Flim Buff Fran leads the Keep the Flame Alive Movie Club, in which we watch movies on the Olympics and Parlympics.

Movie Club: Film Buff Fran on “Over the Limit”

Release Date: December 14, 2023

Category: Film | Movie Club | Podcast

For our last episode of the year, we go to the movies! Film Buff Fran joins us with a lively discussion of the 2017 documentary “Over the Limit,” which follows Russian rhythmic gymnast Margarita Mamun. Will it be a thumbs-up holiday family film recommendation? Listen to find out!

We also close our year of looking back at the Seoul 1988 Olympics and Paralympics. Our summer Intern Annalee Deabel looked at the legacy of these Games and what they did for the city of Seoul and the country of South Korea.

In TKFLASTAN news, we have updates from:

  • Skeleton racers Shannon Galea and Brendan Doyle
  • Para powerlifter Louise Sugden
  • Speed skater Erin Jackson
  • Pole vaulter Katie Moon
  • Wheelchair rugby player Chuck Aoki
  • Artistic swimmer Jacqueline Simoneau
  • Nordic combined skier Annika Malacinski
  • Author Andrew Maraniss

The International Testing Agency is starting re-testing of samples from the Rio 2016 Games. We’re hoping its not a repeat of the London 2012 situation.

In Paris 2024 news:

  • The International Olympic Committee has released guidance on allowing individual Russian and Belarusian athletes at these Games.
  • Parc de la Villette is going to be hopping with hospitality houses — we’ve got info on Archi-Folies’ sport pavilions and more details on Club France.
  • Kit news from the Netherlands!
  • What would an episode be without another installment of the surfingnovela?

Next time, it’ll be an Olympic and Paralympic year! Are you ready for Paris 2024?

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!


Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio. Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.

Film Buff Fran on Over the Limit (Episode 317)

[00:00:00] Jill: Hello and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. If you love the Games, we are the show for you. Each week we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the Games. I am your host Jill Jaracz, joined as always by my lovely co host Alison Brown.

Alison, hello, how are you? How dare you speak to me that

[00:00:49] Alison: way!

[00:00:50] Jill: You lazy,

[00:00:55] Alison: unimportant person! But

[00:00:57] Jill: am I thin enough?

[00:01:02] Alison: You are eating too much. One carrot is going to make

[00:01:04] Jill: you fat. See, and even you’re too nice.

[00:01:11] Alison: You know what? Because I don’t have all the jewelry and makeup on. And Putin on my arm.

[00:01:16] Jill: Right. And a big hat doesn’t.

Yeah. That was her hair. Anyway, we are getting ahead of ourselves. Uh, that is all in relation to this week’s movie for movie club. And around this time of year, we like to have our last installment of Movie Club to give you something to watch over the holidays that is fun.

Sadly, this choice may not be for you, unless you need to see massive dysfunction and feel better about your current situation.

So, Film Buff Fran is here to talk about the documentary Over the Limit. This follows Russian Olympic rhythmic gymnast Margarita Mamun on her journey to the Rio 2016 Games. Take a listen.

Movie Club Discussion – “Over the Limit”

[00:01:58] Jill: Fran, welcome back. We are talking Over the Limit, documentary, our first documentary. Tell us about it.

[00:02:06] Film Buff Fran: this documentary was written and directed by Marta Prus, and she is a Polish writer, director, and it is the story of Margarita Mamun, who is a Russian rhythmic gymnast who won.

gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016. And this is a very stark documentary. It really shows us a lot of behind the scenes trials and tribulations from an average day in Margarita, or as they called her in the movie Rita’s life. And it really showed the ugly underbelly of what it takes, in the Russian system of becoming an Olympic gold medalist. It depicts Margarita as, never.

She’s taking a break. She’s constantly, constantly practicing and with her coaches and she had an assistant coach and she had her main coach and they really acted as almost like a good cop, bad cop. the main coach was the very. Brutal domineering, you know, you will do as I say, coaching style and her assistant coach was the more, no, we love you.

I love you. Just, keep going, keep going. You’re doing fine. it seemed like, she gets a lot of, criticism in this movie regarding her quality of performance. And for me, frankly, it was shocking that she even kept going, with the amount of verbal tirades she received from sometimes both coaches, in the span of a practice session.

so we don’t know, if that goes on. Typically in the rhythmic gymnastic field, or was it just this, like I said, this coach is, coaching style, but you see just kind of almost like I said before, the ugly underbelly of being a rhythmic gymnast.

[00:04:15] Alison: Fran, you mentioned her main coach, who is Irina Wiener, who we talked about on the show because subsequently she has been banned by FIG. for two years from judging and officiating because of some comments, some comments, air quotes she made about the judging in Tokyo. So this is not a woman known for her quiet,

[00:04:40] Film Buff Fran: kind demeanor.

Obviously not.

[00:04:43] Alison: She used some rather choice words about it being anti Russian bias, that this anti Russian bias had kept her off the FIG board. During the elections that she had been conspired against, and of course, she’s also been very, very vocal on the banning of Russian gymnasts, of rhythmic gymnasts, from competition since the beginning of the Russia Ukraine war.

So, it was interesting. When I first started watching the movie, not putting the two stories together, because I remembered reading about that, rhythmic gymnastic coach who got banned, not realizing it was her until about halfway through the movie and saying, Oh, both the movie. And my prior knowledge fed into one another.

I was like, okay, this makes a lot more sense. Can I ban her from everything forever?

[00:05:38] Film Buff Fran: She was brutal. She was just, she was absolutely brutal. Oh, she was cruel. Very cruel.

[00:05:45] Alison: She’s also Putin’s supposed girlfriend.

[00:05:48] Film Buff Fran: Come on.

Not surprising.

[00:05:53] Alison: Yeah, just the level of abuse that this woman

[00:05:57] Film Buff Fran: He doles out on everybody. Well, she doled it out on the coach too. I mean, did you see her giving it? I was shocked by the absolute freedom of the director to film all of this. I was shocked that they allowed her to capture these conversations during the documentary, because it does not put the main coach, Miss Irina, or.

Even the assistant coach in a good light. I mean, yeah, they were just brutal.

[00:06:30] Jill: I don’t think she cares because she also used to be married to Alisher Usmanov, who is an oligarch and was head of the international fencing association until 2022, where he stepped aside because of all of the.

Restrictions placed on him by the EU and everything involved with the Ukraine So those two are a pair and I mean she’s got money. What does she care? She’s got her style. It produces results It’s the old Soviet system style of coaching and it’s it’s incredibly abusive and I think that part of the movie and when I was reading reviews about it just to see what other people thought Cause I did not think much.

I think that if you didn’t understand the type of coaching that was ubiquitous in Soviet Union, you would be very shocked by this movie. And that’s the way it seems presented in, it’s just this barrage of abusive session after abusive session. And when you know a little bit about that, it doesn’t shock you and then it becomes like, we don’t need to see this play out

[00:07:44] Alison: I don’t think they gave a lot of context for it in the movie. One of the things that I noticed was that there was no timestamp. We never knew where we are. We knew we were in the run up to Rio, but we do not know where we were in the season. And unless you have. the rhythmic gymnastics season memorized, you had no clue where and when you were.

And that was very frustrating. You know, in a lot of American documentaries, they do the interview of the subjects as almost a debrief as to what was happening. There was no debriefing, there was no direct interviewing. It was fly on the wall, which was obviously a directorial choice. But I think without any context, like you were saying, Jill, it just becomes a horror show of abuse.

And why am I watching it? And then at the end she wins the gold medal. So is that supposed to make this all okay?

[00:08:38] Film Buff Fran: which they didn’t even show because they probably got zero clearance to show any Olympic film. Footage whatsoever, which was such a letdown too, because, we’re always looking to see, you know, what do they include in the film, regarding any, Olympic footage, and they showed her cavorting on the beach in Brazil, and that’s about it.

[00:09:06] Jill: it just felt one note after a while, like we’re just going to show you the abuse this person has to take. It doesn’t feel like she liked what she was doing with her life, so why did she keep doing it? Exactly. You do get into her home and you do see all the trophies on the, like the wall dedicated to her gymnastics career.

And then you get into her room and she’s got some like posters from being a spokesperson for stuff and, sponsorship deals. you see that,

[00:09:35] Film Buff Fran: but. You saw the beautiful blanket her mom had in the house with her face on it.


[00:09:41] Jill: But it’s hard to put that into context of how much does gymnastics mean to her and what would her life does gymnastics provide? income that they need. What would her life be without that? Because you, and I still don’t, I don’t know what life is like for the average person in Russia today, income wise, but you fall into this with the Soviet coaching style, you fall into this, Oh, once the Soviet Union collapsed.

There were a lot, a lot of poor people all of a sudden. So what is the what?

[00:10:13] Film Buff Fran: Yeah. It was hard to get a sense of what made her tick because you, you just saw her kind of like an automaton, getting up every day, going to practice, getting verbally abused by the coaches. And then you saw brief glimpses of home life and her boyfriend on Skype or, FaceTime but she never looked in the camera and gave us any indication of how she was feeling or, like you said, what made her get up every day and do this?

Because I wouldn’t, it doesn’t sound like it was a pleasant. experience on any level for her. When they were doing each competition, the coach kept on saying, Oh, you’ll never make the Olympics. You’ll never make the Olympics. You’ll never make the Olympics. Then all of a sudden they’re like, Oh, you’re going to the Olympics.

I’m like, well, how’d that happen? You spent the last half hour telling this kid, she’s not good enough. And then all of a sudden, she’s going to the Olympics. How did that occur? So there wasn’t a decent continuity, to the show, and there, like you said, at the end, there wasn’t that payoff, of the success story, from all overcoming whatever adversity she had to, win the medal.

spoiler alert, they just make a blank screen and then lettering on it that says, the day before where she got the worst verbal abuse of her life from the coaches, the next day she won the gold medal. They show her on a fake podium, it looked like, afterwards, and then the next blank screen was, and then she returned home, and two days later, her father died of cancer.

And the movie ended, so, I understand it, I think the tone was supposed to be very somber and serious and dramatic, but, to the viewer, it almost felt like there was no redemption. There was no success. There was no happiness to any of this, which is a shame, cause there should have been.

[00:12:11] Alison: There were three pieces that they could have used as an arc, one being her father’s illness, the second being her foot injury. And I thought they were going to get so much more into that because I wanted to understand it a little bit, what was happening with that foot and how that was really affecting her.

And then third, the question of whether Russians were even going to be allowed to compete in 2016 because of the. Consideration of, banning Russia for doping issues. So you, they mention all these things, but they never made an arc with it. So like you said, Fran, the movie just ended. And maybe that was the point.

That they weren’t trying to make an arc. That they weren’t trying to create a story. They just wanted to show this incredibly stark. Story that it wasn’t filled with tropes that it wasn’t filled with this redemption at the end and this Catharsis of winning that it was just this relentless abuse. She wins And it’s over.

And now she’s just got to go on with her life.

[00:13:14] Film Buff Fran: Which she did. She did marry her Olympic swimmer boyfriend and they had a child, they had at least one child, but there’s very limited information on her on online. So, that was, I thought, a positive ending for her that, she found that happen, hopefully happiness with someone but really, being an American and watching American gymnastics as a kid, and you see all these like uplifting, positive stories, that are portrayed for our athletes, God only knows what the true story is behind the scenes.

