Dousing the Olympic Flame

Could you take this dude? Do you even care?

At the risk of getting my ass kicked by a 106-pound 19-year-old, Luis Yanez should shut his pie-hole and follow the rules. That is, if like he says, his dream is to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing.

Duncanville’s Yanez, one of the planet’s top light flyweight boxers, apparently went AWOL from his U.S. team for about three weeks. While his coaches wanted him to be training in Colorado Springs, he was in Dallas, allegedly attending to an ill sister, getting a plaque from a politician and going to a party thrown for him by friends and family.

Sure enough, the Olympics are in the air.

I covered the ’96 Games in Atlanta for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and there were some warm-n-fuzzy moments. But ...

Maybe it’s because I spent most of my time reporting on the bombings. Maybe it’s because we’re about to inundated with politically-influenced stories like Yanez’. Or maybe it’s just because I’ve deteriorated into a jaded 40-something.

Whatever, the Olympics don’t do it for me anymore.

Maybe it was Tonya Harding. The ice skating judging scandal in Salt Lake City. Or the fact that I got bumped from going to Sydney in 2000 because a certain managing editor’s husband conveniently took my spot.

Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban is right. The Olympics are no longer about try-hard amateurs representing their countries, but more so athletes and corporations bending rules to make the biggest buck. Dallas sprinter Michael Johnson recently gave back one of his gold medals. They can have mine, too.

Come to think of it, should I be scared of a 106-pounder? -- Richie Whitt

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt