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Primula
Jan 28th, 2003, 12:27 PM
I read in the Belgian media that J. Rogge really wants Kim to play at the Olympics 2004!! He hopes that she will join Justine to Athens!

But IF she plays at the Olympics, she will have to change a few things in her schedule, the week after the Olympics the US-Open is about to begin !!

What do you guys think she will do? Do you like the idea of Kim winning a gold medal at the Olympics?

fleemke³
Jan 28th, 2003, 01:03 PM
She wont play because it doesn't fit in her schedule, that's the last thing I heard. Well Justine is playing singles and doubles with Els Callens and Malisse will go also, so Belgium has great players in Athene then ... It's Kim's choice but I don't like it ;)

angele87
Jan 28th, 2003, 01:50 PM
I wish Kim would play, it would be a shame not to have her there :(

Bigkimfan
Jan 28th, 2003, 03:58 PM
It's her choice...there are negative and positive elements about her participating at the Olympics...;)

Wimanna
Jan 28th, 2003, 04:15 PM
I don't think she'll be playing in Athens... and if I was her, I would do the same... Playing on clay a week before the US Open? Doesn't fit in the schedule of most players I guess!!

Come-on-kim
Jan 28th, 2003, 06:13 PM
I hope she'll play, I think I'll be very proud to play at the Olympics!! But it's her choice!

Do the best for you Kim!

kit
Jan 28th, 2003, 07:48 PM
I hope so,too!!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

KaseyL
Jan 28th, 2003, 11:12 PM
A while ago I've posted some reasons why it's far from certain that Kim would participate. It's in a thread somewhere... sorry, no time to retrieve it now, I should be sleeping right now...

Anyway, this was in the news today, in brief: Rogge said that as Kim's career might be over in 2008, he therefore thinks that her best chance to win is now in Athens.

According to the same source (Het Laatste Nieuws, Jan. 28, 2003):

Rogge added that they shouldn't have to pay Kim to go to Athens. He said that if she is smart, she will realise that an olympic medal would mean a sportive and commercial asset.

It is reported he said that athletes don't ask for financial rewards. "When the American NBA stars played in Barcelona, they didn't ask money either. Gold, that was what they were after. Idem for Agassi and the Williamses in Sydney in 2000."

~|Naomi|~
Jan 29th, 2003, 08:06 AM
I don't think she'll play. Clay one week before the US Open, not a good idea. But if the Games were somewhere in Belgium then I would understand if she wanted to play. But because there not, I don't think she'll play it would disrupt her preparation fo rthe USopen, not just the surface change but also the xtra travel. However I could be wrong and she might end up playing

I personaly would like to see her play:) But then there would be the disadvantages of her playing

duck
Jan 29th, 2003, 09:58 AM
I think somehow Kim will be there. Don't ask me why but a) its the Olympics
b) Ll will definitely be playing
c) if the head of the IOC is on your case i think the impasse will be resolved.

I could be wrong but it will probably be sorted out if only because it will look so bad if she doesn't.

Elke
Jan 29th, 2003, 10:22 AM
Lei said today that Kim and Lleyton will both play, or neither of them will play. They won't play at places where their safety isn't guaranteed. Kim also wants to take her coach (normally it should be someone of the Belgian Olypic Comittee).

2284
Jan 29th, 2003, 10:40 AM
Well I suppose that means that Kim is intending to play because Lleyton would have to be hospitalised to stop him representing Australia

fleemke³
Jan 29th, 2003, 01:03 PM
Kim's father denied that his daughter is going to play there ...
reasons:
Wrong sponsor :confused: , never get any help from the BOIC and bad timing ....

Hij gaat weer in de clinch met het B.O.I.C. en laat weten niet de minste interesse te hebben.
Redenen als verkeerde sponsor en nooit enige hulp gekregen van het B.O.I.C alsook slechte timing van het tornooi lijken hem evident om nu reeds NJET te zeggen.

GS's zijn veel belangrijker zegt Lei. Ze geven een betere weerklank.

Wimanna
Jan 29th, 2003, 01:13 PM
Idd, Kim is not allowed to play with FILA at the Olympics...she has to play with Adidas there...but the Belgian Olympic International Organisation (BOIC) said they are going to talk with Kim and Lei. Cuz Van Roost played also with Adidas and she had a contract with Nike.

fleemke³
Jan 29th, 2003, 01:20 PM
van teletekst

Kim Clijsters naar Spelen ?
_______________________________
LEI CLIJSTERS HEEFT NOG VEEL BEZWAREN
_______________________________________
Lei Clijsters heeft nog 'n pak bezwaren
over een eventuele deelname van zijn
dochter aan de Zomerspelen in Athene.
In Het Laatste Nieuws somt hij die op.

Lei stelt zich vragen bij de sportieve
waarde van tennis op de Spelen. "Elena
Dementjeva haalt de finale in Sydney,
dat is toch geen top ? Callens en Van
Roost wonnen er brons in het dubbel.
Met alle respect, maar wat stelde dat
voor ? Het zilver was Oremans-Boogert.
Kort na Sydney verloren zij zwaar van
Kim en haar gelegenheidspartner. Tja."

"Wat stelt een olympische titel voor ?
Kijk naar zwemmer Deburghgraeve, die
schoenen moest gaan verkopen."

Lei Clijsters gaat door: "De Grand
Slams zijn belangrijker. De US Open
vallen net na Athene. Daaraan beginnen
zonder specifieke voorbereiding en met
een jetlag lijkt me link."

Clijsters ziet ook nog een probleem met
de sponsors. Kim heeft Fila als sponsor
maar concurrent Adidas is de olympische
sponsor. Kim Clijsters zelf heeft zich
nog niet uitgesproken. Haar deelname
hangt wellicht mee af van het feit of
vriend Lleyton Hewitt in Athene meedoet

Het BOIC countert de meeste bezwaren
van Lei Clijsters. Kim mag met haar
eigen coach Marc Dehous afreizen en het
sponsorprobleem moet op te lossen zijn
door te onderhandelen.

Lynnsha
Jan 29th, 2003, 01:41 PM
Kim also thinks that tennis is not an olympic sport. She said that the slams are more important.

angele87
Jan 29th, 2003, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Elke
Lei said today that Kim and Lleyton will both play, or neither of them will play.

I hope that's true because I can't imagine that Lleyton wouldn't play... he's so dedicated to his country and always plays Davis Cup so I'm sure he won't miss a chance to play at he Olympics :D

E. Blackadder
Jan 29th, 2003, 03:16 PM
So it's Callens/Henin-Hardenne for doubles? :drool:

KaseyL
Jan 29th, 2003, 03:31 PM
OK, found the stuff I posted back in 2002, Au. 9:

Kim's participation at the next Olympics might also be in jeopardy...

the latest I heard was that there are difficulties re the requirements of the Belgian Olympic committee; these wouldn't really suit Kim, and on top of that there are some other objections from the Clijsters.

It would be a shame if they couldn't reach an agreement, but I can fully understand the reasons of the Clijsters to be less than thrilled by the conditions of the Belgian committee so far.


__________________

and then this: (posted Au 9, 2002)

Here's what Kim's dad said on the matter:

(Source: Flemish newspaper De Standaard,
my own translation)

"Q.:You also don’t have a very good understanding with sports associations like the Flemish Tennis Association and the Olympic Committee for instance.

Lei Clijsters: ’I don’t doubt the good intentions of these people, but when I hear the President of the Belgian Olympic Committee claiming that they have supported Kim financially last year… Where does he get that!? When the Games came up for discussion, I found out that I had to pay the expenses (note: hotel) of the coach myself. I find that difficult. Certainly when you know that they invite their Vips at a cost of € 500 a day.

Furthermore I don’t like the contract that has to be signed for the Games this year. It says that the sponsors of the Belgian Olympic Committee have rights on the Olympic athletes. But our contracts with our sponsors clearly state that we cannot close deals with a rival sponsor.’


