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February 11 - 17, 2002

 
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Olympic Shocker: Other Nations Allowed To Compete

Salt Lake City, UT
Olympic Security

Okay. Okay. It's safe. Now shut up about it, already. So much has been made about the counterterrorism forces that have descended on Salt Lake City, we're afraid some nutty Jihad dude is going to take it as a personal challenge.

Fine, fine, we're sure you've done a terrific job doing everything you possibly can to keep people out of harm's way. It's appreciated, it really is. But why the U.S. Army p.r. blitz?

Every time some lunkhead colonel gets on the air and says, "This is the safest place in the world right now," we imagine Jerry Bruckheimer jump-cutting to the "Bad Guy Towelhead" (that's how the character's name appears in Bruckheimer's script), watching his television, muttering, "Oh, you think so, American scum? You think so?"

In a stunning display of insensitivity and anti-American sentiment, the International Olympic Committee yesterday denied an 11th-hour appeal by the United States Olympic Committee to ban all non-U.S. athletes from competition in the Salt Lake Winter Games. The result of this courtroom scrambling is that Germans, Croats and Russians---in addition to participants from 73 other nations---will potentially take medals away from young American participants.

"You mean to tell me," said Mit Romney, president of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee, "the some foreigner is going to desecrate American soil? In the same chronological year as September 11? Why don't they just spit on the graves of the unfortunate thousands who perished in the terrorist attacks while they're at it?"

Since the Opening Ceremonies last Saturday, speculation had run rampant that the USOC's appeal would be upheld. So jingoistic was the presentation, so unending the tribute to the United States, that several onlookers wondered whether athletes from other nations would bother attending.

"I don't see why they would," said Judy Sweeney of Park Valley, UT. "This is a time of healing. That's what Bob Costas said. It's not like other countries have gone through terrorist attacks. Don't they understand that we need to heal? What's that? How did I get my $800 tickets? Oh, my Dad works for Coke."

"I have come to celebrate the spirit of international freedom and peace," said Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who helped bear the Olympic flag into Rice-Eccles Stadium. "The Olympics are a wonderful event, born to bring the nations of the world together to explore their commonalities. It did my heart so proud to see the parade of nations in person this year."

"What, is Tutu some kind of pinko?" Katie Couric said in measured tones. "That American athletes so roused by the patriotism on display in these Opening Ceremonies might now find themselves on the losing end of a ski race or a skate-jumping thing, just when they might've started feeling good about themselves again, it's just a tragedy." Couric continued, "Don't they know we need to soothe these psychological scars? U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!! Wooooooo!!!"

"It absolutely sucked," said American skier Nina Kemppel, who as the top American finished 30th in the women's 15-kilometer ski race, more than three minutes behind Italian Stefania Belmondo. "I mean, I went as fast as I could, and I still finished behind 29 foreigners. How is that supposed to make me feel? It's possible that I still have post-traumatic stress. Do you think maybe I have post-traumatic stress?"

"I am very aggrieved for the terrible tragedy that occurred in New York in 2001," said Hakano Ito, a paralyzed individual, and member of the Japanese ice sledge hockey team which will compete in the 2002 Paralympic Games two weeks from now. "How wonderful that the Salt Lake Games will go on. I feel such a kinship with America. Both our great nations have known such tragedy."

Romney's reaction was swift. "He said what??? He's equating September 11 with what? A little nuclear bomb? A couple famines? Bruno! Tiny! Seize that invalid! Sew an American flag over his lips!"

Tubemaster