Olympic Judo Media Coverage

Every four years, our beloved art gets a few minutes of media coverage.  Was it just the perfect storm that this year, most of the coverage was terrible?

So, if any of you have been on the look-out, you've seen lots more Judo coverage than normal in the American press - or, said differently, you've seen *some* coverage of Judo in the American press, which is lots more than normal...  What are the stories that you would have seen?

Wodjan Shaherkhani - A great story about the first Saudi woman to ever compete in the Olympics.  Of course, the assholes in the IJF being assholes, they didn't want to let a good story about judo get out.. they required some IOC arm-twisting before they would let her compete while wearing her Hijab.  This despite the fact that there are numerous tournaments in Asia which allow the Hijab to be worn.  Pricks.

Nick Delpopolo - Played well for team USA.  Seemed very relaxed.  And inexplicably hungry.  Because he ate a pot brownie.  Are you F*$king kidding me?  The OLYMPICS!  AND YOU EAT A POT BROWNIE?!?! 

Kayla Harrison - She won gold, steamrolled some world-class athletes, and was frigging awesome.  Of course pretty much every article that highlighted her win also highlighted the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her coach.  That piece of shit.

As a side note - Sheryl Swoopes - not a Judoka; rather, the former WNBA player - is the the definition of vapid, referring to sexual abuse as "things not going your way":  http://www.shape.com/blogs/london-2012-summer-olympics/kayla-harrisons-journey-ends-gold-medal  -  Again:  Are you F*$king kidding me?



kodokanjudo said...

As far as the Saudi Arabian girl, the IJF/IOC broke three of their well guarded rules (untill now):

1- She was "invited" and did not qualify to compete.

2- She is not a black belt, but was given the special consideration of wearing a kuro-obi for the event.

3- She was allowed to use a shower cap.

I wonder what they are going to do in the future when someone else requests some other "special consideration" like not bowing or usind atemi-waza...

robthornton72 said...

Count me as one who was against her wearing her hijab. I had more of a problem with that than I did the BB rule. However, it's done now.

As for Kayla - she brought up the subject herself, and it seems she has no problem and encourages the discussion include the abuse. I think it's her way of spreading awareness.

Chad Morrison said...

@Leo: Really? Giving some permission to cover their hair during a match is a prelude to allowing strikes? Nah... that's stretching things. She was one of two female athletes allowed by her country to compete... I think it fits with the olympic spirit that special concessions were made to accommodate that (though shame on Saudi Arabia for not finding any better athletes).

Chad Morrison said...

@Rob: How come you were against her wearing a Hijab? And as for Kayla, yeah, I have no issue with her talking about it - I hope that it shows other girls and boys that they can speak out when something like this happens and folks will be there to back them up. I was just lamenting that all of the biggest stories about our art highlighted some of its worst aspects.

kodokanjudo said...

Let's remember that atemi-waza is part of judo but head gear is not. AFAIC one here has to make a clear choice between the "olympic spirit" and the "spirit of judo".
There is no costest for me on this, as the IJF has done away with the "spirit of judo" since 1981 when they declared judo strictly a sport and no longer a martial art. What would Kano-sensei say about that?
The part of not being a bb, the IJF has a safety reason clause for competitors because of the inferior ukemi of a mid level kyu individual. It was a lucky brake for the girl that she drew an opponent from Puerto Rico in her first and only match. Can you imagine if she had drawn a North Korean? or an Russian? or a Cuban?
They would have had no mercy with her and it could have gotten ugly...

Chad Morrison said...

Okay, let's look at it from the point of view of the spirit of Judo. Kano was an advocate (if I recall correctly) of instructing both women and men. Allowing this girl to compete as the first female representative of her country - despite her lack of competitive ability - fits wonderfully with that spirit. That they allowed her to cover her hair with cloth is no different, to me, than allowing women to cover their torsos with cloth. It gives no competitive advantage, and I can't see any other way it would go against the spirit of Judo there. The fact that she was facing off against someone who wouldn't murder her was probably not by accident, though I would think that many (though not all) of the other women would have handled the situation appropriately. In short, there is nothing I can see that goes against Seiryoku Zenyo, and I see only support of Jita Kyoei.

kodokanjudo said...

My point is that the IJF will not bend their own rules for safety reasons but will do so for cultural reasons.