But, you come from a, childhood where, they really do put on a rosy picture for all our athletes. And then to watch a movie, a documentary, which shows, like you said, Alison, really a horror show, for an athlete to even do what she’s doing. It’s just incredibly sad, and maybe that was what she was trying to, accomplish with the documentary, but it just seemed very pathetic.

[00:14:14] Alison: The one happy note. Actually, I’m going to ruin it for you. Mom. So, naked Sasha, the wonderful boyfriend, they started dating when she was 17 and he was 24. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

[00:14:26] Film Buff Fran: ha ha

[00:14:27] Alison: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

[00:14:28] Film Buff Fran: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha.

[00:14:30] Jill: but I mean, like you were saying, Fran. Um, maybe it’s, we want to show this picture of what the athlete’s life is like, because we’ll watch the Olympics in a few months and be thinking that it’s all rosy and everyone’s excited and this is a moment you’ve been working for and it’s going to be great.

And we’ve talked with people who’ve just not had good times before or training and we hear athletes all the time, it’s hard to get motivated to get up and go train. But guess it’s a good reminder that this is not all sunshine and rainbows like we think it is. But I think this movie doesn’t do as much of a service or it’s a, disservice because we just see this abuse all the time.

We see the good cop bad cop of the coaches play against her and It doesn’t help to have a story arc to know what she’s training for when, how long this is going to last. Is this just always the way it’s been her entire athletic career? what is she doing wrong? It looks good to the naked eye, but you don’t know what is supposedly wrong.

[00:15:39] Film Buff Fran: Like Alison said too, I mean, the foot injury, they alluded to just this amazing medical team that they had, the medical staff seems super knowledgeable and, and, you’re wondering, Oh, is this the reason why sometimes she’s not performing. At her best, but it just gets, abruptly said and then abruptly forgotten, seemingly like the dad’s illness too.

I mean, unfortunately, they allude to the father being sick then they’re like, okay, he’s in bed, and then there’s just a word about him passing. So, I guess she wanted to give us an idea of what the athlete was going through. But it, just seems like she was going through so much.

It was so overwhelming, the odds, for her to keep her mental state where it should be to perform, so maybe that was why she kept it as stark as she did, but it just was so overwhelmingly, despondent overall.

[00:16:39] Jill: Right. And the choice to not talk with Rita herself left you, the viewer, not knowing what is she doing to process these things?

, do we only see her dad because she’s got to be going to meets all the time and has to travel? We don’t really know. And. Just watching Rita sit on a bus looking for Lorne doesn’t really go deep into answer it to really get a feeling of what her life is like. , we have to infer a lot in this , and make decisions on how she’s feeling and what she’s feeling.

And I don’t think that’s fair to her. Mm hmm.

[00:17:17] Film Buff Fran: The gymnast. Yeah, I mean, you couldn’t tell. I mean, I was just trying to put together, okay, she’s in a dormitory style housing unit for practices, but then she does get to leave to go home. So I guess it must be close by. Relatively, because it seemed like she was going home for her birthday and, to see her family maybe on a weekend, but, you never get a true sense of, where is this taking place and all the traveling, like one minute they were at a practice session, but the next minute she’s in costume and ready to go on.

And then the next minute they’re in a place that looks like they’re in Israel. For this supposed big meet and then the next minute they’re touching down and we’re assuming that they’re in Rio. But they never really indicated to us where she was at any given time.

it was discombobulated to me.

[00:18:08] Jill: and maybe that’s also what the athlete goes through. Well, that we don’t know, but if it’s just like one city after the next and you’re just going from place to place from meet to meet and you’re traveling all over the world, but. What you really get to see is like a convention center, and that’s it.

And an airport and a bus, whatever you get to see in your travels is out the window. But again, we don’t really know that for sure. But I guess maybe it’s the, you have to bring to it what you want to bring to it. Or get from it what you want to get from

[00:18:38] Film Buff Fran: it. And also too, they alluded to this friendship slash frenemy with the other Russian gymnast.

So you know, you never really got a sense, were they truly happy when the other bested them or, were they secretly, very upset, that they didn’t win? And the other girl got the trophy? You saw them speaking together at one point in the movie saying that they always have each other’s backs and they always support each other and happy when each other, but I mean, I don’t know.

It just seemed very contrived.

[00:19:16] Alison: They were trauma bonded. They are the only ones who understand each other. Mm hmm. So it almost doesn’t matter whether they actually consider the other a friend. It’s almost like we are survivors of the same abuse.

[00:19:30] Film Buff Fran: Yep. They’re bonded. So we understand one another.

it was very sad. There was one short scene when they were walking. And her friend was saying how, when she’s successful, they give them all these glowing, comments about how beautiful they looked and how thin they looked. But, when they don’t do as well, I think she was quoted as saying like, they called me a fat cow.

She goes, how can I be a fat cow one day? And, beautiful and thin the next, so it just really showed just, what goes on in their minds and, just that harrowing mental abuse that they received and you just wanted it to stop. You just didn’t even want to see the coaches come on the, on the screen cause you knew another kind of barrage of comments was coming.

[00:20:18] Alison: Whenever Rita would talk about being tired or not having energy or not, all I could think of was the poor kid is starving. She was so clearly, they didn’t highlight this, but she’s exhausted

[00:20:31] Film Buff Fran: all the time.

[00:20:33] Alison: She’s clearly being over trained and underfed. I mean, we’re not just talking about verbal abuse.

These girls are physically abused by their coaches to win. And we as fans are just supposed to be like, yeah, well, they won, so it’s okay.

[00:20:48] Film Buff Fran: And what about the licking comment? Did you catch that in the movie? That Irina called out? She called out Amina for like hugging and kissing and licking her.

[00:21:00] Jill: Oh, yeah, that was weird.

