer to the Domestic and International Community. In the Qingdao International Beer Festival there are beer tasting contests as well as an interaction between world beer drinkers.
During the tour of the Tsingtao Brewery, it was impressive witnessing how Tsingtao Beer is brewed using its purest form of water, barley, and hops according to the German Purity Laws of 1516. I even smelled some of the hops and barley. Helmut Mutt [the German Representative in the Olympic Tour of China] commented with members of CRI about the different types of beer and the laws governing the purity of beer. I paled in comparison since I was in expert in coffee. We saw the different buildings where the history of Tsingtao was shown via photos and commercials. There was a section of the museum where the person could pass through a room and feel what is like to be in a state of drunken stupor.
I remember telling some of the CRI Staff about how in Medical School in the Dominican Republic, many students would celebrate their graduation from medical school [as well as from dental school] by baptizing each other with beer followed by water. I avoided going through the baptism since I am allergic to beer. In other words, my body cannot dissolve the beer and it has irritated my skin.
The CRI Tour Group [myself included] were witness to how the beer was bottled or placed in cans after a thorough process that included boiling and fermentation. Again, I am not an expert in the beer manufacturing process so sorry if the terms were not used correctly. After touring the beer manufacturing section, we were lead to a replica of a bar where there were many souvenirs including beer label bottles and an invitation to drink beer. I declined since my body cannot dissolve the alcohol. There were people who were photographed next to the display of beer bottles of the world and Tsingtao Beer throughout its history.
The staff of Tsingtao Beer photographed those in the tour and our faces appeared in the beer labels. I even had a photo taken next to the beer bottle with my face on it. The people with certain exceptions celebrated with the beer. While I was grateful to Tsingtao for the beer bottle, I ended having to share the beer inside the bottle with other people. The reason was simple, in the United States of America; it is unwise to bring a full beer bottle upon arrival. The US Customs and Homeland Security would confiscate the beer and any other belongings in the luggage. Regardless, I am forever grateful to CRI for taking me to the Tsingtao Brewery and I am grateful to the Tsingtao Brewery for their generosity in allowing me to visit them.