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1356939.  Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:46 pm Reply with quote

Quite often when you watch major races and events, especially for the Olympics, the focus is on those who came in the top places, or were expected to do well, but in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics men's marathon, the man who came last deserves a spacial mention.

His name is Pyambuugiin Tuul and he represented Mongolia, their first representation in Olympic Marathon.

Between the winner and the man who came 86th, there were 51 minutes. Tuul came in 87th, 56 minutes behind the man who came 86th. In fact, he had to finish on a practice track as the closing ceremony had already begun. His time was the slowest recorded time in Olympic men's marathon since 1908.

After he finished he was approached by several journalists and one of the first questions was about why he ran so slowly. His answer was "No, I didn’t run slowly. After all, you could call my run a Mongolian Olympic marathon record."

Another journalist then asked if this was the best day of his life, and he gave another wonderful answer:

"Up until six months ago I had no sight at all. I was a totally blind person. When I trained it was only with the aid of friends who ran with me. But a group of doctors came to my country last year to do humanitarian medical work. One doctor took a look at my eyes and asked me questions. He said, ‘But I can fix your sight with a simple operation’. So he carried out the operation and after 20 years I could see again. So today wasn’t the greatest day of my life. The best day was when I got my sight back and I saw my wife and two daughters for the first time. And they are beautiful."

As a thank you to the club who financed his operation and had helped him, he vowed to run the marathon, and kept his promise.

1357612.  Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:18 pm Reply with quote

Q Why would sport clothes be out of place in the Ancient Greek Olympics print races?

Klaxon if you say because they ran in the nude.

When the ancient Olympics began, the runners wore loincloths to protect themselves.

It was only at the 15th Olympics, in 720BC that a sprinter was recorded as having "allowed his girdle to slip" and thus run naked, and become the "first of all Greeks to be crowned victor naked".

While some records point to this being Orsippus the Magarian, other records suggest it was Acanthus the Lacedaemonian.

Other sources suggest it wasn't until over a century later that Greeks started competing in the nude, and it took on thereafter.

Alexander Howard
1357626.  Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:23 pm Reply with quote

That's a good one, and worth a few klaxons.

One ancient Athenian sports ground was the Lyceum, originally a ground sacred to Apollo Lyceus, which became a place for exercises. Aristotle led his disciples around the ground teaching them - hence the connection with learning (and the French word lycée).

Plato used another sports ground, the gymnasium named after Akademos - hence 'academy'.

In Germany, a high school is a Gymnasium.

Even the word 'school' means 'leisure'. A 'symposium' on the other hand was originally a booze-up.

1357641.  Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:48 am Reply with quote

Mention of German Gymnasium reminds me, if you're in London, the German Gymnasium is a somewhat pricey cafe\restaurant in Kings Cross which was previously the first purpose built gymnasium in England, built in 1864.

Qi had previously mentioned Dr Brookes and the Wenlock Olympics from 1850, which were mostly reserved for ex public school boys, but in 1865 Dr Brookes and others founded the National Olympian Association, which was open to all comers, and the first Olympic Games open to all was held in London in 1866, with indoor events staged in the German Gymnasium.

As the games began, there was an eventful cricket game between the England XI v Surrey at the Oval, and a certain 18 year old William Gilbert Grace hit an incredible 224 not out, and on the last day of the match asked to be excused from fielding so he could travel to Crystal Palace to take part in the Athletics events.

Grace won the 440 yards hurdles, winning comfortably by over 20 yards, he then placed 4th in both the 100 yards and 176 yards races, and to top off the day started well in the half mile race, leading by some 100 yards before dropping out before the end, probably a bit tired from all the other running and cricket...

1357750.  Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:54 pm Reply with quote

In an effort to make Australian Rules Football popular worldwide, Australia decided to create and host the Australian Football International Cup in 2002, which is then held every three years (though the 2020 competition is more likely to be held in 2021 now).

Because the game isn't very popular elsewhere yet, the competition is only open to amateurs so as to ensure Australia don't dominate the competition, which shows because so far in the men's competition the winners have been Ireland, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, PNG and PNG. In the last tournament there were 18 teams competing, representing countries from Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

So bearing that in mind, what's unusual about the Australian men's team?

Klaxons for them being women, boys, indigenous Australians or other possible obvious answers.

The answer is that that Australia considers that even amateur level teams from Australia would be too experienced for other teams and therefore have an edge, which means that Australia have never entered any of the competitions to date.

Even in the women's game, the Australian team is limited to indigenous and multicultural Australians (not sure how that's a hindrance, that might be an Australian view).