Q: So Kim will also not participate at the upcoming Games?

Lei: ’I don’t know. The Games have a certain prestige. I am sure that Kim would like to participate but the conditions must be realistic.

END

KaseyL
Jan 29th, 2003, 03:43 PM
Personally, I don't rate the chance that she will participate too high... mainly due to:

- business matters:
1) Kim's sponsor deals clashing with the Belgian Olympic Committee deals,
2) bad timing of the Games (right before the US Open),
3) money issues (what's going to be paid by the Olympic Committee, how much?)
- the less than good understanding between Leo Clijsters and the Belgian Olympic Committee, and VTV (Flemish Tennis Assoc.),
- and a little bit Kim herself who said she doesn't consider tennis
an olympic sport...

On the + side:
- I would be utterly surprised if Lleyton wouldn't play, so there's still some hope to see Kim too. It will be a bit of an incentive to make an effort to settle the matter with the Belgian Olympic Committee...?
- And it looks that Rogge himself is getting involved somehow to put some pressure on Kim to participate after all.
- Knowing Lei's style, all his objections and questions might also best be taken with a pinch of salt; maybe deep down there is a genuine interest somehow, but he just wants to push it to the best possible deal for Kim, by threatening that Belgium will have to do without Kim for the Olympics... just my suspicion that this is an element to consider too...
We'll see...

angele87
Jan 29th, 2003, 03:46 PM
I'm starting to get really annoyed with Lei :mad: I'm sure that if it was just up to Kim that she would happily go represent Belgium at the Olympics. And Kim is such a sweet, nice girl that I hate it that Lei makes her sound all money obsessed and arrogant :fiery: I'm sure Kim wouldn't even think twice about paying Marc's hotel room... Atheletes in financial situations much worse than Kim's are going without protest and I'm sure Kim, if the decision was all up to her, would go without a word as well. I know Lei just has Kim's best intentions at heart but I think sometimes he needs to let Kim make her own decisions and just shut up :o

KaseyL
Jan 29th, 2003, 04:01 PM
I can understand your reaction, Angele.

Indeed, it's all fine and all that he has the best intentions to guard Kim's interests, and I don't mind that he uses the media for his own purposes, but I sincerely question if his methods by which he defends her interests, aren't going to have a negative influence on the public perception of Kim, sooner or later... dunno...

nicky
Jan 29th, 2003, 04:07 PM
Honestly, I agree with Angele here! I understand Lei is taking Kim's business interest at heart, but he is overdoing it big time, and making Kim look like a greedy person, which I strongly doubt she is.

Lots of athletes do not earn money with their sport the way tennisplayers do, and still they do everything to get to the Olympics. I consider the Olympic Games the most important sports event, and I do think Kim should participate, if only for the honour of it.

And I also think that Lleyton will be there, the Aussies wouldn't accept it if he were not to go!

KaseyL
Jan 29th, 2003, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by nicky
Lots of athletes do not earn money with their sport the way tennisplayers do, and still they do everything to get to the Olympics. I consider the Olympic Games the most important sports event, and I do think Kim should participate, if only for the honour of it.



That's exactly what Rogge meant.

angele87
Jan 29th, 2003, 04:25 PM
I remember watching a special here about Canadian athletes here and how most of them were dirt poor. They were living in small appartments and needed to get jobs apart from being an athlete because most athletes do not make enough money to live off of. Yet these people are ecstatic to be named to the Canadian Olympic team and they go, no questions asked :angel: And I'm sure Kim would be the exat same way... I can't imagine Kim saying she won't go because they won't pay her coach's motel room :rolleyes:

So Lei, just shut up and let Kim speak for herself :o :mad:

KaseyL
Jan 29th, 2003, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by nicky
Honestly, I agree with Angele here! I understand Lei is taking Kim's business interest at heart, but he is overdoing it big time, and making Kim look like a greedy person, which I strongly doubt she is.

So true! :sad: Like the long article in De Morgen I'm working on right now...(the 'Australia the promised land' one) such a lot about the tax stuff... while one would think: 'OK, yeah, we got that by now'... Is it really necessary to continue about it every week, really. I wonder.
Fine, it's very obvious that he feels very strongly about the way the taxes have given him a full check on Kim's business matters lately, but nevertheless... to keep on bringing this up, people will get fed up with it.


It might look like we are going a little off-topic re the Olympics here, but on the other hand this is a major element in Kim's possible participation or absence in the end... imo

angele87
Jan 29th, 2003, 04:35 PM
I'm extremely annoyed with Lei but I love Kimmie enough to know that what Lei thinks doesn't equal what Kim thinks but for just the casual tennis fan, it would be easy to assume that what Lei says is all coming from Kim herself and those people could easily believe that Kim is the greedy person that Lei is making her out to be :sad:

angele87
Jan 29th, 2003, 04:37 PM
I hope that in the end, Kim is able to make a decision by herself, without pressure from Lei or anybody else :(

keta
Jan 29th, 2003, 04:43 PM
About Athletes whos sport doesnt give much money, My dad used to work at the Western Australin Insistue of Sport and soo many of the athletes there sturgled to make ends meet. One of Australians top Gymnast Allan Slater her dad died in 1998 just before the commonwealth games and her mother also had a younger song to think of and they had too move just soo Allana coudl get too training everyday. And Another Wetsern Australian Athlete Kylie Wheeler who won a Silver Medal at the commonwealth games for the pentathalon i think :o Her Brother is disabled servely so Kylie has to work a Normal job at then train till 8 at night and go bakc and traing form 6 till 8 in the morning because her sport isnt high paying but yet both these athletes still giev eveyrthing to play for there country!!! I think Kim SHOULD play hte olympics and not worry about anything else and just wory about playing tennis for her country!!

And i thin Lei shoudl talk too kim before he says some of the things that he says ! :o

~|Naomi|~
Jan 30th, 2003, 05:30 AM
Callens/Henin Hardenne in the doubles hey!

Does that mean that will be the doubles team in the fedcup? Cause personally I think Kim is better doubles player than both of them. And the rankings support me, Kim is 15, the highest belgian:)

pcabenojar
Jan 30th, 2003, 07:38 AM
I agree, I saw Kim playing doubles at the Hopman Cup recently and at the US Open last year, she's a good doubles player.

I just checked the wtatour website & Kim is now ranked no.14 in doubles. I think it's her highest doubles ranking so far. :)

Primula
Jan 30th, 2003, 10:04 AM
Yeah if we believ Lei, it's (almost) all about money! Wich makes me a bit confused. Cause it's him saying all the time that tennis is just a game for Kim, that the main reason is that she has fun!! So why bother about money????

Sometimes it makes me also very angry (including the whole media-thing about the taxes etc.), why are hey complaining about the taxes, okay they are high, but (I'm sorry to say it likes this) heapes of money!! The last thing they have to worry about is about money !!!!:(

And yeah it could have a negative influence on Kim I guess! he makes her look like a greedy person! And I can't and I don't believe that she like that!

She has to make her own choices, she's not a child anymore, she's a woman!! It' okay to have someone as Lei, who's doing the best he can! But there are limits!!

~|Naomi|~
Jan 30th, 2003, 10:56 AM
Yeah 14 is her highest:)
She was 15 last week , my mistake:)

Bigkimfan
Jan 30th, 2003, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by Primula
Yeah if we believ Lei, it's (almost) all about money! Wich makes me a bit confused. Cause it's him saying all the time that tennis is just a game for Kim, that the main reason is that she has fun!! So why bother about money????

Sometimes it makes me also very angry (including the whole media-thing about the taxes etc.), why are hey complaining about the taxes, okay they are high, but (I'm sorry to say it likes this) heapes of money!! The last thing they have to worry about is about money !!!!:(

And yeah it could have a negative influence on Kim I guess! he makes her look like a greedy person! And I can't and I don't believe that she like that!

