Afghanistan, apparently, will not send a team to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. According to sources close to the Salt Lake (Olympic) Organizing Committee, Afghanistan is not presently part of the “Olympic Family.”
Nonetheless, proponents of Salt Lake City’s upcoming Games say that the Olympics are “more important than ever” in bringing the world together in wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and our subsequent bombing of Afghanistan.
Other countries that may be absent from the Winter Games in 2002 include Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Sudan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Morocco and Libya. They are, apparently, among other countries that don’t matter all that much when it comes to the Olympic movement.
• We have been informed, however, that Greece will enter a bobsled team at our Winter Games. Greece, of course, is where the whole Olympic thing began several thousand years ago, although it remains unclear whether bobsled was among the original events.
• While we’re on the subject of bobsled, yes Jamaica will enter a team in Utah in February. But this just in: Haiti and Trinidad will not. Apparently, the popularity of bobsled in those island countries is flagging for some reason.
• In other Olympic-related news: (Here at SmartBomb, of course, we realize you’re already sick and tired of Olympic-related news. But not nearly as sick of it as you’re going to be by Feb. 24.) Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that a so-called “truce” during the Winter Games does not mean that the bombing of Afghanistan will stop. What it means, he explained, is that athletes will be able to travel to and from Salt Lake City “without hinder.”
• Speaking of assaults, a 20-year-old woman was jailed in Latvia recently when she hit England’s Prince Charles across the face with a flower. The dour prince was visiting Riga near a monument to Latvian independence when the woman stepped forward and whapped him with a carnation. As police were dragging her off, she told reporters the gesture was in protest of Britain’s role in attacking Afghanistan.
• Another interesting note concerning our new war: The United States, as everyone knows, is supplying the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance with uniforms, weapons and ammunition. Now the Department of Defense has confirmed that America is also supplying the rebels with horse feed. That’s right, most of the rank and file of the Northern Alliance get around on horseback.
• One source close to SLOC hinted at a trial balloon floated to see if Afghani horsemen from the Northern Alliance could be included in the rodeo that is being put on in our Cultural Olympiad. Here at SmartBomb, we could not confirm the report. We did confirm, however, that SLOC announced it plans to go ahead with the rodeo despite objections from gold medal ice skater Scott Hamilton. One member of SLOC’s board was overheard to have said, “That Hamilton guy is a wimp. Rodeo is for real men.”