[00:21:02] Film Buff Fran: And I was like, this is such a weird exchange. She’s Putin’s girlfriend, just remember that. She likes it. She said. Oh, okay. Very weird. Anyway. It was very

[00:21:14] Jill: odd. Odd movie. Interesting foray into documentary, maybe. It’s not that long.

[00:21:21] Film Buff Fran: the rhythmic gymnastics portions were incredible.

You really got to see up and up close all the little intricate. details of what they did with their bodies and with the instruments that they were using. So that was more fascinating for me is just seeing them on the stage and, doing what hopefully they love doing and performing and, giving it their all.

I mean, there was a part in the beginning where she got off the stage and the coach said she did terribly. And I don’t know, from what I saw, it looked amazing

[00:21:57] Alison: you know if you really hate your family and they’re stuck with them in the holidays just pop this in

[00:22:07] Jill: Oh boy, well Fran this was I will say, Fran, this was an interesting one to end the year with.

[00:22:13] Film Buff Fran: It definitely was interesting. I’ll give it that. I was happy for the brevity of the movie.

But it was interesting and, and once again, we did a movie that was not English speakers and was subtitled, yet it was very easy to get absorbed into the story. So for, people listening that, may not always want to choose to watch something that is subtitled, I would say, if you think something is interesting, give it a shot because, if it’s a really good storyline or if it’s something that grabs you, you’ll get absorbed in it.

It, it, it won’t matter.

Excellent. That’s my PSA.

[00:22:56] Jill: All right. Well, what are we watching next?

[00:22:59] Film Buff Fran: Well, next we’re going to be going hopefully to something that’s a little bit more buoyant and happy. It’s George Clooney’s Boys in the Boat. The movie is about the 1936 Berlin games and it is the story of the American rowing team that competes in those games and how they did.

It was also a book club selection. And so I will be excited to be able to come back and talk to you about George and how his movie did.

[00:23:34] Jill: Very excited to see this movie, to be quite honest.

[00:23:38] Film Buff Fran: I’m looking forward.

[00:23:39] Jill: All right. Well, we will look forward to talking with you next time. Thank you so


[00:23:44] Film Buff Fran: Thank you guys. Have a wonderful holiday.

[00:23:47] Jill: Thank you so much, Fran. Next up, like we said, is Boys in the Boat, which comes out on December 25th. So excited for this. I’m so excited for this movie, I can’t even tell you.

That sound means it

Seoul 1988 History Moment

is time for our history moment. All year long we’ve been focusing on Soul 1988 as it has been the 35th anniversary of those games last week, last visit to Soul. Oh, so this is a little bittersweet because this has been a fun games to relive. So, uh, we have a little bit of a history moment from our wonderful summer intern, Annalee Deabel, who wrote this up while she was working with us. She talked about the legacy of the Seoul 1988 Olympics and Paralympics. Unfortunately, she couldn’t be here to tape

[00:24:37] Jill: with us.

Yeah. Good luck. Right. So, uh, we’ll, give it a shot so Annalie wrote, the 1988 Olympic Games were the first games to be held in South Korea before the Seoul 1988 Games, South Korea was viewed as a poor and divided country, especially, , the negative viewpoints during the Korean war.

Nobody thought that South Korea was a model country for the games. And Korean pride was also at an all time low before the games began. This view changed when Korea hosted the Olympics, and they were able to lift their heads high for the first time in probably decades. Korea’s international attention during the games made Koreans feel proud of their citizenship, and global recognition helped Korean businesses and Koreans find success in other countries, which was also a major point.

for hosting the games. Right. To come out to the world. , Korea also ended up hosting the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and they also hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 2018 in Pyeongchang, all because of the 1988 Olympics achievements. And they will be hosting the Winter Youth Olympics in a few weeks, really.

Yes. Very exciting. I saw the mascot. Um, yes, like all Korea, you know how to do mascots, the Olympics gave Koreans a boost of self esteem and confidence by pushing them to learn and experience good citizenship while watching the games and the Olympics also helped the country by increasing Korean participation in urban projects and their economic growth.

These urban projects helped turn Seoul into an urban city. Before the 88 Olympics, Korea was a country run by agriculture and Gangwon province was a major part of Korea’s coal mining industry. The Samcheok coal field in that province made up the majority of the whole country’s coal production.

But the 1980s coal industrial rationalization policy closed the mines, leading to a downward dive in the Gangwon. Farm communities in Kangwon were built after the Korean War near the demilitarized zone to reuse the war damaged land to build fields on. Was farm work easy? No! Farmers were wounded or died from landmines still left over from the Korean War.

Oh my gosh. They had to be extremely careful where they stepped while working. , the authoritative president of South Korea in the 1980s named Chun Doo hwan wanted the Olympics to show the world the modern country of South Korea. He wanted Korea to be equal to the modern countries in the West. Now you’re probably wondering.

How did South Korea become a modern country? The truth is that Joon wanted to beautify the landscape of Korea to be fit for hosting the Olympic games. He did this by relandscaping the Han river, building new subway lines, building new athlete housing and constructing the Olympic Stadium.

Today, the miracle on the Han River shows off the quick economic and sociopolitical development of Korea with the many parks, apartment buildings, bridges, and highways near its shoreline. Half of Korea’s population lives in Seoul today. Wow. Wow. That is a lot of people. That’s one big city. .

It’s also the cultural, economic, and political center of South Korea. Korea is the 10th largest economy in the world today. The cities Busan, Incheon, and Gwangju have amazing economies and culture as well, and the fashion industry in Korea hopes to share the significance of Korea’s prosperity to today’s generation.

Companies like KORE, KORE, used the year 1988 as an inspiration for their clothing designs. Isn’t that cool? Or

[00:28:23] Alison: not, depending on how you felt about

[00:28:25] Jill: 80s fashion. TO prepare for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, the government in Korea started an international campaign with seminars and public relations events. Teens were sent to Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia, and America to persuade these countries to buy Olympic Games tourism packages.