She has to make her own choices, she's not a child anymore, she's a woman!! It' okay to have someone as Lei, who's doing the best he can! But there are limits!!

That's because Lei is Kim's manager and financial advisor!;)

katelijn
Jan 31st, 2003, 11:48 AM
kim herself has not responded if she will play. She still has some time to decide wheter or not to play. she is coming back to belgium. Maybe then she will decide . I think that maybe she will play because if lleyton is going to be in athenst hen i think she will not miss it. Kim is the person who has to decide not her father.
LETS HOPE SHE PLAYS. KIM FOR GOLD:bounce:

KaseyL
Feb 16th, 2003, 10:43 PM
Sport Weekend on Flemish public TV channel TV1 had an interview with Els Callens tonight.
Els said that it looks like Kim isn't really willing to go. Els would like to go and hopes to play doubles with Justine.

pathfinder
Mar 5th, 2003, 02:53 PM
I don't think she'll be playing in Athens... and if I was her, I would do the same... Playing on clay a week before the US Open? Doesn't fit in the schedule of most players I guess!!

Well,according to the official site of Athens 2004,during the Olympic Games,athletes will compete on hard courts.

http://www.athens2004.com/page/default.asp?la=2&id=5332


:wavey: everyone!

Hawk
Mar 5th, 2003, 03:52 PM
Well,according to the official site of Athens 2004,during the Olympic Games,athletes will compete on hard courts.

http://www.athens2004.com/page/default.asp?la=2&id=5332


:wavey: everyone!

:wavey: Welcome Pathfinder

Wow that's great news..Wasn't that Kim's biggest issue? That it would be played on Clay courts right before the US Open. I hope this means she'll consider playing :bounce:

fleemke³
Mar 5th, 2003, 04:06 PM
euhm Where did you find it? I only found this
ATHENS 2004 Tennis

During the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games, Tennis competitions will be staged at the Olympic Tennis Center of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OCO). Competition will take place within the span of eight days (August 15-22). A total of ten courts will be used for the competition: the centre court (8,000 seats), court 1 (4,000 seats), court 2 (2,000 seats) and courts 3-9 (200 seats). The total of men and women athletes competing will be 172.

Olympic Tennis consists of four events:

1. Men’s singles
2. Women’s singles
3. Men’s doubles
4. Women’s doubles



There's nothing that say's it will be on hard courts :confused:

btw The sponsor and, again, the money was also a problem according too Lei

Hawk
Mar 5th, 2003, 04:26 PM
Yeah it does say it will be played on Hard Courts. In the tennis section of the site click on the 'Rules' link, it's right there.

I remember Lei saying about issues with the sponsors..but during Kim's chat in Antwerp when asked if she would play the Olypmics she said "I think the only thing which is stopping me in that is the schedule." I thought she was refering to the court surface..but I could be wrong.. :confused:

pathfinder
Mar 5th, 2003, 04:30 PM
Fleemke,
on the main page go to "choose a sport".
Then choose "tennis" and then "Rules".On the bottom of the first paragraph which describes the Field of play you will find it.
I was hoping that the link I 've put in my previous post would take you directly to that page.I will try again:

http://www.athens2004.com/page/default.asp?la=2&id=5332


Thank you Hawk :wavey: Nice to meet you.
Yes,I believe it was one of her issues.

fleemke³
Mar 5th, 2003, 05:05 PM
Fleemke,
on the main page go to "choose a sport".
Then choose "tennis" and then "Rules".On the bottom of the first paragraph which describes the Field of play you will find it.
I was hoping that the link I 've put in my previous post would take you directly to that page.I will try again:

http://www.athens2004.com/page/default.asp?la=2&id=5332


Thank you Hawk :wavey: Nice to meet you.
Yes,I believe it was one of her issues.


lol I didn't see it :D Thx :)
Let's hope ...

KaseyL
Jul 23rd, 2003, 10:10 AM
Update on the ongoing 'Olympics, yes or no?' issue: :(

Source: De Standaard, July 23, 2003

BOIC waits for a sign of Clijsters

translated by Ingrid

The BOIC (Belgian Olympic Committee) is waiting for a sign of Clijsters.

The question so far remains whether Kim Clijsters will participate at the Olympics in Athens next year.

Technical director Eddy De Smedt speaking on behalf of the BOIC: "It is evident that we prefer to have Kim, Justine and a doubles. There has been a first contact with the Clijsters and we are waiting for a sign now. It will be an open conversation in which we wouldn't exclude anything in advance.''

Pressumably the most important factor will be the sponsorship of Kim's outfit. Justine Henin and Xavier Malisse already committed to Athens, but that's easier for them as they are sponsored by Adidas, just like for the BOIC. Clijsters is with Fila. "At the moment we don't exclude anything'', De Smedt says. (article by fdpt)

---

Recapitulating on this matter, here's a summary of all the many lines that have been written about it so far (I've limited these quotes mainly to the reasons/standings as communicated by the two parties involved):

1) From my post on Jan 28, 2003:
Anyway, this was in the news today, in brief: Rogge said that as Kim's career might be over in 2008, he therefore thinks that her best chance to win is now in Athens.

According to the same source (Het Laatste Nieuws, Jan. 28, 2003):

Rogge added that they shouldn't have to pay Kim to go to Athens. He said that if she is smart, she will realise that an olympic medal would mean a sportive and commercial asset.

It is reported that he said that athletes don't ask for financial rewards. "When the American NBA stars played in Barcelona, they didn't ask money either. Gold, that was what they were after. Idem for Agassi and the Williamses in Sydney in 2000."

2) From a post of wimanna, Jan. 29, 2003:
Kim is not allowed to play with FILA at the Olympics...she has to play with Adidas there...but the Belgian Olympic International Organisation (BOIC) said they are going to talk with Kim and Lei. Cuz Van Roost played also with Adidas and she had a contract with Nike.

3) From my post on Aug. 9, 2002:
Here's what Kim's dad said on the matter:

(Source: Flemish newspaper De Standaard, from a long interview with Lei Clijsters
my own translation)

"Q.:You also don’t have a very good understanding with sports associations like the Flemish Tennis Association and the Olympic Committee for instance.

Lei Clijsters: ’I don’t doubt the good intentions of these people, but when I hear the President of the Belgian Olympic Committee claiming that they have supported Kim financially last year… Where does he get that!? When the Games came up for discussion, I found out that I had to pay the expenses (note: hotel) of the coach myself. I find that difficult. Certainly when you know that they invite their Vips at a cost of € 500 a day.

Furthermore I don’t like the contract that has to be signed for the Games this year. It says that the sponsors of the Belgian Olympic Committee have rights on the Olympic athletes. But our contracts with our sponsors clearly state that we cannot close deals with a rival sponsor.’

Q: So Kim will also not participate at the upcoming Games?

Lei: ’I don’t know. The Games have a certain prestige. I am sure that Kim would like to participate but the conditions must be realistic.

4) From my post on Feb. 16, 2003:
Sport Weekend on Flemish public TV channel TV1 had an interview with Els Callens tonight. Els said that it looks like Kim isn't really willing to go. Els would like to go and hopes to play doubles with Justine.

5) From my post of Jan. 29, 2003:
Personally, I don't rate the chance that she will participate too high... mainly due to:

- business matters:
1) Kim's sponsor deals clashing with the Belgian Olympic Committee deals,
2) bad timing of the Games (right before the US Open),
3) money issues (what's going to be paid by the Olympic Committee, how much?)
- the less than good understanding between Leo Clijsters and the Belgian Olympic Committee, and VTV (Flemish Tennis Assoc.),
- and a little bit Kim herself who said she doesn't consider tennis
an olympic sport...(yes, she did say this in a reaction to the question whether she'd play for Belgium there or not)

On the + side:
- I would be utterly surprised if Lleyton wouldn't play, so there's still some hope to see Kim too. It will be a bit of an incentive to make an effort to settle the matter with the Belgian Olympic Committee...?
- And it looks that Rogge himself is getting involved somehow to put some pressure on Kim to participate after all.
- Knowing Lei's style, all his objections and questions might also best be taken with a pinch of salt; maybe deep down there is a genuine interest somehow, but he just wants to push it to the best possible deal for Kim, by threatening that Belgium will have to do without Kim for the Olympics... just my suspicion that this is an element to consider too...
We'll see...

nadine
Jul 23rd, 2003, 06:12 PM
Kim hasn't decided yet if she goes to the Olympics or not.

