Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Olympic fever

It's hard to pull off smart and funny at the same time. Hell, I barely pull of juvenile and half-wit humor here.

Still, I am always astounded by the writers over at Mental Floss for bringing together some of the wittiest and intriguing features out in this foul world of internet literature.

This week, as the world gets ready to collectively orgasm over the sport-spectacle in Beijing, writers at MF featured one athlete that will join the thousands of other athletes to compete. Don't get me wrong, I love the Olympics. I even fielded a team of co-workers for curlers during the last Winter Olympics.

But this feature was astounding. Oh, did we mention the track and field star is from Afghanistan ... and a woman. Yeah, imagine sprinting in a full dress and a ski mask.

Sam French writes: "One of the fastest people in Afghanistan runs like a girl — and if everything works out, 19-year-old Mehbooba Andyar, the only Afghan woman scheduled to compete in this year’s Olympics, will soon have the chance to prove she’s one of the fastest in the world.

"But whether she wins or loses in Beijing, her biggest challenge lies not in the stadium but back home, where she faces fierce cultural disapproval — and even death threats — for stepping outside the traditional role of women in Afghan society to compete."

...

"Apparently, one of the neighbors, in a righteous rage that Mehbooba was stepping outside of her place, had called the police, who were all too happy to believe that the only reason two foreigners with cameras would be in a woman’s home was to film pornography."

Check it out.

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