The campaign was super popular and the number of foreign visitors to Korea grew from, , I think 16.4 million in 1986 to, 24.9 million in 88, and then 16.6 million in 89. So yeah, you would have a little drop down from the Olympics year, but man, they still, they got a little boost from that.

Demand for tourism still continued even after the 88 games were over. Three years after the games, South Korea received 1. 3 billion dollars from tourism. The success of the games has still continued with the Korean Tourism Organization reporting, uh, 3. 9 million people visiting the country in 97 and 13.

3 million in 2017. South Korea has had an amazing underdog story. Going from a very low economic and poor nation to being one of the highest economic countries in the world, housing well known brands like Samsung, Hyundai, and LG. South Korea is doing well, right? So what’s the problem? While South Korea has gained high status, there was damage done to get Korea to where it is today, and that can’t be undone.

When the 88 Olympics rolled around, South Korean government leaders and business leaders , in Pusan, Incheon, and Gwangju cities in South Korea stated that the country as a whole will enter the top spot of nation states, but only Seoul had access to top status, the equal high status that was promised to all of South Korea was broken and the other cities, while today abundant with culture and a stable economy, they just don’t hold a candle to Seoul’s population resources and money, , to host the games, The government leader Chung gathered capital and resources to fix Seoul.

These resources that he and his government gathered were solely focused on Seoul because it was the host city. And other parts of South Korea did not have many chances to receive aid or start development projects in their areas. , Seoul drained the resources and people. from these other areas of South Korea and the other regions were left without many workers.

Seoul attracted South Koreans from different regions in the country because it was thought of as the major global city and the best representation of Korea. Historic buildings, neighborhoods, and natural landscapes were destroyed to show off the modern Korea that Jun, his government, and his supporters imagined.

Koreans who lived in poor neighborhoods were removed from their homes to use the neighborhoods for construction for the Olympic Games, and the South Korean government gave these relocation projects to private companies. Those private companies used gang members, armed thugs, and even police to attack residents and force them to follow their eviction notices.

, Chun’s government was able to demolish 48, 000 homes and forced 720, 000 people to relocate to different parts of Korea. This purification campaign, which you talked about earlier, forced many disabled people, homeless people, children without parents, panhandlers, and more out of the city streets and into institutions.

, I’m very curious about what France is doing with their homeless population, to be quite honest. But it, because we see this time and time again, and this was a horrible, your story was just horrific about what they did, to clean up the streets and make Seoul look pretty on the outside. Also created was the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, which was made to manage the surplus that the games got.

They got, , 352 billion Korean won, and that to use that they wanted to support projects for the games and manage the legacy. So for the last 20 years the foundation has tried to make Korea a sports welfare nation so its people can have healthy lives through sports. The Korea Sports Promotion Foundation invested 9.

2 trillion won between 89 and 2018 to , promote recreational sports, the sports industry and school sports. It’s also raised funds from cycle racing. motorboat racing and sportoto, don’t know what that is, and invested them all into raising Koreans quality of life with sport and fitness events. The foundation also maintains the Olympic park and it hosts sports events and was redesigned after the 88 games to become a sculpture exhibit.

The park was the park’s currently a popular site for recreation and sports activities. It houses South Korea’s largest sports arena, but also welcome Seoul residents to relax in the space. The facilities built for the Olympic games, like the swimming pool and gymnastics arena are as popular as ever with locals.

And the park has four different zones, arts and culture, recreation and sport, environment, and history. Put that swimming pool on my list of places to swim in. the. 88 Games in Seoul is the first time in Paralympic Games history that the athletes used the same venues and facilities as the Olympic athletes.

in athlete performance. The biggest name at the games was Trisha Zorn from the U. S. She was a visually impaired swimmer in class B2 who won 12 gold medals as well as 10 titles and two relays. She set nine world records during the games. The Seoul Paralympic Organizing Committee and the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee recruited and trained many of the sports and technical officials for the Paralympic Games.

And they were the most developmental Paralympics ever because they were the first time the Paralympics was thought of as equal to the Olympics, which in future, you know, you still saw the division Atlanta looking at you, but now we’re getting good. I think. You’re

[00:34:26] Alison: seeing a lot of money going into Paralympics, a lot of media, a lot of attention, as it should be.

[00:34:32] Jill: So ultimately, the Seoul Games constructed new housing. They created 20, 744 new jobs. And the success of the 88 Olympics has inspired Pyeongchang Games to do the same. And they built 1, 522 new apartments in Pyeongchang and in Gangwon. And those are used for private occupancy. So, got some housing into the games, got a nice sports park, put some money into sport.

You know, Seoul

[00:35:01] Alison: was the last in a series of Olympics that welcomed countries back into the international community after a war. Rome, 1960, Tokyo, 1964, , Munich, 1972, and then Seoul, different war obviously, , 1988, where these countries come back into the international community.

Right. In this joyous way and have, Korea has certainly moved closer to more democratic, more , economically successful after the Olympics and I would say the same of obviously Japan and Italy and Germany as well.

[00:35:40] Jill: And I would say that Seoul is one of the first cities in a movement to have cities that come out to the world.

Like Barcelona was another, we’re coming on to the international stage and it’s really interesting to see. That movement as well. controversial games, I would say a lot of issues.

[00:36:03] Alison: A lot of turning

[00:36:03] Jill: points. Yeah. Yeah. And I think when you have a turning point, you’re gonna have issues. I will still look back fondly, I think.

I mean, they’ve really had some good sporting competitions, really cra you know, really not so good ones boxing, but, really good competitions.

[00:36:20] Alison: It’s fun. It’s fun to go

[00:36:21] Jill: back. Thank you Sol. We have had so much fun looking back at you.

