Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Georgian Olympic Diary

'As We Say In Georgia, Victory And Defeat Are Brothers'

Georgia's Varlam Liparteliani (right) faces Cameroon's Dieudonne Dolassem during their men's first-round match in the 90-kilogram class at the London 2012 Olympics.
Georgia's Varlam Liparteliani (right) faces Cameroon's Dieudonne Dolassem during their men's first-round match in the 90-kilogram class at the London 2012 Olympics.
Georgian judo star Varlam Liparteliani is competing in his first bouts at the London Olympics on August 1. Every day, the 23-year-old athlete shares his impressions with RFE/RL's Georgian Service about life behind the scenes at the world's biggest sporting event. These are his impressions from July 31 as he prepared for his first matches.

The fourth day of the Olympics was a bit upsetting for us. To begin with I don’t think luck was on [Georgian judoka Avtandil] Chrikishvili’s side. He is a very good and successful athlete and he was very well prepared physically, so I think he could have won [his bout on July 31]. But he lost in the second round. I think that sometimes luck is very important in sports. We were all very upset about this and I won’t talk about it anymore.

Our tennis player Anna Tatishvili played really well but she lost against Russia’s Nadia Petrova, who is much more experienced. It was a very tough match that went to three sets and lasted for about two and a half hours but [Tatishvili] fought until the end. Of course it’s sad that she lost and was eliminated, but she did all she could.

[Georgian archer] Kristine Esebua also competed [on July 31] as well and in the first round she defeated last year’s world champion, a competitor from Chile. It was a clear victory but in the second round she had a very tough competitor from South Korea who already won a gold medal. So she was competing against an Olympic champion -- she had a very tough competitor and lost, but Kristine can leave the Olympics with her head held high.

The London Olympics also ended for our only swimmer, Irakli Bolkvadze. For him, however, even participating in the Olympics was a huge success in itself.

Anyway, the last day of July was a bit disappointing. What can you do? In sports, as we say in Georgia, "victory and defeat are brothers."

Otherwise, life goes on in the Olympic Village. We got used to life here and we do not feel like strangers anymore.

As for myself, I am preparing for [my matches on August 1] psychologically and physically. I am training very hard, losing weight, and concentrating on [the bouts]. I just finished training and it was a bit of a tough day for me, so now I have to go to bed because I have to wake up at six in the morning and I have to be ready in all respects.

At 10 o’clock I have to face Dieudonne Dolassem from Cameroon. Finally, the Olympic Games is beginning for me as well.

NOTE: Varlam defeated Dieudonne Dolassem in the first round of the 90-kilogram weight category before being defeated in his next bout with Australia's Mark Anthony.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Tanya Domi from: US
August 01, 2012 10:44
Whoever wrote the cutline to this photograph, really needs some professional development. In photos, it is standard to identify someone by their location in the photo--generally they are identified as being on the left or right, but not by their **race**. This is really unprofessional, if not racist. Someone fix this cutline identification of Liparteliani who is on the right.
In Response

by: Moderator
August 01, 2012 10:49
The word "white" referred to the color of the Georgian judoka's uniform, which is also a common form of identification in sports photo captions. Nonetheless, thanks for your comment. We have changed the description in line with your suggestion just in case the picture might be viewed and interpreted racially, as you did. Thank you once again for pointing this out.
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 01, 2012 15:35
your comment is slightly exaggerated!
firstly, it wasn't apparently meant the way you interpreted the cutline to the imagery.
secondly, what would have been "racist" if you just called a fighter from senegal who happens to be black "black".

besides, especially in the u.s. almost everyone is identified by their race and sometimes religion:
asian, hispanic, black/african-american, white/caucasian and jew...etc.
I don't like this segregation and highlighting in the u.s. as if this was very important.
the interesting thing is that if various ethnic groups refer to themselves as chinese, korean, african, jewish, armenian that's not unusual. some representatives of specific groups particularly asian, black, hispanic, jewish differentiate between jews and blacks, jews and muslims, asians (be it indian, korean, chinese, vietnamese, etc.) and hispanic, indian and black, black and caucasian, etc. bla bla it's fine, apparently.

still, of course, it's understandable that institutionalized racism in the u.s. + genocidal tendencies against the native americans, slavery, reservations, etc., genocide in africa, wars in asia based on religion, hatred in many african nations against other tribes, wars based on pseudo-races (since many nations and tribes virtually have many similar genes) evoke very difficult episodes in history.
anyway, racism has clearly to do with words but not exclusively.

if you respect someone from senegal or south africa, the u.s., canada, iceland, estonia, birma, the comoros, malawi, for instance or from any part of the world and you just use an attribute identifiying him/her as black, caucasian, asian, native american, aborigine, etc. it appears that neither this phenomenon is directly associated with "race" in a negative perspective, a denigrating way nor meant necessarily as a racist remark. it might purely be a very superficial description without any improper hidden agenda.

just think again.
still, fair enough that you highlighted it. (too many racists and radical nationalists in many places of this world!)

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
August 01, 2012 18:29
Missfortune isn't necessary mistics, but it often accompany
Less powerfull nations, specially if hated by an Empire,
Like expanding Russia, turning all into treachery.
"Lemurs" and "NLW" they use as vampires.

Just yeastarday I was watching internet site
For possibilities that Georgians had, at night.
I forgot for a moment that Russians and CIA
All arround apartment building, reading mind.

Today I found out that all Georgians lost fight!
Last few month there were even more threats
Kill me and my mother, they killing through life.
7/7/2012 Russians got CIA murder my mother.

Last week in a lobby of Russian medical ofice
A little agly women loudly demanded by phone
That I shouldn't live any moment, I must suffer
All life, as they did also in USSR - same words
Were there, direct translation from the Russia.

Russia and their CIA that murdered my mother
Think I could get moment of life - with another
Georgian medal! Evil idiots - World betray me,
but I help, if I can, justice - Georgia deserves it,
As rest of neighbors of Russia they destroying.

Most Popular