Seeing Red at the Olympics

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Ruqayya Al-Ghasra leading the Bahraini Olympic team at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games
Ruqayya Al-Ghasra leading the Bahraini Olympic team at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games
There is no doubt in my mind at all that the Chinese have not only outdone themselves, but have successfully outdone every other country which so far hosted the Olympics. The opening ceremony was breathtaking.

I am sure that our athletes will exert themselves at the games to do the best they can, for that I wish them much luck. Just being there makes me proud of them. So onward and upwords ladies and gentlemen, you have already beaten the odds.

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34 Comments
  • Sam
    9 August 2008

    We too have successfully outdone every other country by being the only nation to have stapled a poster of the King’s mug on our national flag! 😉

  • Abu Arron
    9 August 2008

    Chill, Sam, Chill. 😆

  • Lee Ann
    9 August 2008

    I wonder what she was feeling as she walked along representing her country…a female heading a delegation from a known patriarchal society…must have felt dreamlike. I envy her and I proud of her…and Im not even Bahraini….go team go!

  • Jade Harrison
    9 August 2008

    No-one will dispute the fact that the Chinese opened the 2008 Olympics in a commendable and spectacular way.

    No-one can deny that whoever authorised the Bahraini team to staple a picture onto the national flag was extremely ill-advised.

    No similar displays were made by any other country and the Qatari team were particularly dignified – all participants carrying small Qatari flags and the flag of their host nation in the same hand.

    Every country had been requested not to make political or other displays of feeling during this sporting event.

    Bahrains teams gesture certainly lowered the tone of the opening parade – so very cheap and nasty….if it was my photo that was being hawkered in such a way, I would certainly be embarrassed…

    .

  • Anon- 4 ever
    9 August 2008

    Very proud of this lady! I think we have 3 athletes in total, only this lady is a real Bahraini!

    I dunno if 2nd Italian lady will really run for Bahrain, i doubt she was ever even visited lol! check it out!

    BEST OF LUCK RUQAYYA, AND WE ALL WAITING FOR YOUR DAY!

  • Sam
    9 August 2008

    I think we have 3 athletes in total

    Did anyone spot the 7 or 8 “sponsored” african competitors representing Bahrain during the opening ceremony? They were hidden away! How disgusting! Study the photographs, see if you can spot them???

    Most world leaders turned up to watch the opening ceremony and to support their countrymen – Where was our King and PM? SANDHURST! a far more important event took place over there.

    I’m not proud of Bahrain at all nor are our leaders. They chose not to make an appearence.

    In my eyes, the Bahraini team has lost all credability and therefor I won’t be support them on this occation.

  • Na'ar
    9 August 2008

    In these following comments lots of negativity was geared towards our team in the Olympics. This Italian Anon- 4ever calls her is Bahraini. She transferred nationality even before the surge of Africans becoming Bahrainis even happened. And for those who say the dark skinned athletes were hidden, they aren’t even in Beijing yet. Please show your full support instead of speaking in such a depressing tone!

  • heraish
    9 August 2008

    Who is a real Bahraini? Right now it is whoever the government gives the citizenship to. Its better not to open that door as some people think that real Bahraini’s are only from one sect and we know thats not fair either. Its good to bring in outsiders it may improve the gene pool if nothing else. I am proud of the government for taking such bold steps among the Arab/Muslim nations.

    Is the Sudanese guy carrying the american flag a real American or not? Most Americans will argue that he is that’s why America is a successful country. It aborbs the best of the world and lets them flourish.

  • Sam
    9 August 2008

    Is the Sudanese guy carrying the american flag a real American or not?

    Of course he is. Your missing the point though – Bahrain has a well documented past of naturalizing foreign nationals for the govt’s own political agenda. There is something very wrong will allowing this to spill over into the Olympic games.

    Do you think it’s politically or ethically correct for Bahrain to naturalize foreign nationals solely to represent us as “Bahrainis” at the Olympics?

  • heraish
    9 August 2008

    It’s clear that the Black Bahraini athletes were not marching with the team in the opening ceremony. As for your concern Sam. The US does the same thing. Its called getting naturalization due to having a special talent. I find no problem with that. Plus it may be a source of some closed minded people in the region to open their eyes and minds a little bit.

    Instead of having this tier system of treating people based on nationality, color, religion etc.

  • Sam
    9 August 2008

    Its called getting naturalization due to having a special talent.

    Yeah your right – none of the US talents are home grown. They’re all sourced for foreign nations, imported, and given special fast track access to US citizenship by the State Department and USCIS for being able to sprint – all in time for the Olympics.

