Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic Links

The guy pictured to the right is Ricardo "Ric" or "R.J." Blas Jr., an Olympian representing Guam in judo. I’m not kidding. Seriously, they really do have judo in Guam! According to Bob Costas during the opening ceremonies where he (Ric, not Bob) was the flag-bearer for Guam, Ric may be the heaviest athlete in Olympics history. Unlike Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian gymnast who won five gold medals, Ric has a MySpace page, which includes many pictures of Ric in action (judo and otherwise). If there’s one person I want to do well in Beijing, it’s Ric, particularly since he could pummel me if I get on his bad side. Here’s a little more about Blas from Guam’s Pacific Daily News (as opposed to Guam’s Atlantic Daily News).

Update 8/14: There's more coverage about Blas on this blog here and here.

Bat-El Gaterer, competing in Taekwondo, is the only religious member of the Israeli delegation. Besides answering some questions about whether or not she would compete on Shabbat, this may be my favorite portion of the interview:

Q: But isn’t [practicing with boys] problematic for you in terms of "negiah" (banned physical contact with the opposite sex)?

A: "No. It’s a kicking match. I don’t see it as problematic."

Tuvalu, the fourth smallest country in the world (larger than only the Vatican City, Monaco and Nauru) at 10 square miles and less than 12,000 people, consists of nine islands located approximately half-way between Hawaii and Australia. Tuvalu is also one of the three countries that are participating in the Olympics for the first time. I was hoping to find some fun article about this fact, but according to The Guardian, apparently, "rising sea levels are causing [the] tiny island nations to sink and maybe one day disappear." At least they are selling Olympic stamps!


guamswhitest said...

so today i was looking up ric blas, particularly because he's my best friend in the whole wide world (#2 on his myspace page, btw), and i don't have cable at the moment, which means that i wasn't able to watch the opening ceremony. luckily i came across your random blog. i must admit that i couldn't help but chuckle. he is a big guy, that's for sure... but once you get past that detail, you'll see that his athleticism, heart, and uncanny ability to draw people to him with his smile outshines his size.
we're all rooting for him back home, and i'm glad you are, too.

Sean said...

Andrea - Thanks for the comment! Ric really stood out during the opening ceremonies, so I wanted to find out a little more about him and figured I would share it with anyone else who reads this. Even though he is a big guy, I don't doubt him athleticism. You don't make the Olympics without being a great athlete. I'll be sure to follow Ric throught the Olympics.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't expect to come across this blog when I was searching for Ric haha. I'm glad you're rooting for him, he's gone so far with judo and deserves to be in the Olympics. btw, his first match is on August 15th, 9pm PST, haha.

Sean said...

Thanks Sylvia. I was trying to find the time of his first match.

flaunt said...

i was searching for ric's judo match online.
& i came across your blog.
he told me that he's competing on the 15th of this month but
i'm not sure about the time.
do you know what time his match will show on guam? channel 8.


Anonymous said...

Go Ric! Go Guam! Represent our island well!!!

Anonymous said...


Not only is he gifted, he's one of the nicest guys anyone is ever gonna meet!

Alex Esteves

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