TKFLASTAN (Team Keep the Flame Alive) News

[00:36:33] Alison: Welcome to Shookflushton.

[00:36:36] Jill: Now is the time of the show where we look at our team. Keep the flame alive.

These are past guests and Listeners of the show who make up our citizenship of Shuklafstan, our very own country, we’ve got some results to start off with.

[00:36:50] Alison: Brendan Doyle finished second in the North American Cup Men’s Skeleton Race at Park City, Utah.

[00:36:56] Jill: skeleton Racer Shannon Galea made her World Cup debut at the Women’s Race in Laplange, France.

This gives her a World Cup quota spot on the tour for this season and next season.

[00:37:10] Alison: Louise Sugden won gold in women’s 79 para powerlifting at the World Ability Games in Thailand.

[00:37:18] Jill: Also winning gold, speed skater Erin Jackson, she won in the 500 meters at the last fall Speed Skating World Cup event in Poland.

[00:37:28] Alison: Paul Volter, Katie Moon, will start her indoor season at Ashland University on February 2nd.

[00:37:34] Jill: Wheelchair rugby player Chuck Aoki has been named a Team USA athlete ambassador for Delta Airlines.

[00:37:40] Alison: Jacqueline Simeno spoke on the IOC Believe in Sport campaign at a UN conference against corruption.

[00:37:48] Jill: Nordic combined skier Annika Malasinski will be competing.

In Ramsau, Austria, and also for your calendars, author Andrew Maraniss is having a book launch event at Parnassus Books in Nashville on March 5th, 2024, to launch four, count them, four books. This will be his 10th anniversary edition of Strong Inside, the paperback version of Inaugural Ballers, and the first two books in a series for first and second graders called Beyond the Game.

Doping News

[00:38:24] Jill: I don’t know if this is good news or not good news. Well, it depends on what they find. The International Testing Agency has announced that it will start retesting the Rio 2016 samples. And we found in London, , 2012, so many medals were rescinded and re awarded based on these retests. So we will see what happens with Rio.

I, I see, you are keeping your mouth very, very tight.

[00:38:55] Alison: Well, you know, leading up to Rio, we had all the controversy with the Russian doping system. And were there going to be any Russians because , of all the system? And we saw it in the movie, how were the Russians going to be allowed to compete at all? So we’ll see.

Not that the Russians are the only one who’ve had their medals, ,

[00:39:15] Jill: reallocated. Right. It’ll be interesting to see how weightlifting does in this one.

[00:39:21] Alison: We know how weightlifting is going to do.

Paris 2024 News

[00:39:28] Jill: that’s a good one. Thank you. I’ve been practicing. Okay. So along the lines of the doping news, I do not understand why the IOC always does this. They say, we’ll make a decision on this big thing in spring. And then two days later, they’re like, we’ve got a decision for you.

And it’s always the day after we taped the show.

[00:39:54] Alison: Well, it’s springtime somewhere.

[00:39:58] Jill: Well, okay, that’s true. We didn’t know what, , hemisphere they wanted to play on.

[00:40:02] Alison: We will make a decision in spring in New Zealand.

[00:40:11] Jill: So following the Olympic summit on the 5th of December, where international federations asked, please. Make a decision as soon as possible about Russia and Belarus, , the IOC did decide to make a decision on Russia and Belarus, and they will allow individual athletes to compete at Paris 2024, given that they follow what they call strict eligibility conditions. This includes compliance with the Olympic Charter, and they put an excerpt of this at the IOC website in English and French, and I understand those are the official languages of the Olympic movement, but it would have been nice to put it maybe Russian. , Participants will have to sign an agreement that they will comply with the Olympic Charter and other rules.

This includes, , they will comply with the provisions of the Olympic Charter, including the peace mission of the Olympic movement. The World Anti Doping Code, as well as the IOC Anti Doping Rules applicable to the games and any other related regulations, such as the IOC Needle Policy and rules for the games of the , 33rd Olympiad in Paris, France.

The IOC Code of Ethics, including, in particular, the rules on the prevention of the manipulation of competitions applicable to the games. The IOC Framework for Safeguarding Athletes and Other Participants from Harassment and Abuse in Sport during the Game’s Time Period, the IOC Social and Digital Media Guidelines, and any other set of rules and instructions, including any update thereof, related to their participation in the games.

They have to say, my compliance with such rules supports the mission of the IOC and of the Olympic Games to promote unity and peace.

There are also other eligibility requirements there. They will be known as individual neutral athletes. So their country code will be AIN because that is the French way of saying it. there will be no team athletes from Russia and Belarus. and I understand that. They don’t want to hurt the athletes and Tomasz Bajka is big on that.

Part of the reason this comes about is because the athletes say, Hey, we really don’t want to hurt other athletes, except if you’re in a team sport.

[00:42:21] Alison: So no volleyball, no basketball where they are usually a player. I wonder, did they say specifically if the, if they can run relays or swim relays?

[00:42:33] Jill: I have not seen the specifics on that, but I would imagine that’s a team event because , you represent your country in that. So I’m guessing. No, I don’t know. Athletes and support staff who actively support the war will not be allowed to enter or compete. Athletes and support staff who are in the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies will also not be eligible.

The AIN athletes will have to meet all anti doping requirements. , IOC sanctions against those responsible for the war are still in place. No Russian or Belarusian flag, anthem, colors, or other identification, no Russian or Belarusian government and state officials will be invited or accredited. you still have to qualify if you’re an individual athlete.

So that’s also up to the federations to Award those qualification guidelines and qualification places, they’ll be on the individual neutral team. They’ll be wearing white, which, you know, I just immediately thought of the scarlet letter too bad too bad. Russia has red in its flag, right?