  • heraish
    9 August 2008

    Some are home grown some are fast tracked. Depending on the situation. Russain basketball team, both women’s and men’s have naturalized americans on them. There is a reason why some nations are ahead and other’s are behind. Think about it!

    Other examples:
    Peters (equestrian) was born in Germany and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1992. Liukin (gymnastics) was born in Moscow to two former Soviet champion gymnasts.

    Khatuna Lorig (archery) was originally from the Republic of Georgia (as in former Soviet state Georgia, not Peach State Georgia) and gained her U.S. citizenship last year.

    “ABDI ABDIRAHMAN
    Events: Distance
    Height: 5-11
    Weight: 130
    PRs: 5000: 13:19.85 (2001); 10,000: 27:16.99 (2008); Half-Marathon: 61:07 (2006) Marathon: 2:08:56 (2006)
    Born: Jan. 1, 1977, in Somalia

    it appears that the marathon holds the brightest future for Abdirahman. He attended Jhameyasin Carte High School in Mogadishu, Somalia, before coming to the United States. From 1996-97, he attended Pima Community College in Tucson, where he was a two-time Arizona state junior college champion. After heading to the University of Arizona, he won his first two collegiate races, the Jammin’ Invitational (24:28), and the Aztec Invitational (25:28). He was named Pac-10 Cross Country Athlete of the Year in 1998 following his second place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Lawrence, Kansas…became a U.S. citizen on January 28, 2000”

    “Khalid Khannouchi
    DOB: 12/22/71 – Meknes, Morocco
    Home: Ossining, NY
    Coach: Sandra Khannouchi
    Trials Qualifications: London (Marathon – 4/23/06 – 2:07:04)

    The Fastest American. The ex-World Record Holder in the Marathon. The American Record Holder in the Marathon. The only man to ever run sub-2:06 three times. The fastest qualifier for the USA Men’s Olympic Team Trials…. Khalid Khannouchi has an incredible history of running performances. This four time winner of the Chicago Marathon is also the American record holder with his 2:05:38 win at the 2002 London Marathon. Beginning in the early 1990’s, Khannouchi, showed running potential in his native Morocco, but after being refused sponsorship funds for training he chose to leave for the USA. He found a job as a dishwasher in Brooklyn, NY, settled in and focused on serious training. Khannouchi quickly made a name for himself with spectacular finishes at high profile races such as the Peachtree 10K and Philadelphia Distance Classic. His marathon debut earned him the fastest debut in marathon history with a win at the 1997 Chicago Marathon in 2:07:10. Khannouchi suffered several setbacks since 2002, predominantly injuries, including recent foot neuromas, causing him to curtail training and miss the 2004 Olympic Trials among other races. In 2006, he returned to the London Marathon placing 4th in 2:07:04 – his qualifying race for these Olympic Trials. Yet, 2007 hasn’t been an astounding year for Khannouchi who dropped out of the 2007 London Marathon at mile 16 and placed 14th at the 2007 Healthy Kidney 10K in New York City’s Central Park (Dathan Ritzenhein placed first). Despite years of injuries and inconsistent recent performances, Khannouchi still remains a strong contender at the Trials – with five marathon finishes in times faster than anyone else who will be running the Olympic Trials.”

  • M
    9 August 2008

    Yeah your right – none of the US talents are home grown. They’re all sourced for foreign nations, imported, and given special fast track access to US citizenship by the State Department and USCIS for being able to sprint – all in time for the Olympics.

    What a stupid thing to say, but then why am I not surprised.

  • heraish
    10 August 2008

    Interesting tidbit is that vietnam has a 100+ medals in the mathematics olympiad. Also the president of turkmenistan helped design the uniforms for the turkmenistan contingent.

  • Sam
    10 August 2008

    What a stupid thing to say, but then why am I not surprised

    Monkeys are probably one of the only primates that can’t recognize sarcasm.

  • Ali
    10 August 2008

    Well, I am proud that Bahrain gives its citizenship to those whose presence here is other than an accident of birth.

    In these modern times allegence to the soil your mother dropped you on seems a bit silly. Unless you are racist of course but then there isn’t a Bahrain race is there? We have been mixed up since the beginning of time.

    I think you should be allowed to represent any country that you want.

  • Proud Bahraini
    10 August 2008

    Nice, It is such a great pleasure to see our boys there.

  • Um Mohammed
    10 August 2008

    I also thought that whoever put the King’s picture on the flag made a fool of Bahrain as a whole….. If our government is that shallow, God have mercy!!!!!

