July 24th, 2008
05:38 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Dodge ball, anyone?

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

The Beijing Games aren’t your run-of-the-mill Summer Olympics. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of the Games. I love the opening ceremonies, the stories, the underdogs… but watching this year will be different. So much has been said about China’s record on human rights, and whether the country should even be hosting the games. There are calls for athletes to speak out, calls for them to stay quiet, even some calls for a boycott.

There is no easy answer. The Olympic Games are supposed to transcend the political turmoil of this world. They are supposed to unite us. They are supposed to give us hope. They are supposed to give thousands of athletes who have given their lives for this moment, a chance to bask in the glory of their success.

But there will be none of that for the Iraqi Olympic team, and no rallying for their countrymen who could have used the distraction. Today, The International Olympic Committee banned Iraq from the Games because of the government’s political interference in sports. This wasn’t the ban most people expected.


Ahhh… airline miles. They sound like such a great perk! Until a few years ago, they generally were. For a long time, redeeming my miles was painless – even pleasant! But lately, it almost seems like a better deal to buy a ticket rather than trying to make sense of the rules, restrictions and fees. But not everyone’s going down without a fight.


I have never been the most coordinated girl… and while I wasn’t always picked last in gym class, I was never picked first for a team. I didn’t have a lot to offer, but I still have found memories of (most) gym classes and of recess. I’m not alone. If boot camp isn’t your style, how about some old school PE to get the blood flowing? Before you grab that dodge ball, a warning: chances are, you’re not in the same shape you were in 4th grade, so you may want to ease into this workout.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note • T1
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Julie San Diego, CA

    Dogdeball is great for one thing – finding out the true character of your opponent.

    The shy people hide in the corner, cover their heads, and pray that they live. It's always interesting to observe who shows mercy and who views this as an opportunity.

    The Rambos of the world take no prisoners. You're meat. You might as well surrender before you begin.

    Then there's the backstabbers. This subgroup is the most dangerous in my opinion. They wait until you're distracted in an extended blood-match with Rambo and nail you just before you launch that perfect You're Going Down Goliath shot.

    I love the people that refuse to leave the court after they've been nailed...the ones that argue the technicalities amidst the fruckas. These people tend to make great lawyers.

    My personal strategy: hang back, study your oponents, let them get a little cocky, let them take each other out, watch them narrow the playing field, figure out who's going to win (it might not be you), stay out of their way, and just enjoy the fact that you get to play the game.

    I'm not in it for blood 🙂

    July 25, 2008 at 9:17 am |
  2. J.V.hodgson

    The olympic games are all about sport (are they not) so when you bring politics, human rights, and religion or anything else in to the conversation you are no longer talking about the subject, but trying to achieve another objective than the establishment of who is currently the best in a gammut of sports.
    The only thing I care about is that the event is fair, not won by cheats (drug enhancements) and that the international camaraderie generated at least amongst the competitors in some way rubs off to help resolve other issues, but that rub off is nice IF it happens, it is not the objective.
    The Olmypic games are not about human rights, politics or religion they are about sporting performance against established international sporting rules. Going beyond that by any nation or media driven non related subject is simply wrong.

    July 25, 2008 at 3:25 am |
  3. EJ (USA)

    gym class always sucked

    July 25, 2008 at 12:12 am |
  4. bob in Dover, DE

    Well its too bad for Iraq but if they can't stick to the rules then they shouldn't be allowed to join in .... I think that is the whole deal about the Olympics that everyone comes and everyone is honest for a few days with no outside influences.

    However as for china and human rights violations...

    Zambia, Sudan, Qatar, Rwanda, Bahrain, Afghanistan

    just to name a few

    I mean really look at the African nations in the past 10 years hundreds of thousands probably millions of black people killed by other black people on that continent ....

    At this point I think it has got so bad that although whites in Africa, European society and early America has been blamed for hurting the black race..... in the past few years I would think more black people have been killed, maimed, raped by black people...

    Its not like I would give China a free ride but

    In the past 10 years they haven't killed about a million of their own people.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  5. Jo Anne Cummings

    Erica, the girls in my PE class used to draw straws to see who got me on their team!!!!! I was no better, I would think " oh god....please don't let the ball come to me. Dodge Ball? might as well put a target on my back!!!

    July 24, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  6. Megan Dresslar

    Hey Erica,
    I agree with bloggers, I am so shocked I found out Iraqi players banned from Beijing Olympics on the website on CNN. My heart breaking for them to play……. I don’t understand why they want go Beijing Olympics……. I think that it is very hard for Iraq people, it is outraged by Olympics………… I will watch whole Olympics on tv in Beijing China……..It will be awesome sports…… I love marathon, basketball, swimming, etc…….. I can’t wait see Olympics!!!!!
    Hope see you there on Live Blog tonight!!!!
    Megan D……..
    Shoreline, WA

    July 24, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    China has had to do a lot of things to be ready for the Olympics – especially on the environment. They have closed industries down for a certain period to be sure the air is not too polluted; they have a shortage of clean water so they are trying to take measures to rectify that. A report on all the items they have done to clean up their environment for the period of the games would be interesting – especially if it included the impact to the Chinese people themselves

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  8. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    I hear you Erica, I myself was born with two left feet and the memories of gym class have lfeft me totally scared.I never was any good at dodge ball any kind of sport . Oh well look at the bright side you get to sit next to Anderson Cooper everynight lucky girl!
    I love the summer oplympics the diving the swimmning i'm looking forward to seeing the althetes unitng for the games.
    Thank for your entry Erica
    See you on 360!

    July 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  9. Genevieve M, TX

    Erica, I too, was not ever picked first nor last for a team game- at least not in elementary school (K-6th grade). From middle school and up, I was usually one of the first people picked. I also happen to think PE in elementary school level is not fair because it is coed. The boys (usually) are much stronger, rougher, and more competitive than the girls.

    As for recess...well, I loved playing the recess games that many schools have now banned. My personal faves are Dodge Ball, Red Rover, Duck Duck Goose, Tag, Teather Ball, Hopscotch, Red Light/Green Light, Simon Says, and Steal the Bacon.

    July 24, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  10. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    I think the Olympics should have zero political input. Just my opinion.
    Dodge Ball? No thanks, I was the kind of kid that found badminton dangerous. Take Care

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    July 24, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  11. Heather

    My heart breaks for the Iraqi athletes. They are being punished for something beyond their control. After all they have been through, I say give them a second chance to represent a free Iraq in the Olympics.

    July 24, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  12. Heather

    I am 5'1". I was always picked last for all school sports. I hated rainy days in elementary school because I knew it only meant two words "Dodge Ball" I was the favorite target. It was horrible. I personally think it should be banned. Yes of course Im biased, wouldnt you be?

    July 24, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  13. Alexander

    Erica, I am sorry to hear that regarding the Olympics on all the points you covered. It's too bad there are various issues such as those concerning Iraq and China this Olympics. It really is a shame because the Olympics, as you mentioned, really were designed to rise above existing political turmoils. This is true even when the original Olympics were formed, more than 2,500 years go. In any case, glad to see another delightful post.: ) Hope your day is going well.: )

    July 24, 2008 at 7:17 pm |
  14. Lilibeth

    I feel sorry for the Iraqi athletes. I know they want to compete, but I can’t get too excited about the Beijing Games because of all the controversy. How ironic that a symbol of peace and unity has caused so much division.

    Airline miles are more trouble nowadays than it’s worth. Everyday, it seems like there’s a new reason to hate flying.

    See you later,
    Edmonds, Washington

    July 24, 2008 at 6:28 pm |