In my post yesterday, entitled “Iraqi Athletes at an Olympic Crossroads“, I reported that, unless an agreement was reached between Iraq and the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.), Iraq’s athletes would probably not compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yesterday, the Iraqi and I.O.C. delegations held a final negotiation session and, thankfully, Iraq pledged a compromise that will allow two Iraqi athletes, comprising Iraq’s track and field team - Dana Hussein Abdul-Razzaq, the sprinter discussed in yesterday’s post, and Haidar Nasir, a discus thrower - to represent Iraq at the Beijing Olympics as wildcard entrants.
For most of the world’s athletes, the Beijing Olympics begins on August 8, 2008. For Iraq’s team, however, the Beijing Olympics may have already ended. That is because on June 4, 2008, the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) suspended the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, citing “political interference”. The I.O.C. suspension is punishment for the Iraqi government’s May, 2008 disbanding of its original Olympic committee and replacement of it with government officials from Iraq’s Ministry for Youth and Sports. Iraq has said its original committee was illegitimate and corrupt, but the move is widely seen as yet another example of Shias wresting administrative power from Sunnis.
Okay, it’s official. The Celtics pretty much stomped a mud hole into the Lakers with a near 40 point walloping in Game 6 of the NBA finals. Personally, I was rooting for the Lakers. I thought Kobe and his squad had the talent to beat Garnett and the Celtics, but after the Lakers fell to 3 and 1, I’d pretty much given up hope. Still, I never would have expected a forty point whoopin’! What happened to the Lakers? Were the Celtics a better team or were the Lakers just playing badly? Let your thoughts flow!