  • naddooi
    10 August 2008

    Sam: My first comment was about the photo on the flag too!!! A taaad EMBARRASSING!!! 😳 I mean, can’t we look towards other monarchies and see that non of them go THAT far?!

  • Loki
    10 August 2008

    Every country that is successful at sports brings in foreign talent and has been doing so for a while. Apart from the potential immediate success, it also helps at a grass roots level in training, setting new standards, and creating role models.

  • kz
    10 August 2008

    We are proud of you

  • wafa
    10 August 2008

    It was a nice feeling seeing Al Ghusra carry the bahraini flag, breaking with that walk across the stadium many cultural obstacles and many steryotypes…

    What saddens me though is the unrecognition that she got from some international media …

    check out these articles, the writer in the first one has said that they will change the article after an email was sent to them by me, the author of the other article was unreachable.

    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/527161-sheikha-maitha-makes-history-at-olympics?ln=en

    http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080807/NATIONAL/121966802/1138

  • M
    10 August 2008

    Nice try, Sam; got any bridges for sale?

  • wafa
    10 August 2008

    am so very proud that Bahrain has honored a Bahraini woman with the privlege of holding the bahraini flag at the biggest gathering of athletes.

    I am saddened though when such an honor passes unrecognized, in two newspapers that are based in the U.A.E, there have been a mistake in reporting. both newspapers claimed that Her Highness Sheikha Maitha Al Maktoum to be the first woman from the gulf to carry her country’s flag in the Olympics. We all know that the honor is shared by both Sheikha Maitha and Ruqaya Al Ghusra. What makes me even more disturbed is that I found this article in English Newspaper and they were both written by Foreign Writers. I don’t understand why this misunderstanding has taken place? Didn’t we all see the Olympics, and didn’t we all see that the Gulf was lucky to have 2 women representing Bahrain and the U.A.E?

    here are the two articles, I sent an email to the first one and they replied by saying that they would change the article to include Al Ghusra (Does this justify their mistake in the first place?), I tried to contact the writer in the second article but I think that there is an error with his email.

    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/527161-sheikha-maitha-makes-history-at-olympics?ln=en

    http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080807/NATIONAL/121966802/1138

  • Sam
    10 August 2008

    M, I do providing your willing to jump off 😆

  • M
    11 August 2008

    Now! Now! Now, Sam! You get a chance to be nice and make your momma proud, and you go an blow it. Go figure.

    Wafa,

    I do remember watching a piece on TV here in the states about the young lady from the UAE. Let’s hope Bahrain builds on this positive step on the world stage and does all it can to support and encourage more programs and funding for women.

  • mahmood
    11 August 2008

    Your hope, M, is noble, but unfortunately misplaced.

  • Khalid
    12 August 2008

    Its sad that Ruqaya is probably the only “real” Bahraini representing Bahrain.

    Id rather have a real Bahraini achieve last place than a money-bought Nigerian Bahraini win gold

    its shameful and goes against everything the Olympics stand for

  • khalid j
    12 August 2008

    Im proud of Ruqaya, however Im ashamed that she’s the only ‘real’ Bahraini representing us.

    Id rather have a Bahraini lose to last place, than a money-bought-Nigerian-Bahraini win gold.

    Its disgusting, and goes against everything the Olympics stand for.

    Instead of training young aspiring athletes, ‘they’ went ahead and bought some from the nearest AfricanAthlete Market.

  • Lynn
    15 August 2008

    I am proud of every single athlete there no matter what country they represent. Each of them are living, breathing examples of perseverance,dedication and good sportsmanship (well, maybe not the guy that threw his bronze medal in a huff). Each of them are already winners just for making it there.

  • heraish
    17 August 2008

    The best way to see the so called “real bahraini” as a real athlete is to advocate unity in sporting terms with Qatar. This would be like what North and South Korea did last olympics. This way the Qatari Aspire sports center which has millions of dollars of funds can come and prospect Bahraini youth. The Bahraini youth will have the proper funding and infrastructure to become top class athletes then.

  • naddooi
    19 August 2008

    Just thought i’d break up the arguing, Bahrain won its first medal, GOLD medal! 😆

    Men’s 1,500m!

    Go Bahrain GO!

  • mahmood
    19 August 2008

    Hey brilliant! Congrats! 😀

  • Nicole
    20 September 2008

    I was happy when Bahrain won their first Olympic gold medal. 😀
    I just wished that everyone who was representing Bahrain was a true Bahraini. Nevermind, nothing we could have done. Go Bahrain!

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