1357804.  Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:50 pm Reply with quote

The Henley-on-Todd Regatta is an annual boat race in Australia run since the 1960s which attracts both national and international participants, but it was cancelled in 1993 due to a unique reason no other boat race in the world has ever been cancelled, despite a couple of crews launching their boats on the water to try and run the race, what was it?

Klaxons for the boats sinking, or invading Kangaroos, Emus, spiders or other animals.

The answer was that in 1993 the weather was wet and there was water in the river.

The Henley-on-Todd Regatta is run on a dry river bed, with crews carrying bottomless boats and racing them to the finish line.

1357907.  Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:13 pm Reply with quote

I'm getting into this finding weird sport stories, maybe I should write a book?

Anyway, the latest is about Carlos Kaiser, who played for some of the biggest Football teams in South America in a 12 year career from 1979 to 1990, and played with many of the top Brazilian players of the time. Some of the clubs he played for were Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco de Gama, and others. There were reports of him joining various European teams, and that Mexico even offered him citizenship so he could play for their national team.

But what made Carlos Kaiser stand out from all the other players around him?

Klaxons for being a woman, disabled, too old, too young, non human, or anything else you might imagine.

Here are his career stats in full:

Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979 Puebla 0 (0)
1981 Botafogo 0 (0)
1983 Flamengo 0 (0)
1986–1987 Gazélec Ajaccio 0 (0)
1988 Bangu 0 (0)
1988 Fluminense 0 (0)
1989 Vasco da Gama 0 (0)
1989 El Paso Sixshooters 0 (0)
1990 América (RJ) 0 (0)

You might notice that for each club his appearances are 0. He managed to go through his whole career without playing a single game, managing to avoid revealing the fact he couldn't really play the game.

He would constantly feign injuries to avoid playing games, and often insist on spending some time in practice before being played to get "match fit", before getting injured.

At one club the manager was getting tired of his injuries, so at a game when his side were losing 2-0 he implored the coach to bring him on, but as he was sent to warm up he went over to some supporters who were shouting at the players for losing, started a fight with them and received a red card before getting on the pitch. His display of loyalty to the club and players earned his an extension of 6 months.

He would carry around toy mobile phones at a time when mobile phones were really expensive, and pretend to get calls from other clubs, especially in Europe, loudly rejecting their offers out of his loyalty to the club he was with at the time.

Carlos retired a long career without paying a single game, and a documentary was made about his " career" a couple of years back, but unfortunately I can't play it on UK Amazon. If someone has Amazon in another country, have a look for "Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football", might make a good watch.

1357924.  Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:09 pm Reply with quote

That documentary sounds like something that I need to see!

One of his ruses was apprently to speak "English" on his toy mobile phone, and claim that he was speaking to Manchester United about a move there. Rather few working class Brazilians of his time spoke very much English and so the footballers didn't notice that he was in fact speaking a nonsense language, but he was rumbled by a club doctor who had trained in Canada and hence actually did speak English!

The documentary appears to be mostly in Brazilian Portuguese, with an English voiceover.

1357949.  Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:25 am Reply with quote

I can definitely attest to the fact that majority of young people in Brazil in the 80s and 90s couldn't speak a word of English as there was a huge backlash to American influence, and some of the graffiti I saw at the time was very extreme against the US.

It was weird that you had he older generation who most spoke quite good English, this whole generation who couldn't speak a word, and then those born in the 90s onwards who have embraced English as a language again.

I've asked a couple of relatives of mine in Brazil to look up and see if they get access to the documentary, it looks like it could be really interesting - and it was made by an Irishman :)

1357977.  Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:20 pm Reply with quote

At the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, the men's marathon was run during a bit of a heatwave (for Sweden), with temperatures reaching 25C, causing more than half the competitors to collapse from overheating, so what was unusual about what Shizo Kanakuri from Japan did before completing the race?

Klaxons for jumping in a pool or the sea, or popping into the pub, or anything like that.

The answer is that Shizo was a great athlete and one of only two men to compete at the Olympics for Japan for the first time. However, having spent over two weeks travelling from Japan to the Olympics, and not coping well with the local food, he collapsed and passed out during the race. He was picked up by a farming family and cared for until he got better, but he felt so embarrassed he never reported back to the Olympic officials and simply snuck back to Japan.

He would go on to qualify for the 1916 Olympics, which were called off because of WWI, but completed in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics, and he established a marathon relay race in Japan, the prize was eventually changed to bear his name and he is now known as the "father of Japanese marathon".

In 1967 researchers realised that not only was there no time set against his name for the 1912 Olympics, but he was not registered as DNF because he never reported back, and was simply marked "missing". So a Swedish TV company contacted him and invited him to complete the race, which he did.