I read at www.sport.be a while ago that Els would prefer playing doubles with Kim if she plays at Athens.

If I was Kim I wouldn't go either because it's on clay and that's after the grass and during the hardcourt season. I already find it great that she's playing the fed cup and I think that means more to her. She already said yes to play the semis and the final :worship:


:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

KIM WINS A GRANDSLAM

Elke
Jul 23rd, 2003, 09:49 PM
-I don't think FILA is the real problem, they could do something about that. It's more like Kim's free-time clothes sponsor 'Mer du Nord' is the problem.

-If Lleyton isn't playing, Kim def won't play. If he is, there's a slight chance.

Source: Het Laatste Nieuws (maybe not the most reliable, but alla!;))

Come-on-kim
Jul 24th, 2003, 08:32 AM
what about "mer du nord"? why would they don't agree?

Elke
Jul 24th, 2003, 09:22 AM
Kim is sponsored by Mer du Nord for her free-time clothes. At the Olympics, in the opening ceremony and during the Games, they have to wear a 'national uniform', which is not from Mer du Nord.

Come-on-kim
Jul 24th, 2003, 11:09 AM
Kim is sponsored by Mer du Nord for her free-time clothes. At the Olympics, in the opening ceremony and during the Games, they have to wear a 'national uniform', which is not from Mer du Nord.
yes, but that's normal as it's a tournament! When Kim is in a tournament signing autograph,... she wears fila and not "mer du nord" I only saw Kim wear Mer du Nord for some photo shoots and when she went to the King or Guy Verhoofstadt

Elke
Jul 24th, 2003, 06:56 PM
Signing autographs is just part of her job, so FILA. (At least I think so) I just wrote what they said in the papers.

Come-on-kim
Jul 24th, 2003, 07:42 PM
Signing autographs is just part of her job, so FILA. (At least I think so) I just wrote what they said in the papers.
Off course, but playing the Olympics and go to the open ceremony, is also her job ;) so Fila must complain not "Mer du Nord"

msimunic
Jul 26th, 2003, 05:20 PM
I hope that's true because I can't imagine that Lleyton wouldn't play... he's so dedicated to his country and always plays Davis Cup so I'm sure he won't miss a chance to play at he Olympics :D
Yes, I agree. Lleyton said it many times.
Personally, I think it would be great having her there. I would be proud to participate at the Olympics, so many big names participated in past...I don' t understand why she can' t play in FILA's outfit :confused:

Elke
Jul 26th, 2003, 06:45 PM
Yes, I agree. Lleyton said it many times.
Personally, I think it would be great having her there. I would be proud to participate at the Olympics, so many big names participated in past...I don' t understand why she can' t play in FILA's outfit :confused:

Because BOIC (Bel Olympic committee) are sponsored by Adidas, so no prob for Justine and Xavier.

KaseyL
Aug 14th, 2003, 12:09 PM
Time to add the latest on this one:

Source: Het Belang van Limburg, August 13, 2003

From an interview with Lei Clijsters
translation: courtesy of Tinne :kiss:

“The chance that Kim will participate in the Olympic games is very small”, Lei repeats an old position.
“The biggest problem is sponsoring. Kim is under contract with FILA; all of a sudden she would have to play in a Belgian national team outfit and that is Adidas. I don’t get that. Top athletes have to serve their sponsor.
Aside from that, there are some other hindrances. The Athens OG will be right between the American summer season and the US Open. You can see this year how much Kim likes to play in the US. In between she’d have to go back and forth to Greece. That means having jet lag three times right before the US Open.
No, the OG are a distant option at this point. I heard from Pierre-Yves that Justine is not sure she’ll participate either. :confused:
I find it remarkable that Jacques Rogge said Kim should choose gold above money. We never talked about money once with the BOIC.”

KaseyL
Nov 27th, 2003, 07:32 AM
*bump* :p

Updating this thread :angel:

Source: The Sunday Mail (Aus), Nov. 22, 2003

Clijsters to boycott Olympics

From correspondents in Brussels, Belgium
22nov03

KIM Clijsters, the world's No. 2 tennis player, today threatened to boycott the Olympics if the Belgian Olympic Committee does not allow her to play in her Fila-sponsored outfit in Athens.

Clijsters, who briefly held the No. 1 ranking earlier this year before being overtaken by fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne, said she would refuse to wear gear from Belgium's Olympic sponsor Adidas out of respect for her personal sponsor Fila.

"As long as my clothing remains an issue, it is impossible for me to go to the Olympics," said Clijsters in her website diary at www.kimclijsters.com.

"Even though I would like to go and even though I would be able to fit it into my schedule," she added.

Henin-Hardenne, who's sponsored by Adidas, is already committed to playing in Athens.

Women's tennis stands an excellent chance to earn Belgium its first Olympic gold since the 1996 Games in Atlanta and the country's third in the past 20 years.

The Belgian Olympic Committee said it was still negotiating with all the parties concerned in an effort to get Clijsters to Athens.

"We are looking for a constructive way out of this problem," said Piet Moons, the committee's marketing director, and he remained hopeful a compromise could be found.

However, the committee has ruled out that a competitor will be able to participate in anything but Belgian Olympic clothing.

Clijsters said her contract with Fila clearly stipulated that she would always have to play in the company's clothing.

"Fila made a big commitment; everything is tailor made and they also produce a special clothing line," she said.

"It seems normal that I respect my contract and do not play in another outfit," she said on her website. "It has nothing to do with money."

Moons refused to say how much the Adidas contract was worth but said their relationship went beyond that.

The German sports manufacturer has sponsored the Belgian team since 1976 and is also involved in backing the Belgian participating in the Paralympics and the Olympic youth festival.

At the Sydney Olympics, the Belgian doubles team of Dominique Van Roost and Els Callens won bronze.
---


same kind of articles in all of the Aussie and UK press

KaseyL
Nov 27th, 2003, 07:35 AM
Source: The Washington Post, Nov. 22, 2003

Clijsters Says Olympic Gear Would Cramp Her Style

Saturday, November 22, 2003; Page D02


Former No. 1 women's tennis player Kim Clijsters threatened to boycott the Athens Olympics if she is not allowed to wear apparel from her sponsor.

"As long as my clothing remains an issue, it is impossible for me to go to the Olympics," Clijsters said yesterday in a statement posted on her Web site, "even though I would like to go and even though I would be able to fit it into my schedule."

Clijsters has a contract with the manufacturer Fila, and is refusing to wear gear from the Belgian Olympic Committee's sponsor, Adidas.

Clijsters is ranked No. 2 after being overtaken this year by fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne, who wears Adidas gear and already has committed to Athens. The Belgian Olympic Committee said it was negotiating with all parties to try to get Clijsters to compete in Athens.

---

and this was on:

Tennis Week, Nov. 25, 2003

Clothes Encounters: Clijster May Skip Olympics Over Clothing Dispute


Kim Clijsters quest for an Olympic medal has hit a clothes line. The second-ranked Clijsters and the Belgian Olympic Committee are involved in a clothing clash over Clijsters' desire to wear her Fila outfit at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

The Belgian Olympic Committee has declared all of its athletes must wear adidas — the official clothing sponsor of the Belgian Olympic team — and has declined Clijsters' request that she wear Fila, which has been her clothing sponsor since May of 2002.

The two-time French Open finalist said the committee's refusal to permit her to wear Fila will prevent her from wearing Belgium's colors as an Olympic athlete next summer.

