Para-athletes insulted by Paralympic Commitee – Pl sign the petition


Punish PCI for disrespecting Indian Paralympians at 2012 games

 

I , Farmaan Basha  am writing to you from the 2012 London Paralympics Games village. I am affected with polio, but I have been Power-lifting since 2000. I was even honoured with the Arjuna Award

My wife, Antonia sold her jewellery so I could represent India at the Games. She was also supposed to help me get my way around events. She’s my soulmate and I owe my success to her.

Sadly, today she’s stranded outside the games village, because Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) members are using the free facilities meant for athletes and their support staff.

Thats why I started a petition on Change.org telling Sports Minister Ajay Maken to take strict action against PCI members for their conduct and derecognise the body altogether. http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/minister-of-sports-india-stop-treating-indian-paralympians-as-second-class-citizens

Even my coach, Sadanand Malashetti, who has trained me for years now, couldn’t access the Games Village even though his name was in the list of attendees provided by the Indian Govt.

The actions of the PCI members have humiliated me and my fellow athletes.

Prior to the event, I was lifting 170 kg in the 48kg class. When I was informed that my coach and wife would not be allowed to enter the games village my performance was badly affected and I couldn’t even lift 148 kgs.

Overcoming these difficulties, after a lot of hard-work and under emotional trauma, I managed to get 5th place in the powerlifting event. After the event when I asked for a pass for my wife who is legally my escort, I was denied the pass since the PCI wanted to punish me for complaining against them.

Join me in helping Indian paralympic players get the recognition they deserve. Tell Ajay Maken, the Minister of Sports to take strict action against the corrupt practices of Paralympic Committee of India. http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/minister-of-sports-india-stop-treating-indian-paralympians-as-second-class-citizens

Thanks in advance for taking action,

Farmaan Basha,

2012 London Paralympic Games Village

 

 

Athletes don’t wear heels-Women at #Olympics are shaking off pressure to be feminine


 

BY THE AMERICAN PROSPECT

Athletes don't wear heelsA beach volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday in London. (AP)

This article originally appeared on The American Prospect.

Athleticism in women has generated social unease going back at least as far as the Greek myth of Atalanta, the princess who refused to marry a man who couldn’t beat her in a footrace and was finally conquered by a “hero” who beats her by cheating. Women in sports flout the feminine not only by being competitive, but by using their bodies for an end other than sex and child-bearing.
The American Prospect
Since they first started competing in 1900, female Olympians have faced pressure to relieve sexist anxieties by turning up the girliness, even if doing so hurts their performance. In the past, the need to distinguish female from male athletes—and thus preserve their femininity—has led the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to enforce silly uniform requirements like bikinis for beach volleyball and skirts for tennis.

Social ideals about femininity have also guided which female sports get the most attention: It tends to be those that highlight beauty and grace, such as gymnastics or figure skating. Note also that these sports tend to produce the pre-pubescent look, which has led to widespread eating disorders, such as the one that ended ice skater Jenny Kirk’s career. Pressure to be cute and tiny on gymnasts got so out of control that the Olympics finally set a minimum age requirement of 16.

This Olympics, however, feels like a step forward. Don’t get me wrong; there have been plenty of sexist incidents. Despite being one of the strongest women in the world, weightlifter Sarah Robles had a hard time attracting sponsors because of her size. Australian swimmer Leisel Jones was shamed by the press for weighing 150 pounds (Michael Phelps in his fighting-est form only weighed 30 pounds more). Despite these incidents, female athletes have felt free to shake off sexist expectations during this year’s games—and they’re getting surprisingly little blowback for it.

The change is apparent from the top. This year, beach volleyball players have the option of wearing more clothes than the regulation bikini required in the past (which has led to players wearing long-sleeved shirts to stave off the London chill), and the IOC struck down proposed rules that would have mandated skirts for female badminton and boxing competitors. This was also the first year that every country participating has female athletes on their teams, challenging notions of what women are capable of even in some of the most conservative countries on earth.

But the shift is most visible in the way that female athletes conduct themselves in public. Male athletics has always been a zone for bad-boy behavior; outside of requirements that athletes show good sportsmanship on the field, male athletes have plenty of room to be aggressive, party hard, and even to display a lack of humility that would be more off-putting if they weren’t as great as they say they are. From hockey players brawling to Derek Jeter’s womanizing and Muhammed Ali’s braggadocio—it’s hard to imagine what men’s sports would even look like without a hefty share of roughness, pride, and, of course, partying.

Now, more women are embracing the same bad-boy attitude; it’s become alright to be a tomboy. Hope Solo, the keeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team, has a reputation for being a loudmouth, which she’s earned with stunts like running down fellow soccer player Brandi Chastain on Twitter for criticizing the team’s defensive strategy. In a highly circulated story about all the partying that goes on in the Olympic Village, Solo openly bragged about sexual conquests, saying, “I may have snuck a celebrity back to my room without anybody knowing, and snuck him back out.” The press has for the most part reported this straightforwardly, without a hint of the hand-wringing that accompanied other incidents of female athletes acting like their male counterparts—remember the wall-to-wall tut-tutting Chastain received for stripping off her jersey at the 1999 World Cup?

