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White Men Can't Jump?

I've been really enjoying what I can catch of the Olympics, but am now getting really excited about events I did not get to see - the games so far of the Lithuanian men's basketball team. 

This morning Lithuania beat China to win a spot in the semifinals, which means for sure a chance to play in a medal game. (Whether they can beat world champion Spain on Friday, will determine whether they play for Gold/Silver, or for Bronze). The team was not a medal favorite at the outset this time around, but is a perennial contender. They were 4th in Athens, and have three bronze medals since 1992 (the first year Lithuania competed since WW2). Lithuanian stars were also the core of the Soviet team that won the gold medal in 1988.

Oh, and an amusing little tidbit...Jonas Kazlauskas, coach of the China team, criticized the tactics of the Lithuanian team, which chose to double and triple team 7' 5" Chinese star Yao Ming. No, he's not Chinese...how did you guess? He's Lithuanian.

I just think it is too cool that a country of 3.5 million can excel consistently at a sport that is quite popular in much, much bigger countries! It's one of those fun little things about the Olympics.


Aug. 20th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
Hooray for Lithuania! (Though, I'll have to cheer for the US, if they play against one another.)

I think it's interesting that there are so many connections for Olympic athletes in different countries. It's not just the economy that's global...I was watching the basketball game between the US and Spain on CBC* a while back (it was one of the first played) and the announcer said that the game was of interest to Canadians because one of the players on the American team and one of the players on the Spanish team each played for the Toronto Raptors. The announcer suggested people root for their favorite Raptor. *lol*

*I get CBC because I live on the US-Canada border.
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
I will forgive you for rooting for the US... because I think it is most likely that if those two teams meet, it will be in the gold medal game. So losing would still mean the first silver medal for Lithuania! (Though, Lithuania did end up 4th in Athens because they lost the bronze medal game to the US...)


starry night

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