Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bela Karolyi Gives Bob Costas Fits

We don't do YouTube clips here at NBfPB because we ain't that sophisticated, but I hope that someone somewhere posts Bela Karolyi accusing the gold-medal winning Chinese girls, er sorry, women's gymnastics team of cheating in his commentary with a visibly nervous Bob Costas.  The first exchange went something like this...

Karolyi:  "The Chinese react differently to the pressure because they are 14 year old girls and the Americans are, comparatively, women."
Costas: "Yes, but all the Chinese gymnasts' passports say they meet the age requirement of 16, so it is cool."
Karolyi:  (in his irrepressible, 'I know how Communist governments work Bob' way) "Well, of course their passports say that, they're issued by the government, but nobody with a brain thinks those Chinese girls are a day over 14."

Then the hand.  Costas reaches over and lays a hand on Karolyi's shoulder as if to say, "OK, old man, you've said enough."  The camera fades just enough to make it not so obvious, but the body language was unmistakable, Costas was hard pressed to administer his ultimate responsibility to not dare insult NBC's host/overlords, the Chinese government.

Then, imagine my amazement when, in the wrap-up segment, they let Karolyi speak again, where he continued to go after the Chinese.  Basically, he said, they won but they cheated and shame on them.  Costas seemed helpless to stop it.  I wonder if Karolyi promised to play nice after the first go 'round and reneged or what, but it was comical.  Costas rarely gets rattled, but you could see his discomfort.  Don't worry Bob, the Chinese won't send you to re-education camp!

More here and here.


Blogger Steve said...

I have to admit I had much more respect for Bela until now. I'd understand if his comment says that it is possible the girls are 14 and government backed them up but not when says it with that I-know-all tone.

I'm a 23 years old chinese and I still get asked for ID checks buying tickets for Rated R movies from time to time. If all he got is "they LOOK young" as evidence, then that's absolute bull if he's going to pin it as fact.

3:49 AM  
Blogger Grif said...

Frankly, I haven't the faintest idea how you understood what he was saying. As I wrote at my blog (SHAMELESS PLUG!) the man sounds more like a muppet to me than, like, a person.

It's entertaining, at least.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Areej said...

What an idiot who can't handle loosing. The Chinese were freakin amaazing! And I cannot imagine them not being under pressure. :s Heck, I'm almost 20, and people say I look 14, so what? Ugh.

I really was disappointed when I saw Martha not bein cool with Alicia after her beam and floor exercises. Not like it was her fault they got silver, the Chinese were just unpassable.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Donny Baseball said...

I'm not buying your line. Karolyi has more than "they look young". People have documented that these girls are ineligible. Furthermore Karolyi and all these other experts have been in the gymnastics community for years, they all know who is who. It is not like China has been hiding these girls for years. They are known. Plus Karolyi et al have seen thousands of young girls, they know what a 16 year old girl looks like. We all know what a 16 year old girl looks like, we're not stupid. Karolyi is also right that a government can issue any type of documents they want to suit their needs and communist governments have a long tradition of just whipping up documents to reflect whatever reality they want. The Soviets probably issued more inaccurate, deceptive passports than accurate and legitimate ones throughout their entire history.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Donny Baseball said...

Hey pal, cool it with the idiot stuff. I demand strict standards of rational debate, calling me an idiot doesn't begin to let you in on the discussion. Get serious or get gone. As it happens, I care not one iota about the outcome, my life is not enhanced or diminished if the USA doesn't win in gymnatics. And yes the Chinese were awesome and the Americans did lose it. This is not about who deserved to win, this is about why we have rules and how rules ought to be respected. The rules are there for a reason, so I expect that they should be enforced. Either that or don't have the rules to begin with.

12:30 PM  

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