[00:43:40] Alison: I guess we could put just a black

[00:43:42] Jill: letter, the black a, the black hand,

not funny, but I really do kind of feel for. The athletes who will really stand out and how will they be treated? So far only 11 AI N’s have qualified.

So there are eight from Russia and three from Belarus. don’t know how I feel about the IOC, including this in their. releases of information, but they said, well, in comparison, over 60 Ukrainian athletes have qualified for the games already. Why tell us that? Is that supposed to make us feel better?

[00:44:19] Alison: Well, Ukrainian athletes are already decrying this decision. So I think that was the.

The salve for it. Saying, well, you’re

[00:44:28] Jill: going to have more people there. It’s still, if I was Ukraine, that still wouldn’t matter to me. Agreed. a lot of support for having some Presence there by the A. I. N. team. I guess you want if we’re just going to call them that, , overwhelming majority of athletes don’t want to punish fellow athletes for the action of their government, the U.

  1. vote on the Olympic truce went through as a vote of 1 18 for the truce zero votes against to abstain who were Russia and the Syrian Arab Republic. And then the G20 New Delhi leaders declaration from September hoped that the Olympics would be a symbol of peace in the world. And I mean, that is the thing.

It’s the one place where all countries can come together

[00:45:15] Alison: This is one of those situations where any answer was bad. Any resolution that they came up with was going to make multiple parties unhappy. Nobody could win in this situation. I worry about the slippery slope of making athletes sign political declarations.

You know, some Russian athletes, I just double checked the name. If Genny Ryloff, who is a Russian swimmer has said, I’m not signing anything. If you’re making me sign to my political affiliations, then I’m not competing. And whenever it affects a country, I always flip it around and say, what if this was my country?

What if this was American athletes? And I don’t think I’d be too cool about it. I would say, how dare you make me declare what my political affiliations are? You know, I immediately think Joe McCarthy and the Red Scare of the 1950s in the United States, even though in my heart, I know that Russia is the bad guy in this situation.

I mean, they unprovoked attacked another sovereign nation. And that during,

[00:46:24] Jill: during the Olympic truce, I will always put that in there. Yeah. During the Olympic truce, other wars are other wars. Agreed.

[00:46:31] Alison: And. Um, the international community has to stand together for human rights and, and fairness and all those things that we hold dear, that the Olympics holds dear.

And yet I am very concerned about that, just that one element where you’re asking them to sign something that says, this is what I believe.

[00:46:52] Jill: The other element of that is if they sign it and go home, what happens to them?

[00:47:00] Alison: Are they considered traitors back in

[00:47:02] Jill: Russia? Right.

So there, like you say, there’s no good answer to this. Do you force them not to participate even though they may have nothing to do with what their country is doing or not like it? do you have them participate if they are all for this war?

I do not envy the IOC for making a choice, but they’ve made a choice. I do feel really bad that There’s this whole, we can’t harm the athletes who may be innocent, but yet you are harming team sport athletes.

[00:47:35] Alison: Right. Though Russia, in a way, did it to themselves with that one.

Because during those years where they were the neutral athletes from Russia. Mm hmm. Oh yeah. And they would win a medal and the entire team would break out the Russian flag and sing the Russian anthem. Right. So Russian athletes have not always behaved in a way that would make you trust them.

[00:48:01] Jill: That’s very true. And I do think that all of the doping issues that Russia went through, they got such a slap on the wrist for that, that maybe this feels like a bigger thing to the IOC than it feels.

[00:48:16] Alison: It feels like we’re combining all the issues like Russia, Russia and Russian Olympic Committee and Russian sports authorities have caused so many problems for so many years.

This is the straw. This is the one thing where they finally say, we can’t ignore this. But on the flip side, how is this going to look to the rest of the world? Because you made a really good distinction. the Russians government. invaded Ukraine during the time of the Olympic truce. most people, just like they don’t understand the difference between the IOC and Federation and the Olympics as an entity, are not going to understand that difference.

And why aren’t we punishing Israel? And why hasn’t the United States been punished? They need to Um, make more of a media campaign around they broke this rule of ours. It’s not just because of the war as a whole. It’s this specific issue.

Because there have been calls to ban other countries for other wars. Right. Other military interventions. But it really is about that they broke the truce. And let’s be honest, because they’ve been a problem child for Decades,

[00:49:28] Jill: Right. And you didn’t take care of Russia before. Didn’t deal with them, didn’t deal with them, didn’t deal with them.

I just remember when, right when we first started, we had our whole big Russia’s band because of doping. But they weren’t really banned from Pyeongchang 2018. It was a slap on the wrist. At best. Yes. And that’s when we saw all the, all of the hockey anthems and, and all that stuff, which just really Mocked the IOC’s decision, you know, if you had said your band back then from the all from the doping scandals, if you had banned them for a few games, we wouldn’t have this problem.

You know, who told us that dick Pound. I I hate to say it, what’s going to happen in the opening ceremony. Will anybody from this AIN team even want to be in the opening ceremony?

Because they’re going to be put on a boat and made to go six kilometers or however long that is, the longest ride in the world with hundreds of thousands of people. And who knows what their reaction is going to be to you.

[00:50:31] Alison: I mean, I have to think of that for a lot of teams. You know, we thought this River Seine parade was going to be so glorious. And now, just as you’re saying those words, I’m thinking, I’m concerned for the Americans. I’m concerned for the Israelis. I’m concerned for a lot of countries whose governments have had a lot to say about a lot. are they going to get the reception that the athletes should get? Or are they going to get the reception that their government would get showing up in those countries?

[00:51:05] Jill: Complicated things keep getting complicated. uh, you know what else is complicated? If you’re going, Art News is reporting that the Louvre will raise admission prices from 17 euros to 22 euros next year. It’s their first price hike since 2017, so this is, it’s not necessarily because of the games, but if you’re going to the games, you’re going to be affected by this.