Solo is in good company. Megan Rapinoe, who was one of the stand-out players during the last World Cup, officially came out as a lesbian this year. The news coverage of this has been perfunctory to the point that one might forget that coming out was unthinkable even a few years back—and still is to a large degree for male athletes. The team captain Abby Wambach identifies as straight, but she’s not particularly interested in being girly, either. After getting punched in the face by Colombia’s Lady Andrade, Wambach tweeted pictures of her shiner, complete with jokes mocking how unladylike it is: “#reverseeyesmoke #notcool.”

Women aren’t just playing rough; they’re owning their bodies, shaking off the pressure to attend to their attractiveness before their athleticism. Zoe Smith, a weightlifter from Great Britain, decided to go online and let her critics know that she didn’t “give a toss” if they think strong, muscular women are unfeminine and unattractive, adding that she preferred to be with men who were open-minded about female strength. Another weightlifter, 350-pound Holley Mangold, smacked down Conan O’Brien’s mockery of her weight and strength by tweeting, “#dontactlikeyournotimpressed.” He should be; she’s only been training since 2008 and now she’s in the Olympics.

Even if the media wanted to maintain an image of the demure, petite female Olympian, the women themselves clearly won’t be having it. For no other reason than pure competition, women from all sorts of backgrounds have been redefining what’s acceptable.


Read more of The American Prospect at http://www.prospect.org.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and journalist. She’s published two books and blogs regularly at Pandagon, RH Reality Check and Slate’s Double X

 

Draconian ‘Wi-Fi police’ stalk #LondonOlympicGames


 

August 3, 2012,Asher Moses,Technology Editor

All unauthorised Wi-Fi networks including smartphone hotspots are banned from Olympic venues.All unauthorised Wi-Fi networks including smartphone hotspots are banned from Olympic venues. Photo: Sadao Turner Esq

You’ve probably heard of the overzealous Olympic Games “brand police” harassing old ladies making Olympic cakes and other shop owners getting into the Olympic spirit, but how about the “Wi-Fi police”?

The Olympics brand is the second most valuable brand in the world at $US45 billion.

Sponsors pay tens of millions of pounds to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for exclusive rights to spruik their wares around London and beyond, and the IOC will stop at nothing to protect those revenue streams.

BT is the “official communications services provider” for the Olympics and has 1500 Wi-Fi hotspots at Olympic sites, with prices starting from £5.99 for 90 minutes. It’s the largest single Wi-Fi venue installation in Britain, according to BT.

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To protect this lucrative deal – and presumably minimise any potential technical interference – LOCOG, the London Olympics organising committee, has banned “personal/private wireless access points and 3G hubs” from Olympic venues.

Want to create a wireless hotspot on your smartphone so you can get online on your laptop or tablet in between matches? That’s prohibited, as are portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices.

Sadao Turner Esq, director of new media for TV personality Ryan Seacrest’s production company, tweeted a photo of the “Olympics Wi-Fi police” that are charged with seeking out unauthorised Wi-Fi hotspots with big red detectors.

The absurdities don’t end there. According to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, Fish and chip stalls have been advised they are not allowed to serve chips on their own without fish as McDonald’s is the official chip maker of the Games. The Independent reported that the ban on chips extended to 800 retailers at the 40 Olympic venues.

Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers have been patrolling London enforcing the multimillion-dollar marketing deals signed with companies such as Visa, Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Adidas, McDonald’s and BP.

Only official sponsors who have paid a certain amount of money are permitted to use Olympic Games trademarks in their advertising.

Under laws specifically passed for the London Games, the brand army has rights to enter shops and business premises and bring courts actions and fines up to £20,000.

Words such as “Olympic”, “gold”, “silver”, “bronze”, “sponsors”, “summer” and “London” have been banned from business advertisements so as not to give the impression they are connected to the Olympics. Even pubs can’t have signs displaying brands of beer that are not official sponsors.

LOCOG has previously said that the sponsor rights were acquired by companies for millions of pounds and this helped support the staging of the games. It said people who sought the same benefits for free by “engaging in ambush marketing or producing counterfeit goods” were effectively depriving the games of revenue.

From a public relations perspective, this hasn’t played well with Londoners, who could breach the legislation simply by getting into the spirit of the games. Residents have also missed out on tickets only to see rows of empty seats in sections reserved for sponsors.

Today they are reading rumours that just 15 Games organisers spent $70,000 on lunch.

To see why Olympics organisers go to such lengths to protect sponsors you only have to follow the money. The Olympics brand is the second most valuable brand in the world at $US45 billion, according to a study by consultants Brand Finance.

Apple is the only brand ahead of it, worth $US70 billion. Both maintain this value by going after anyone they perceive to be using their trademarks.

The Olympics brand has increased in value by 87 per cent since the Beijing Games, largely off the back of a rise in broadcast rights – deals which punters complain are also preventing them from fully enjoying the Games. Ticketholders have also been told not to post photos or videos of matches to social networking sites.

Matthew Gain, digital director of public relations agency Edelman, said there was a “fine line that needs to be tread” between the commercial realities and the ability of consumers to enjoy the Games.

