Showing posts with label Olympics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Olympics. Show all posts

Friday, July 27, 2012

"So Many Africans in Greece" and Other Flattering Images

"with so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will be eating food from their own home" - Translation of the tweet that got Voula Papachristou, Greece’s triple-jump champion, barred by the Hellenic Olympic Committee from competing in the London Olympic Games. But when you consider the tweet against the backdrop of the European financial crisis, a TechCrunch commenter had the perfect rejoinder:

No matter how much Edward Said or Stuart Hall you throw at perceptions of Africa impressed on people by the overrepresentation of the sorriest aspects of the continent, you still have to contend with how the amount of economic power a nation wields determines how its image gets treated. For example, a recent LA Times article about the changing tide in Hollywood's portrayal of China attests to images and representations being reframed in order to flatter China's new found economic wealth - and muscle. In a similar way, will we start seeing subtle changes in the Portuguese when it comes to images and perceptions of Angola and Angolans?  Too soon to tell. Old speculations -- here and here-- on how television and advertising will flatter and glamor up blackness--in turn affecting how we think of it--in selling to an emerging black upper class with plenty of disposable income to burn. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kenya: Winter Olympian

FP put together this photo essay of winter Olympic outliers, who are either from snow-challenged countries or from temperate countries not known for winter sports.

Though the essay has Ethiopia's Robel Teklemariam and Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, lo and behold, it leaves out Africa's other Winter Olympian Kenya's Philip Boit, featured  in the CBC piece below:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ethiopia/ Kenya: Vancouver Winter Games 2010

Kenyan cross country skier Philip Boit/ Pic: Timo Jaakonaho/ Lehtikuva

In case you've grown tired of hearing of Ghana's Kwame--the "snow leopard"--Nkrumah-Acheampong' and his road to the Vancouver 2010 Winter games, you can follow Robel Teklemariam and Philip Boit both who will be representing Ethiopia and Kenya respectively in the men's cross country skiing event. More about Boit's chances here...

...The Guardian has new report on how Robel goes about ski training in snow-challenged Ethiopia and Canada's CBC does the same for Boit - here. NYT's feature on Robel before the '06 games in Turin is quite interesting.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

USA: Rhythm And Blues

Photo: Jenn Ackerman/The New York Times

This George Vecsey article (slideshow + video) about rhythmic gymnast Alexis Page, a 13 year old African American girl pursuing her dreams in one of the most obscure and un-African American of sports, is, I think, a testimony to the faith of her mother, Pamela Fair:
Fair travels with her daughter in all seasons, braving the winter wind... Money is an issue. Hilliard’s foundation has covered more than $5,000 in expenses this year, but Fair estimates the expenses will run to $25,000 — four custom-made leotards, at more than $600 each, a dozen entry fees at $125 each, higher costs for higher competition. Fair was laid off from her job last February. Her son, Larry Fair, is planning to attend college in the fall. Alexis plans to attend St. Jean Baptiste High in Manhattan because the school showed understanding of her rigorous schedule, her pursuit of excellence. She is an A student, even if her homework is done after the long trip home at night. Her mother is proud that Alexis thinks and speaks positively. There is no trace of the smart-aleck television shows aimed at young girls. Asked her favorite place in New York, Alexis replied, “Barnes and Noble.” Alexis knows the odds are against her reaching the Olympics, and she will be happy to reach world competition.


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