, necessary, they say, because energy costs are rising. They also offer free entry to several groups of people and they’d like to maintain that. So if you’re under 18, if you are a student or if you’re a journalist, you get to go in for free.

The House Party blog has, A really cool post that about Park de la Villette and there’s going to be , a bunch of hospitality houses there, but it’s really going to be the place to hang out if you don’t have tickets for a day along with those hospitality houses, there are going to be 20 pavilions showcasing French sport federations and schools.

Students from 20 national schools of architecture in France designed these pavilions as part of a project called Archefolies 2024, and they will be assembled in the spring, they’ll have free entry, , they’re designed to showcase sports and whatever else the federations want to do to promote their sport, but they’re going to be dotted in around the park and you can go from pavilion to pavilion.

And then, after the Paralympics, they’ll be donated to the sport federation they’ve partnered with. I’ll

[00:52:28] Alison: bet that will be a very good place to get pins. Mm hmm. You know, all the federations will have their own pins. Yes. Or maybe some other fun, free swag.

[00:52:39] Jill: Yes, I’m very excited to see. I also love it when architecture students do projects like this and you get to see , what talent is there and , what creativity they came up with.

I’m very excited. little more detail. We’re gonna stay in Laval, that little more detail about Club France. This will be an indoor outdoor space at the ground hall, open from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM outdoors. The indoor space will be open until 2:00 AM. They are expecting to be able to host 20, 000 people on the lawns every day, 5, 000 inside every day.

There will be an entry fee. It will cost between two and five euros during the Olympics. I know this is nothing compared to the other prices, but they’re, they’re trying to make it reasonable, but they do need to recoup a little bit of their costs cause they’re putting millions into this. there will be advanced registration for security reasons.

During the Paralympics, it will be free. They plan to have a fan zone with a giant screen. They’re going to be a huge area. There’s going to be a huge area for introductory courses and events where 110 sports federations will be gathering. There’s going to be a forum for sports movement players and an area for celebrating France medalists.

This is gonna be fun. I am

[00:54:00] Alison: very concerned. Okay, so, I love these big outdoor events. I think it’s a great place to bring, not at 2 in the morning, but to bring children and have a whole family event, and this is so cheap. But, I always imagine myself there. And first of all, I will never see anything because they’ll be, you know, all the French people are a foot taller than I am and I will just get crushed by the crowd.

They will just run over me and not even realize. I think I’m going to dress like I’m 10. So people will think I’m a kid and then they’ll. They’ll be nicer to me.

Just stand there and go, Mommy? Daddy? Oh, hey, Mama! You know, I just, you know, act like I’m a lost French kid and maybe , they won’t trample me in , these crowds.

[00:54:49] Jill: But, it will be exciting. I’m excited to see hospitality houses in action. Yeah. We haven’t seen that yet. No. So this will be fun, fun, fun.

You know what else is going to be fun? I’m hoping the Dutch kit, they have, , signed an agreement with Dutch denim brand Denham to outfit the Olympians and Paralympians for the opening and closing ceremonies. also in this article from Rivet sourcing journal includes the detail that their chef de mission is Peter Randon Hogan Bond, which is one of the best names to say in the Olympics

[00:55:26] Alison: Olympic gold medal swimmer.

[00:55:28] Jill: They are using their innovative post consumer recycled cotton denim high performance stretch fabrics. And I just instantly went to head to toe denim in my head. Canadian tuxedo. I know. What will the Dutch do? I’m so excited. So, so

[00:55:44] Alison: excited.

Maybe they’ll do the Canadian tuxedo in orange.

[00:55:48] Jill: Orange denim would be so cool. Shorts and a

[00:55:51] Alison: vest.

[00:55:52] Jill: Come on. Netherlands do not disappoint. And finally, can’t have an episode anymore without a, , episode of our surfing novella. So in our last installment, work on building a new judges tower at Teahupo stopped because the barge that they used Um, to go to the site damaged the coral reef.

Now organizers are back to work. They are very apologetic for damaging the reef, but they have to go back to work. They found a smaller barge that hopefully won’t damage the coral. They’re going to route it more carefully through the reef to the construction site, according to the Associated Press. Work should start this month and be done by May for a planned

[00:56:36] Alison: competition.

And the organizers also announced there is no plan B. For surfing,

[00:56:41] Jill: you know, there’s not a lot of plan B’s with the French. There’s no real plan B for the opening ceremony either, from what I understand.

[00:56:51] Alison: It’s plan A or bust.

[00:56:52] Jill: Well, I, I need to make contingency plans. We have plan A, plan B, plan C, plan a lot. We have,

[00:56:59] Alison: we have plan Z. We are getting ready for France. Ooh la

[00:57:04] Jill: la! All right. Well, that is going to do it for this year. Let us know what you thought of over the limit.

[00:57:12] Alison: You can connect with us on XN Instagram at Flame Alive Pod. Email us at Flame Alive pod@gmail.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame at. Be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive podcast group on Facebook, and don’t forget to get our weekly newsletter filled with other fun stories about this week’s episode.

Sign up at flamealivepod.

[00:57:40] Jill: com. And if you aren’t getting that newsletter, you are doing yourself a big disservice, because boy, you put some good stories in. The story you found to go along with Speed Kings was so interesting. You can’t miss it. wE are taking a break for a couple of weeks to enjoy the holidays before the Olympic and Paralympic year begin.

We, uh, made our Kickstarter, so that was, we did, that’s very exciting. We’ll be able to go to Paris and, , support some initiatives that we want to do to make it easier to provide more content for you for the show. So we appreciate everyone who supported us for that and , we appreciate being able to do this show and it’s all because of you. So thank you so much. And until next time, keep the flame alive.