"As long as my clothing remains an issue, it is impossible for me to go to the Olympics," Clijsters said in comments published on BBC Online. "That is even though I would like to go and even though I would be able to fit it into my schedule. Fila made a big commitment; everything is tailor-made and they also produce a special clothing line. It seems normal that I respect my contract and do not play in another outfit. It has nothing to do with money."

The Belgian Olympic Committee has flatly vetoed Clijsters' request to wear Fila and said in a statement that all Belgian athletes must wear the nation's official adidas line.

"We're ruling out that anyone will participate in anything but Belgian Olympic clothing," Guido De Bondt, secretary general of the Belgian Olympic Committee, said.

The clothing dispute will not affect top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne, whose clothing sponsor is adidas.

Three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten went through a similar dispute with the Brazilian Olympic Committee prior to the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games, but eventually resolved it.

KaseyL
Nov 27th, 2003, 07:40 AM
A slightly different text was on

Fox Sports, Nov. 21, 2003

Belgian boycott: Clijsters might sit out Olympics

by RAF CASERT / Associated Press

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Kim Clijsters, the world's No. 2 tennis player, on Friday threatened to boycott the Olympics if the Belgian Olympic Committee does not allow her to play in her Fila-sponsored outfit in Athens.

Clijsters, who briefly held the No. 1 ranking earlier this year before being overtaken by fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne, said she would refuse to wear gear from Belgium's Olympic sponsor Adidas out of respect for her personal sponsor Fila.
"As long as my clothing remains an issue, it is impossible for me to go to the Olympics," said Clijsters in her Web site diary at www.kimclijsters.com . "Even though I would like to go and even though I would be able to fit it into my schedule," she added.

Henin-Hardenne, who's sponsored by Adidas, is already committed to playing in Athens.

Women's tennis stands an excellent chance to earn Belgium its first Olympic gold since the 1996 Games in Atlanta and the country's third in the past 20 years.

But the Belgian Olympics Committee is not prepared to negotiate with Clijsters.

"In any case, we're ruling out that anyone will participate in anything but Belgian Olympic clothing," Guido De Bondt, secretary general of the Belgian Olympic Committee, told De Standaard newspaper last month.

Several attempts to get a reaction from the Belgian Olympic Committee on Friday were unsuccessful.

Clijsters said her contract with Fila clearly stipulated that she would always have to play in the company's clothing. "Fila made a big commitment; everything is tailor made and they also produce a special clothing line," she said.

"It seems normal that I respect my contract and do not play in another outfit," she said on her Web site. "It has nothing to do with money."

At the Sydney Olympics, the Belgian doubles team of Dominique Van Roost and Els Callens won bronze.

nicky
Nov 27th, 2003, 07:43 AM
There's an thread in GM about it. Apparently, the Olympic Committee made 2 proposals to Lei Clijsters: either Kim plays in a white outfit (no sponsor), or she plays in Fila, but wears an Adidas training outfit if she gets a medal. (see http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=95099 )

Not a bad compromise i'd say. Wait and see...

KaseyL
Nov 27th, 2003, 07:47 AM
More re this issue has been in the Belgian press the last week.


Latest news is the following:

Source: Flemish VRT (teletext news) Nov. 27, 2003


Does Clijsters have to play naked?

translated by Ingrid

What can she wear then?

It seems that a deal re Kim's participation at the Olympics might be in the making.

It is rumoured that the BOIC (=the Belgian Olympic Com.) has proposed two solutions to dad Lei Clijsters:

1) Kim plays in a neutral outfit without any labels of anyone

or

2) Kim wears Fila, but in case she wins a medal, she has to wear an Adidas jacket upon receiving the medal during the official ceremony then.

KaseyL
Nov 27th, 2003, 07:50 AM
There's an thread in GM about it. Apparently, the Olympic Committee made 2 proposals to Lei Clijsters: either Kim plays in a white outfit (no sponsor), or she plays in Fila, but wears an Adidas training outfit if she gets a medal. (see http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=95099 )

Not a bad compromise i'd say. Wait and see...

Thanks Nicky! You were faster than my typing LOL!

It might be a good compromise, yep.
Let's see what Lei's reaction will be.

fifiricci
Nov 27th, 2003, 08:42 AM
Thanks Nicky! You were faster than my typing LOL!

It might be a good compromise, yep.
Let's see what Lei's reaction will be.

Why is Lei's reaction so important - he's not Kim's manager, is he? Surely it is Kim who will make the final decision, in discussion with Fila?!

nicky
Nov 27th, 2003, 09:06 AM
Lei is very important here: He takes care of Kims financial business, so that she only has to worry about her tennis. Kim hasn't got a big management company like IMG to handle her business, it's all in Lei's hands.

Oh and sorry Ingrid, I didn't realise you were still typing :D.

KaseyL
Nov 27th, 2003, 09:06 AM
Why is Lei's reaction so important - he's not Kim's manager, is he? Surely it is Kim who will make the final decision, in discussion with Fila?!

he is though. He guards her business interests, negotiates the business deals, takes care of her finances and so on, and is her first spokesman to the press (in principle). He discusses everything with Kim though, so it's not like Kim hasn't a saying in it, either.

KaseyL
Nov 27th, 2003, 09:09 AM
This was in this weekend's newspapers

Source: Het Laatste Nieuws, Nov.22, 2003

Clijsters to the Olympics after all ?

Reason for not going ridiculised by sponsor of BOIC

Brussels

by WW, translated by Ingrid

“If the sponsor couldn’t stop Beckham and Jourdan, why could they stop her then?”

Kim Clijsters whether or not to the Olympics, it is becoming a turbid saga.
The cause the Clijsters camp is making play with, the sponsorship contract with Fila, is being ridiculised by Adidas, the sponsor of the Belgian Olympic Committee BOIC: “all brands make an exception with good grace for the Games and the World Championships. If the sponsor couldn’t stop Beckham and Jourdan, why could they then for Clijsters?”
And at Fila International it was said yesterday that a deal is being drafted.
So it looks like that Kim CAN go to Athens if she WANTS to.

After her victory at the Luxembourg tournament Kim Clijsters literally stated in front of the cameras of VTM [note: Flemish biggest commercial TV station] that “I’d like to play at the Olympics though, but I can’t because of Fila”. Clijsters signed a contract (undeniably a lucrative one) with Fila. In exchange she gets the sports wear of the Italian company. Shirt, skirt, socks, shoes on court, training outfits off court.

The Belgian Committee however has an agreement with Adidas. There is no problem for Justine Henin, as she has a contract with Adidas. But in the case of Kim Clijsters it seems that the two contracts can’t be reconciled. However.

“It is an unwritten rule at all sports brands that there is an exception made re the individual contracts for the Olympics and the national teams”, says Frank Basters of Adidas Benelux. “These events have such a visibility that the brand benefits by it in the long-term anyway. Moreover, the so-called technical equipment falls outside the team equipment. Kim is authorised to play with Fila shoes and a Babolat racket in Athens. But shirt, skirt, socks have to be Adidas. They are even ready. If David Beckham, an Adidas icon though, plays for England in Umbro, if Nike monument Michael Jordan appears in Champion at the Games in Barcelona, if Thomas Buffel [note: Belgian football player], under contract with Adidas, plays for the Red Devils [note: Belgian national football (soccer) team] in Nike, why shouldn’t Kim Clijsters be allowed to play in Adidas in Athens?”

“Not now”

Yes, why not in fact, we eagerly wanted to know from Fila. We get quite a nervous Matteo Pastore, responsible for the international sponsorships, on the phone in Italy: “Really, I can’t say anything about Clijsters and Athens for the moment. We are fully looking into the problem at present. We are trying to develop an arrangment in the interest of all parties involved. Call me back mid of December.”

