Romania Games Part 2


Sadly, despite writing this piece last week, the racist, xenophobic crap has continued.

Today during the “women’s” competition for the balance beam, Catalin Ponor (of ROMANIA, yes I get it!) originally came in third and everyone thought she won the bronze medal. Then the Americans appealed (as is their right) and the judges changed the score based on perfectly legitimate reasons and an American (Aly Raisman) was bumped up to third, won the bronze, and Catalin Ponor went down to fourth place, and thus no medal.

Immediately the racist comments flooded Twitter and Facebook in all directions, saying things I won’t repeat here but just out of control on every level. Outrage? Of course. Disappointment? Obviously. Catalina Ponor is a tremendous athlete and did a great job. But the Olympics are the Olympics and the rules are the rules. I salute Ponor for her performance today as well as all of her performances throughout the last eight years. She has won a handful of medals through hard work and good effort.

But shit like this continued, the tweet above saying “Hey let’s burn an American flag” and much more like it.

Quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I’m sorry for the disappointment and obviously nobody likes to lose. But sports are about winning sometimes and sometimes about losing. Everyone seems to forget the gold and silver medals for balance beam went to two Chinese athletes, who had scores far above everyone else’s. Instead of fighting over crumbs, both the United States and Romania could’ve done a lot better and skipped all this nonsense.

To say I am disgusted is an understatement. And I REALLY do not want to hear a bunch of excuses as to why Romanians are behaving this way. It’s disgusting and shameful and that’s all there is to say about it.

UPDATE – I completely forgot that Raisman (the American who ended up taking the bronze) has a Romanian coach and it was he who made the appeal to the judges. Turns out EVZ had an interview with this guy (in Romanian) about a lot of things, including this appeal that cost Ponor the bronze:

Sunteţi, probabil, cel mai hulit român la ora actuală de la Olimpiadă. Cum comentaţi incredibila situaţie care s-a iscat, ca un român să conteste medalia altui român?

Se mai întâmplă!

Bam! If you don’t speak Romanian it says “What do you have to say about the incredible situation where a Romanian challenged the winning of a medal of another Romanian? Answer: So it goes!”

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26 Responses »

  1. Well, if it makes you feel better, you won’t ever see a Romanian President negotiating the fate of your country with the Russian leader and the British PM. Nor would you see the Romania Ambassador to US giving sound advice to Barack Obama, although the poor man may need it in order to win the upcoming elections.

    I apologize for my harsh words but these are facts that cannot be ignored by anyone who seeks to understand the Romanian psyche. To just say that such behavior is “disgusting” and “shameful” (and it may very well be, unless it’s actually sarcastic, as everyone else said) would only serve to make the matter worse, in my opinion. You cannot change anything about how the Romanians perceived the events of yesterday by just going and telling them they are behaving shamefully. You could tell that to some youngsters entertaining themselves on the social networks but would you tell the same to a couple of old people, both around 70, who, without going so far as to talk about burning flags, concluded bitterly that Ponor’s bronze medal “was stolen”. As you said, according to the rules, they were most likely wrong but would you tell them that?

  2. Dude, the tweet was sarcastic, mocking the people who overreacted because they felt the gymnastic team got robbed (basically saying the same thing you said in this post, but in a more concise, and more humorous manner).

  3. By the way, if you think some Romanians overreacted in this case, you should have seen the outcry when Anthony Bourdain did his food special on Romania. The response of overly patriotic idiots (mostly women, I have to be honest) was embarrassing. The comment section of Bourdain’s site made Romanians look like Borats even more than the actual episode did. And don’t get me started with the Romanian lashing out against Urs Meyer, the Swiss referee who helped Denmark narrowly qualify for Euro 2004 at the detriment of Romania. (Albeit, I saw the game, and the refereeing was visibly one-sided; but Romania missed 3 one-on-one chances which would have put the game away). However, maybe we shouldn’t feel so bad, since the Brits reacted the same way when he robbed them (I saw that game too). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urs_Meier

    • lol @ the brits & Urs Meier

      stii cum e, romanii trebuie sa fie mai catolici decat Papa daca vor sa fie considerati egali cu alte natiuni :)

  4. I have a question: are you a legal resident of Romania, Sam? Just out of curiosity….

  5. @LOL: You forgot to add “Nu ne vindem tara” to your comment :-)

  6. SO LET ME GET THIS : you left America you came here. You want Romanian citizeneship when/if possible (you mentioned it). AND NOW you write this piece of shit without knowing the facts? what are u actually trying to do here?

    • non sequitur… what does citizenEship [sic] have to do with one’s opinion about the Olympics????

      • It was about the romanain reaction at what happened at the Olypics not THE Olypics monsieur “down_with_the_censorship”.

      • So you think that the duty of every Romanian citizenship is to support Romanian athletes in sports nobody even cares about, and to claim referee bias every time a Romanian athlete loses? Do you realize this spoiled brat reaction makes Romania (and its citizens) look WORSE, not BETTER, to civilized outsiders? Aren’t you tired of being labeled a Borat?

  7. As everyone pointed out, it’s about sarcasm directed at those who overreacted. On the other hand, when I stumbled earlier this year on a bunch of commentaries over an article about an “innocent” who got into a fight in a bar somewhere in Ardeal, all I could read was “NUKE THEM!”, “SEND THE DRONES!” and other sweet things about Romania. How would you react? Would you say “racism” again? Should Romanians feel good about that?

  8. I only asked out of pure curiosity what’s Sam’s legal status in Romania. We have to jump through hoops to get a visa for US, whereas US citizens like Sam can settle anywhere they want. After living for so many years in Romania he must have some sort of status…and if he doesn’t, why is that?

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