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Thread: Iraqi Olympic Team Advanced To The Medal Round

  1. #1
    Darth Sushi's Avatar Sushi Lord
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    Originally posted by msnbc.com
    By Ron Borges
    NBCSports.com contributor
    Updated: 6:28 p.m. ET Aug. 19, 2004

    ATHENS, Greece - One more unlikely victory and the Iraqi soccer team will be something no one would have thought possible just a few months ago. They will be Olympic medalists.

    But advancing from Saturday's quarterfinals to the semifinal medal round is a small step for a team of athletes that already made a giant leap for their war-torn country and for themselves.

    Not so many months ago there was no reason to believe the Iraqi soccer team, which had not competed in the Olympics since 1988, would be anywhere near Athens this week. Their German coach and father figure, Bernd Stange, had just quit, fearing for his life. And their team had to beat Saudi Arabia, which it had not done in years, to be among the qualifiers.

    Somehow they did it.

    After being the only known Olympic competitors to reach Greece via military airlift, the Iraqis then had to face the powerful Portuguese in their first game. They did more than that. They won 4-2.

    A fluke, most soccer observers said. Then Sunday they not only defeated Costa Rica 2-0 to reach the quarterfinals, but did so with a display of what will be necessary for their country to build the kind of nation most living there want: a unified one.

    In a metaphor for what defines the Olympics and a country, the only Kurdish player on the team, Hawar Mulla Muhammed, scored the game's first goal and assisted on the second, sending a soft crossing pass to Mahdi Karim, a Shiite.

    In a country split by factionalized fighting between Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis for 2,000 years, it was a signal to people back home that one's faith did not matter. What matters is cooperation and the willingness to work toward a single purpose.

    In the short term, that idea is helping Iraq earn victories at Athens. But if the lesson of this team is learned, there is more they can do. They can become a salve for a country's wounds and an example of how best to bind them.

    “Our job is to help rebuild the country to be what it can be,” coach Adnan Hamad said after the victory over Costa Rica. “We know what this means to our people. We hear the news from home and the players talk about the bad news, but it makes us more determined.”

    Full Story: CLICK HERE

    I truly hope they medal. It would be good for the war torn country.

  2. Lounge   -   #2
    Smith's Avatar Since 1989.. BT Rep: +1
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    LOL

    good for them, i hope they beat the us, that would b so awsome.

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    peat moss's Avatar Software Farmer BT Rep: +15BT Rep +15BT Rep +15
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    Yes it would , I'm just disappointed about the Iraqie that backed out of his sport because he was up against an Isralie . Politics has no place in sports.

  4. Lounge   -   #4
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    You guys obviously don't know anything about the olympics do ya? Firstly, mens team U.S.A. isn't even in the olympics. How would Iraq beat a team that isn't in the olympics? Just because the U.S. wins the medal count all the time doesn't mean ya have to dog em.....................





  5. Lounge   -   #5
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    Yeah I saw a highlight package of their wins the other day and it's great to see them doing so well ! It would be nice to see them win a medal.

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    Celerystalksme's Avatar This Is My Clone BT Rep: +19BT Rep +19BT Rep +19BT Rep +19
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    I would hope they win a medal, but seeing they are playing Australia in the quarter-final...i support my country over anything...GO THE SOCCEROO'S !!!

  7. Lounge   -   #7
    mrlessk's Avatar Poster
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    Originally posted by TheCanuk@20 August 2004 - 14:00
    good for them, i hope they beat the us, that would b so awsome.
    Well, one thing that is GUARANTEED....the Iraqi Soccer Team will NOT be playing the U.S. in these Olympics (what a politically hyped matchup that would have been, eh).
    As stated, U.S. Men did not qualify for the Olympics this go round.

    Anyway, when the Iraqi team started off with that stunning win over Portugal I found myself suddenly cheering for them and pulling for them to win a medal.

    My enthusiasm was dampened however by news reports of their criticism of Bush regarding an ad where it states..."At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes. (Iraq and Afganistan)"

    The thing is, the Iraqi soccer team isn't happy with the ad, as they aren't exactly thrilled with the Americans. They will tell us to go screw ourselves, because we're not going to amputate their genitals as a result if they lose, as would have the late Uday Hussein....(this immediately came to my mind when Iraq handed the first goal to Portugal in the 13th minute when defender Haidar Jabar accidentally kicked the ball into his own net while trying to clear a pass). Could you imagine what Mr. Jabar's mindset would have been like as he flies back home to Iraq to be greeted by Uday?

    At what point will the Iraqi people show some semblance of gratitude for their freedom to participate and perhaps be allowed to lose without serious repercussion.

    A simple "Thank You" would suffice.

    (As I write this I have the Iraq/Australia game on the tube. Game is almost over.....)
    Hurray! Iraq wins 1-0..
    I guess I'll keep supporting Iraq.


  8. Lounge   -   #8
    TheDave's Avatar n00b
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    could have been a draw though

    it'll be nice to see em win a medal though as long as is a good match.


    a bit of novelty national pride will do them well

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