So Fila doesn’t seem a breaking point (no more). But this summer, when Lei Clijsters was still talking with the media, he also mentioned “other difficult contracts”: like Mer du Nord (casual wear) and Mitsubishi (cars). One can hardly imagine though that these could be a stumbling-block. (by WW)

“Monami also played with Adidas”

Brussels

Also Pit Moons, responsible for sponsoring at BOIC, is confident that Kim Clijsters can go to Athens in the end. “All parties do want it. We’ll find a way out. Whether there are precedents? Dominique Monami, a Nike player then, was wearing the Adidas team outfit in Sydney. I don’t know the exact content of Clijsters’ contract with Fila, I don’t know if the Olympics are specified in it, but I am certain that we can make a compromise.”

---

Come-on-kim
Nov 27th, 2003, 10:22 AM
Thanks Ingrid :kiss:

kim4eva
Nov 27th, 2003, 01:10 PM
A very bad article but I thought I'd still post it...:o

Clijsters is wrong to withdraw over Fila

By Leighton Ginn
The Desert Sun
November 27th, 2003


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kim Clijsters has been one of the sweethearts on the WTA Tour, but her recent actions may rid her of that reputation.

Clijsters decided not to represent Belgium in the Fed Cup this past weekend in Moscow, saying she needed to take the time off to recovered from the WTA Championships and prepare for the next season.

Now comes word she refuses to play for Belgium in the 2004 Olympics because she will not be allowed to wear apparel from her sponsor, Fila.

The Belgians are sponsored by addidas.

"It seems normal that I respect my contract and do not play in another outfit," Clijsters said to the Associated Press. "It has nothing to do with money."

Isn’t it amazing when a person shows more loyalty to a company than their own country?

The biggest problem is Clijsters’ decision to make her choice a public issue, rather than letting the powers that be work behind the scenes to try to find some kind of resolution.

Clijsters situation, however, is not unusual.

In the 1992 Olympics, the U.S. Dream Team was sponsored by Reebok, and many of the Nike athletes, namely Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, expressed their concerns.

Jordan and Barkley did play and wore a flag over the Reebok logo.

It was unsavory, but at least Jordan and Barkley represented their country.

Fila has made a commitment to Clijsters and has supported her well. However, you would think Fila would come to their senses and relent a little.

If Clijsters misses the Olympics because of Fila, wouldn’t it hurt sales and Clijsters popularity? Or worst, vilify Fila?

Addidas has been equally generous to the Belgian Olympic Team. However, their contract with the country should not overrule individual contracts.

With or without Clijsters, Belgium should be a favorite as Justine Henin-Hardenne, who won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, is already an addidas girl and has committed to Athens.

If the Belgians were to fail at the Olympics, Clijsters may wish that she had just played.

Brαm
Nov 27th, 2003, 05:29 PM
pfff @ Leighton Ginn :rolleyes:

You can e-mail him at Leighton.Ginn@thedesertsun.com :devil: ;)

duck
Nov 27th, 2003, 08:19 PM
pfff @ Leighton Ginn :rolleyes:

You can e-mail him at Leighton.Ginn@thedesertsun.com :devil: ;)

He's not the only one.It's in a lot of the US papers, all of whom imply Kim is prioritising money over the Games. This sort of thing:

'Kim Clijsters: Fila-sponsored, Belgian tennis star threatened to boycott Athens Olympics if she has to wear clothes from Belgian Olympic Committee’s sponsor, adidas, confirming that turkeys can’t hide their true feathers.'


I hope this gets resolved soon because the papers are being pretty vicious and this could be very damaging.

KaseyL
Dec 1st, 2003, 01:48 PM
We finally have the answer :sad: on Kim's website.

Quotes: "I have decided not to go to the Olympic Games. I want to remain loyal to the people with whom I have closed a contract. They were the only ones interested in me two years ago and although they have been the ones who have been treating me correctly, they are the ones being blackened. A pity."

and

"On the other hand, I am glad it is not about Justine and me again. I sure hope the newspapers will finally write about the other 40 athletes who will be going to the Olympics as well. No one writes about them, although they all participate in a sport that is more 'olympic' than tennis. I sure hope that Justine takes gold in Athens and that the others take a lot of medals as well. I will certainly be cheering for them!"

KaseyL
Dec 1st, 2003, 02:47 PM
I'd like to share my comments on Kim deciding not to participate at the Olympics 2004:


It’s no surprise however. Bet the Kim haters will jump on it to say how bad a patriotic she is, although it hasn't anything to do with it in the first place!

I don't know her real motivation for this decision of course, but quite frankly, I would have been surprised (agreeable surprised, however) if she'd taken the decision to go.
Based on all the things that she and her dad said in the press here the past couple of years, it certainly looks like there is at least NOT a good understanding with the Belgian Olympic Committee to begin with, to put it mildly.

I do believe that if all parties involved really, really wanted to make it so that Kim would go, she'd be participating next year. It's of course guessing what made her deciding it would be a 'no'. I'd love to know some more background, but well, guess we'll never know really why. I do think there's more to it than the Fila case only. Maybe Fila being the main issue, but I have the hunch there is more at work here.

Re Fila, with all due respect to Kim’s point of view as she hardly could do anything else, but it's just PR wise not done, not wise for Fila to block one of its top athletes for going to the Olympics. What I don't understand is 'Fila trying to be correct?' as it seems normal procedure that all these manufacturers make an exception (or make some sort of deal) when it comes to the Olympics?... sorry but someone needs to explain me this then.

I certainly do understand Kim that she wants to stay loyal to Fila as nobody else wanted her back then, that's cool of her, but on the other hand IF there is a will to make a deal, there CAN be a deal, so what is holding Fila then? dunno, but to me it's bad PR for Fila, gracious of Kim to stay loyal to them and honour the contract, but hey Fila!?

I personnally think that the (seemingly or better apparently) bad understandings between the Clijsters family and the BOIC is a lot to be blamed for this, next to the Fila case.

The BOIC, pardon me saying so, but they have never done much for our athletes, did they, COMPARED to what they do for their other "relationships", VIPS let me call a cat a cat.

They certainly didn't seem too eager to facilitate our Belgian promising or top athletes, if I take Lei's words now into account and take them to be true indeed (have heard such similar rumours also from other athlete sources than what Lei sometimes mentionned). Shame on them of being more busy with other things than taking care of our athletes. It's a huge scandal imo.

And it's so damn stupid to be on such bad terms with one of your WORLD athletes (let's be professional for heaven's sake and TRY to make decent deals with them instead of having a sort of a cold war since years).

On top of that, how this has been handled isn't really much of an example either. It's a shame for the BOIC that they can't make a deal behind closed doors with Kim+Fila in the first place.

But I still think as well that Fila doesn't come out well in this either.

I only see losing parties coming out of this:

1) Kim as an athlete for not going now (if she indeed really liked to),
2) Fila for bad PR, and
3) BOIC for going to Athens without one of its world athletes (how many do we have of them, for god's sake!)


On a last note (this is becoming a long post LOL) : I can already hear some Belgian politicians slamming Kim for so-called bad patriotism.

Well, if/when they’ll do so: let us sport fans then ask them what they have been doing for the Belgian athletes, read the social security scheme and all, for them? If they really would care for our athletes, well, why does it take years and years of promises to better the conditions for our athletes and never really achieve a decent solution? (unless it’s for football of course, that worked out fast enough)

Kim doesn’t need that back-up, but she is just one of the happy few who don’t need it. Where are our Belgian politicians when it comes to the support of the main group of our athletes? That should be real patriotism: doing something instead of just using our athletes for the politician’s own PR whenever there is a photo opportunity...

Nobody can question Kim’s sincerity and her joy when she plays for Belgium, but I do question the sincerity of those who are paid by the Belgian taxpayers and are supposed to facilitate things for our athletes. But then, it’s easier to slam an athlete when she has a mind of her own than doing something substantial for our athletes. It’s also easier I suppose to launch Flanders Olympics ideas than to help most of our athletes who have to scrape and do what not to get their money together to be able to do their sport.

