Friday, August 15, 2008

I didn't particularly want to cover the olympics since the Olympics receive extensive coverage everywhere without the need for bloggers to add commentary. But seeing as this is our first Olympic Gold Medal, it has to be mentioned. N.Tuvshinbayar beat Kazakhstan's Askhat Zhitkeyev in men's -100kg judo yesterday to bring home Mongolia's first Olympic Gold. after Gundegmaa won a Silver medal in air pistol shooting.
The judoku's win was a cause of major countrywide celebration last night as people spilled out onto the streets and to Sukhbaatar Square, the scene of "Black Tuesday" riots a month and a half ago. What is also significant perhaps is that the win and the celebration brought together the "warring" factions together for the moment as the PM, the President and the DP head along with various other politicians gathered on Sukhbaatar Square, having put aside their differences, ecstatically competing for the microphone to say a few words of praise and express their joy. Some news reports speculate that this could perhaps herald the end of the political stalemate, to which I have little to add. According to eyewitness accounts, most of our top politicians seemed somewhat inebriated, so it's possible that today they don't remember a whole lot and are back to their squabbling, aided by hangover irritability. All that aside, it is a temporary relief and a cause for celebration in our politically dark times.

N.Tuvshinbayar has become a national hero overnight, with various state awards, corporate sponsorships and gifts promised to him from the very next day of his spectacular Olympic win.

We have our two Olympic medals now, as we had expected / predicted pre-games, bringing Mongolia to the top 3 position in this Olympics for Medals Per Capita, behind Armenia and Australia respectively. Look here for more information on this. has a video up of the gold-winning match here. And here is a video of the ensuing celebrations in the streets of Ulaanbaatar.