His official time for the 1912 Stockholm marathon?

54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds.

And as he then remarked, "It was a long trip. Along the way, I got married, had six children and 10 grandchildren."

1358013.  Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:34 am Reply with quote

I would probably need that amount of time to do a marathon....

1358407.  Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:47 pm Reply with quote

Which of these games\sports did the Buddha enjoy playing?

Hop Scotch
Pick Up Sticks
Dice games
Guessing People's thoughts.

Klaxon for any of the above, and various others.

Gautama Buddha is claimed to have said that he would not play certain games, and that his disciples should avoid them too. This list of games is possibly the earliest list of games written down.

The list is replicated in a number of Buddhist texts, with some slight differences, and the translations may differ, but they are normally:

1. Games on boards with 8 or 10 rows. This is thought to refer to ashtapada and dasapada respectively, but later Sinhala commentaries refer to these boards also being used with games involving dice.
2. The same games played on imaginary boards. Akasam astapadam was an ashtapada variant played with no board, literally "astapadam played in the sky". A correspondent in the American Chess Bulletin identifies this as likely the earliest literary mention of a blindfold chess variant.
3. Games of marking diagrams on the floor such that the player can only walk on certain places. This is described in the Vinaya Pitaka as "having drawn a circle with various lines on the ground, there they play avoiding the line to be avoided". It's been likened to hop scotch.
4. Games where players either remove pieces from a pile or add pieces to it, with the loser being the one who causes the heap to shake (similar to the modern game pick-up sticks).
5. Games of throwing dice.
6. "Dipping the hand with the fingers stretched out in lac, or red dye, or flour-water, and striking the wet hand on the ground or on a wall, calling out 'What shall it be?' and showing the form required—elephants, horses, etc."
7. Ball games.
8. Blowing through a pat-kulal, a toy pipe made of leaves.
9. Ploughing with a toy plough.
10. Playing with toy windmills made from palm leaves.
11. Playing with toy measures made from palm leaves.
12. Playing with toy carts.
13. Playing with toy bows.
14. Guessing at letters traced with the finger in the air or on a friend's back.
15. Guessing a friend's thoughts.
16. Imitating deformities.

1359245.  Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:57 pm Reply with quote

Previously on Qi, there was a brief mention of Nelly Bly, IMO one of the greatest people of recent history, but I think we should mention another pioneer of women travellers: Annie Londonderry.

Actually, her real name was Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, and in the 1890, with bicycles becoming popular and the spirit of adventure in the air, she took up the challenge to become the first woman to cycle around the world in under 15 months.

It would have been difficult to get sponsorship and get selected for such an adventure considering she was a Jewish immigrant from Latvia who was only 5'3", married, and had 3 kids. It's even more remarkable considering she only learned how to cycle a few days before she started on her journey.

One of her sponsors, Londonderry Lithia Spring Water Company, paid $100 or her to use the name Annie Londonderry for her trip.

She set off from Boston on a heavy bike, wearing a long skirt, corset and high collar, and among other things was carrying a pearl handled pistol. By the time she reached Chicago she lost nearly a fifth of her weight, and was about to give up, but as she was about to set off on her return to Boston she was given a lighter bike by Sterling Cycle Works and persuaded to wear a men's riding suit.

She cycled back to Boston and onto New York, before boarding a ship to France where she cycled and rode the train to Marsailles before boarding a steamship to carry on her journey, stepping off on day trips to ride her bike in different locations (she would later be accused of completing most of her journey "with" her bike, not on it).

Having made her way eventually to Japan, she sailed to San Francisco, and continued to cycle her way to Chicago to complete her journey, though she did have to travel through certain parts (like most of Nebraska) by train because of muddy roads and injuries (she finished her journey with her broken wrist in a cast).

Despite people questioning whether she cycled her way around the world, she proved herself a formidable rider at a number of races across the US.

She was also a great story teller and promoter, having survived her journey in various places by making up claims that would help her, including being a wealthy heiress, the niece of a US Senator, and the inventor of a method of stenography.

In the US she gave popular talks of her adventures, regaling her audience with claims of hunting tigers in India with German Royalty, and getting shot and jailed in Japan.

Annie gave many cycling demonstrations and championed the "New Woman" movement, claiming "I am a journalist and a "new woman" if that term means that I believe I can do anything that any man can do."

Although Annie died in obscurity in 1947, in November 2019 the New York Times published an obituary in her honour.

Alexander Howard
1359250.  Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:30 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
(she would later be accused of completing most of her journey "with" her bike, not on it).

ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς


1359376.  Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:19 am Reply with quote

Has someone been watching 300 again? :p :)


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