Furthermore, I’m afraid most of the Belgian media will jump on this decision too. When they do, I hope they won’t forget to chase down the BOIC and raise a few basic questions there, that would be more appropriate but then, sorry for being cynical, I’ll be dreaming if that will happen. Cheers boys!

tournesol
Dec 1st, 2003, 03:04 PM
:wavey: ingrid

you're absolutely right, but still where is the royal tennis federation (apart in the boxes watching belgo/belgian finals) who should support her towards the boic? imo sport federations in belgium are more looking after their own (political/financial) interests than to develop their sports particularly among young people.

:tape: :tape:

re kim: i'm sad but well i definitely respect her decision maybe belgium does not deserve her; still it's diffcicult to believe that this is a final decision since there is still quite a long time for some others athletes to achive the minimum qualifying performances or am i wrong?

KaseyL
Dec 1st, 2003, 03:18 PM
:wavey: ingrid

you're absolutely right, but still where is the royal tennis federation (apart in the boxes watching belgo/belgian finals) who should support her towards the boic? imo sport federations in belgium are more looking after their own (political/financial) interests than to develop their sports particularly among young people.

:tape: :tape:

re kim: i'm sad but well i definitely respect her decision maybe belgium does not deserve her; still it's diffcicult to believe that this is a final decision since there is still quite a long time for some others athletes to achive the minimum qualifying performances or am i wrong?


:wavey: You're so right Dani, where is VTV and all in this? Didn't hear much of them either, but then, there is some historic bad understandings with the Clijsters family too. I wonder if they have been any support to her, don't know.
Although I must add that I do think that both VTV and the Walloon organisation are doing a good job with their ressources to facilitate tennis in Belgium (think of the tennis schools fi). One cannot say that for all other sport federations.

I certainly do respect and support Kim's decision, no matter for what reason(s) she made it, but if she really wanted to go to Athens for Belgium, than I feel sad for her. Then she might be the biggest losing party in the end (along with her true fans). :sad:

tournesol
Dec 1st, 2003, 03:37 PM
:wavey: You're so right Dani, where is VTV and all in this? Didn't hear much of them either, but then, there is some historic bad understandings with the Clijsters family too. I wonder if they have been any support to her, don't know.
Although I must add that I do think that both VTV and the Walloon organisation are doing a good job with their ressources to facilitate tennis in Belgium (think of the tennis schools fi). One cannot say that for all other sport federations.

I certainly do respect and support Kim's decision, no matter for what reason(s) she made it, but if she really wanted to go to Athens for Belgium, than I feel sad for her. Then she might be the biggest losing party in the end (along with her true fans). :sad:

i know that kim and vtv are not really on the same wavelength and that she's not the only player in that case (although it's another topic) that's why i thought of the national (royal) federation bec they are in charge of dc and fed cup and well probably of olympics as well

but still compared to what we have on 'the other side' you look much better organized for the kids.
:tape:

KaseyL
Dec 1st, 2003, 05:42 PM
Indeed, Dani, the Royal Federation should play its role. I didn't hear anything from them in this regard either.

KaseyL
Dec 1st, 2003, 05:49 PM
A quick update re this issue:

-the BOIC is in meeting at the moment to discuss Kim's decision.

- Marc Dehous was on the news (public Flemish Radio 1; the biggest station) : in brief he said that the Fila contract was the biggest problem.
He also mentioned some security issues (which prompted the journalist to react that this is an issue for all athletes though), and added that Kim isn't too down as for a tennis player it's still more important to win Slams and the Masters.

Note: don't quote me on Marc's words: I just tried to catch his reaction, that's all I recall he said. Maybe some other CCLers can add a few things?

I'm sure this will be THE sports news on TV tonight too.

Hawk
Dec 1st, 2003, 06:06 PM
A quick update re this issue:

-the BOIC is in meeting at the moment to discuss Kim's decision.


Please...Please..come to the Olympics :lol: :p


The more I think about it the more I don't like it :sad: It's not like she'll have many chances to go the Olympics..it's only every 4 years :( I think she's making a big mistake..

ikke
Dec 1st, 2003, 06:44 PM
Please...Please..come to the Olympics :lol: :p


The more I think about it the more I don't like it :sad: It's not like she'll have many chances to go the Olympics..it's only every 4 years :( I think she's making a big mistake..

indeed :sad: , but I understand her decision...
They also aksed Mark that she won't regret her decision in a few years. He said that he also don't know that, that it could be that she regret it that she didn't play ;)

kit
Dec 1st, 2003, 09:16 PM
Sad, but I understand her decision,too. :(

TennisHack
Dec 1st, 2003, 09:43 PM
I honesty don't see the problem with Kim being loyal to her contract with Fila. If anything, I think the blame here should be with the Belgian Olympic Committee. Why in hell do they have a clothing contract with a sponsor?! That makes absolutely no sense, IMO.

I don't think Kim will regret not going to the Olympics. Besides, it's not as if this is her last chance to go -- in four years she'll only be 25. So if she decides she wants to go in 2008, she has another chance at it.

Of course, personally I don't place a lot of mettle with an Olympic medal in tennis. It doesn't seem to mean as much in tennis as it does in other sports. (After Salt Lake 2002, I also happen to think the Olympics is a big joke, but that's neither here nor there, especially considering that was a "winter games".)

fifiricci
Dec 1st, 2003, 09:44 PM
I honesty don't see the problem with Kim being loyal to her contract with Fila. If anything, I think the blame here should be with the Belgian Olympic Committee. Why in hell do they have a clothing contract with a sponsor?! That makes absolutely no sense, IMO.

I don't think Kim will regret not going to the Olympics. Besides, it's not as if this is her last chance to go -- in four years she'll only be 25. So if she decides she wants to go in 2008, she has another chance at it.

Of course, personally I don't place a lot of mettle with an Olympic medal in tennis. It doesn't seem to mean as much in tennis as it does in other sports. (After Salt Lake 2002, I also happen to think the Olympics is a big joke, but that's neither here nor there, especially considering that was a "winter games".)

Excellent post!! I'd rep you, but I'm being told I've gotta spread the lurve!!

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:17 AM
Why in hell do they have a clothing contract with a sponsor?! That makes absolutely no sense, IMO.


That's a normal thing, though. It's of course all very easy when you're dealing with non-pro athletes, but in the case of fi a name like Kim big business is involved, easily resulting in conflicting interests.

The last thing I want to do is start defending the BOIC as I find them majorly messing up for our athletes, and esp. in this case, however one can't blame the BOIC for taking the money of Adidas and having them as their sponsor.

On the other hand, the way they have been handling this issue, that's another thing. This also applies to Fila imo, like I wrote here yesterday. This is so bad PR for Fila too! Hell, even Jordan did get exceptions in the past (wasn't playing for Fila, but well, you get what I mean to say).

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:25 AM
As I wrote here yesterday that I was foreseeing bad press, the media is not exactly sweet on Kim's decision today, to put it politely.

It was already top news on radio and TV in Belgium (edit: Flemish news anyway), now the newspapers are all over this issue too.

I will try to post here as much as I can, but as it's in Dutch and French, it will take time. If any fellow Belgian is volunteering, please do help here to brief our non-Belgian CCLers.

Meanwhile, I've heard the official reaction of the BOIC.
It was pretty lame, if I may say so. "They do regret and blablabla... will certainly mean at least the loss of one medal, maybe two probably... They added that they don't think there will be any change in the near future, however are keeping the door open for Kim in case she'd change her mind... Also adding that they weren't going to make any further attempts as it's quite pointless at this stage, they'd rather focus now on the athletes who have committed (something like 50some)...They also claimed that they have went to great extend to try to seal a deal: allowing Kim to play in her own Fila outfits, as long as she would appear in the official Adidas outfits for the official moments..."