The Olympics are expensive to run and sponsors provide a chunk of the cash, so they expect that competitors won’t be able to get the same or similar benefits for free.

“However at the same time you don’t want to protect that investment so much that you piss off everyone,” he said.

“You’ve got to keep sensible about it and you’ve got to remember that the moment that you as a brand by protecting your own brand start inhibiting consumer choice and consumer behaviour … then that’s when you start risking impacting and affecting your brand.”

So have organisers gone too far in this instance? “Some of the protection of the stuff in the UK where you’ve seen the local cake shop being told that they need to stop displaying the Olympic rings cake that they’ve made and put in the window is perhaps a little bit too far,” said Gain.

“I think if it’s a mum and dad business that’s not really benefiting from the Olympics but getting into the Olympic spirit … that’s probably where you’ve gone a little bit too far.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/draconian-wifi-police-stalk-olympic-games-20120803-23jdc.html#ixzz22erBpcpB

 

Dear Twitter: Corporate censorship is still #censorship


 

Andrew Couts July 31, 2012 By

Twitter corporate censorship

Opinion: Twitter’s apparent willingness to censor a user to protect its corporate friends damages the company’s image as a champion for free speech.

UPDATE: Guy Adams’s Twitter account has been restored, as of about 1:35pm ET.

By now, you’ve likely heard about the debacle surrounding British journalist Guy Adams’s Twitter account, which was suspended by Twitter after Adams topped off a tirade against NBC’s time delayed London Olympics coverage by publishing the work email address of Gary Zenkel, NBC’s executive in charge of its Olympics broadcast.

If not, here’s a quick primer: Adams, as Twitter explained to him in an email, had violated the microblogging service’s privacy policy by publishing Zenkel’s email address. Twitter forbids the posting of “another person’s private and confidential information.” As the media has been quick to point out, however, it is not entirely clear that Adams actually violated anything.

For a moment, let’s ignore the fact that Adams posted Zenkel’s work email address — not his personal address, nor his phone number or home address — which some might consider “public” by nature. Twitter’s rules go on to explain that, “If information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the Internet prior to being put on Twitter, it is not a violation of this policy.” While it is now quite difficult to find any links through a Google search that were not published after Adams’s Twitter suspension, Chris Taylor of Mashable was able to find Zenkel’s email posted online prior to the current hoopla. And now, of course, Zenkel’s email address has been re-posted all over the Web.

But it’s clear at this point that Twitter — NBC’s “official narrator” for the 2012 Olympics — simply used its privacy policy as an excuse to shut up Adams. As the Telegraph reports, it was Twitter, not NBC, that first noticed Adams’s harsh criticism of the network. Twitter brought Adams to NBC’s attention, and NBC subsequently filed the complaint form that led to Adams’s inevitable account suspension.

As far as censorship on Twitter goes, this is deeply disturbing on several levels. First, it shows that Twitter is willing to bend its rules for users to meet its own ends. (If Twitter is NOT bending its rules, I’d love to hear from Twitter how that is possible. Sadly, the company is staying mum on the matter.) Second, it shows that Twitter’s commitment to transparency and free speech on its network has as much value as Monopoly money.

Back in January, Twitter announced that it had changed its censorship policy so that censored tweets would only appear censored in the country whose government issued the takedown order. Twitter would also post any instance of censorship on the independent watchdog site ChillingEffects.org. The move sparked outrage amongst users who saw the policy change as Twitter bending to totalitarian governments that seek to silence their citizens.

At the time, I defended Twitter’s new policy: Rather than increase censorship on Twitter — a platform that served a vital role in Iran’s Green Revolution, the Arab Spring uprisings, and the Occupy Wall Street movement — the new policy would actually decrease censorship, since removed tweets would only appear invisible to residents of a single country, not the whole world, as was previously the case. It was not Twitter we should be boycotting, I said, it was the totalitarian governments that seek to imprison the ideas of their people.

While I stand by that logic, this NBC disaster proves that oppressive regimes are not the only enemy Twitter users need to worry about: Twitter’s very existence as a company is a problem.

Twitter may be willing to stand up to governments who push around its users, but it is apparently not beyond doing some shoving itself. Since Twitter has so far refused to further explain its suspension of Adams’s account, we can only assume that the fateful move was born of greed — a need to build a relationship with a corporate behemoth like NBCUniveral. What’s to prevent Twitter from roughhousing its users again for similar reasons? Nothing, obviously.

Of course, all of this should be expected. Twitter is, after all, a company, not a publicly owned service like 911. And companies ultimately exist to make money. Rather than join the media pile-on that is currently underway, I wanted to believe that there was some socially justifiable reason for Adams’s account suspension. But as someone who once defended Twitter against those who thought it held the ideals of free speech above its bottom line, however, I must admit that this whole sad saga with NBC and Adams was, disappointingly, inevitable. So the next time you try to pose as a champion of your users and for free speech in general, Twitter, forgive me for taking a more skeptical stance. You are, it seems, just the same as the rest.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/nbc-vs-guy-adams-twitters-disappointing-foray-into-corporate-censorship/#ixzz22Gs8Q4BH

 

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