Edit: The reporter (Dirk Gerlo) was also talking about Lleyton Hewitt, asking whether Kim's decision had anything to do with his participation. The BOIC spokesman replied something like Lleyton hasn't changed his mind? Edit: at least I was assuming Lleyton was going to represent Australia? I am checking in Australia to see if I can find more on this.

That in a nutshell. Maybe other Belgians could add more about this reaction please?

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:35 AM
This said re the BOIC, I have forgotten to mention in my long post yesterday :o that I do regret how Kim brought this news into the world.

As people could foresee she'd get the flames all over her, I think it would have been wiser, PR wise, to not only write it sort of randomly in a fan diary, but next to it to issue a press statement that explains the situation better. I mean; like saying that she'd love to play for Belgium, would have loved to go, and so on... however... and then the decision.

The way how it's done now isn't really helping her case and rather helps her looking like she's now portrayed by a number of journalists. And by all means, she doesn't deserve that.

Mind you, I'm not criticising Kim here at all, after all she is a top player, is busy with tennis, she isn't a businesswoman or a communication specialist for heaven's sake. However, some advice prior to this announcement in her diary might have done a lot of damage control, and would have served her far much better than this almost "fait-divers" dealing with the matter. And I deeply regret that this has been dealt with in such a way. Again, she deserves better.

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:51 AM
Here are the original articles from the Flemish press today:

I hope some people will have the kindness to translate them, as it's a bit too much for me alone LOL


Starting with Belang van Limburg, Dec 2, 2003

BOIC betreurt beslissing Clijsters om niet naar Spelen te gaan

Het Belgisch Olympisch en Interfederaal Comité betreurt de beslissing van tennisster Kim Clijsters om niet naar de Olympische Spelen 2004 in Athene te gaan. Dat deelde het BOIC maandag mee in een perscommuniqué.

Clijsters gaat omwille van sponsorproblemen niet naar Athene. Het nummer twee van de wereld wordt gesponsord door sportkledijfabrikant Fila, op de Olympische Spelen zou ze moeten aantreden in de uitrusting van het BOIC, dat gesponsord wordt door concurrent Adidas.

"De raad van beheer van het Belgisch Olympisch en Interfederaal Comité heeft kennis genomen van de intentie van Kim Clijsters om niet deel te nemen aan de Olympische Spelen van Athene om haar loyaliteit ten overstaan van haar sponsor niet in het gedrang te brengen."

"Alle atleten die deel uitmaken van het Belgian Olympic Team dragen hetzelfde uniform, conform de afspraken tussen het Internationaal Olympisch Comité en de World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry. Van zijn kant was het BOIC, in overleg met zijn sponsor, bereid om op de Olympische Spelen Kim Clijsters de wedstrijden te laten spelen met de uitrusting van haar sponsor."

"Het BOIC betreurt deze beslissing en blijft er meer dan ooit van overtuigd dat deelname aan de Olympische Spelen een hoogtepunt is in de sportcarrière van een atleet."


Jacques Rogge versus Lei Clijsters

Vader Clijsters heeft nooit onder stoelen of banken gestoken dat de Olympische Spelen hem en dochter Kim maar matig boeien. Een gevleugelde uitspraak van IOC-voorzitter Jacques Rogge dat een olympische medaille in lengte van jaren een sportieve en commerciële meerwaarde biedt,heeft Lei altijd proberen te ontkrachten.

“Kijk maar eens wat Fred Deburghgraeve heeft overgehouden aan zijn goud in Atlanta? Hij is meteen als schoenenverkoper aan de slag moeten gaan.”

Gezien haar gespijsde bankrekening is de kans klein dat we Kim Clijsters ooit achter de toonbank zullen aantreffen, maar toch is er iets te zeggen voor de argumenten van Lei Clijsters. Bijvoorbeeld: dat tennis tot dusver niet veel voorstelde op de Spelen. Lei staafde dat eens met het voorbeeld Oremans- Boogert, het bescheiden Hollands koppel dat in Sydney zilver won in het dubbelspel. “En Elena Dementieva die de enkelfinale speelde in 2000? Dat is toch ook geen top.”

Lei Clijsters is van mening dat Grand Slams belangrijker zijn dan de Spelen. Omdat in Athene nauwelijks rankingpunten te verdienen zijn. Op de koop toe hypotheceert deelname in Athene je kansen op succes in de US Open, die één week later start. “Daaraan beginnen zonder specifieke voorbereiding en met een jetlag van zeven uren in de benen, lijkt me een handicap.”

Jacques Rogge kan zich niet in die uitleg vinden. “De Spelen zijn wel degelijk van hoog niveau: Graf in ‘88, Capriati in ‘92, Davenport in ‘96 en Venus Williams in 2000: welke Grand Slam kan een mooier palmares voorleggen? Bovendien heeft Steffi Graf bewezen dat de Spelen best combineer zijn met de Slams. In ‘88 won ze de vier Grand Slamtoernooien én de Olympische Spelen.”

tournesol
Dec 2nd, 2003, 10:08 AM
Meanwhile, I've heard the official reaction of the BOIC.
It was pretty lame, if I may say so. "They do regret and blablabla... will certainly mean at least the loss of one medal, maybe two probably... They added that they don't think there will be any change in the near future, however are keeping the door open for Kim in case she'd change her mind... Also adding that they weren't going to make any further attempts as it's quite pointless at this stage, they'd rather focus now on the athletes who have committed (something like 50some)...They also claimed that they have went to great extend to try to seal a deal: allowing Kim to play in her own Fila outfits, as long as she would appear in the official Adidas outfits for the official moments..."

That in a nutshell. Maybe other Belgians could add more about this reaction?

:wavey: ingrid

anyone else watched rtbf news yesterday evening?
kim's decision wasn't a really big item and was presented rather neutraly imo but the aft chairman (aft = frenchspeaking tennis fed) who was interviewed and talked about missed opportunities bla bla bla was also labelled as BOIC Treasurer ??????????????????????

Elke
Dec 2nd, 2003, 10:11 AM
Just PM me what to do, Ingrid, I'll try later when home.

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 10:15 AM
Just PM me what to do, Ingrid, I'll try later when home.
okido! :kiss:

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 10:25 AM
The Laatste Nieuws seems to have a more balanced (?) article, based on what I heard in the press overview early this morning on Flemish Radio1, as I understood they were criticising the BOIC as well. I don't have the newspaper, maybe someone can be so kind to help out?


I have the entire texts of what was published in De Standaard today. I'll take care of that translation. The headlines are:
"Clijsters not to Games"
and an analysis: "Earning money is more important than participating"

Y'all get the tune... :tape:


Here is a selection of the Walloon papers. I don't have the entire texts as I'm not subscribed to them. Please, can someone be so kind to assist in translating?

La Dernière Heure headlines this:

« La Guerre des sponsors nous prive d’une médaille quasi acquise »

POURQUOI CLIJSTERS N’IRA PAS AUX JEUX

This means "The sponsor war is depriving us of an almost certain medal!"
and "Why Clijsters doesn't go to the Games"

Kim Clijsters, prisonnière de son contrat d’équipement chez Fila, doit renoncer aux Jeux Olympiques d’Athènes, où les athlètes belges ne peuvent se produire qu’avec du matériel Adidas. Une situation ridicule née des règlements désuets du CIO et qui nous prive d’une médaille quasiment acquise. En revanche, la championne limbourgeoise a décidé de participer à la prochaine Fed Cup.

Kim Clijsters renonce aux Jeux d'Athènes
(idem ditto in La Libre Belgique)

Elle disputera, par contre, la Fed Cup en 2004

MELBOURNE Une chance de médaille aux Jeux d'Athènes vient de disparaître pour la Belgique. La nouvelle est, en effet, tombée, ce lundi, au lendemain de la victoire de l'Australie contre l'Espagne en finale de l'édition 2003 de la Coupe Davis. Kim Clijsters a annoncé, par le biais de son site Internet, www.kimclijsters.be, qu'elle ne sera pas de la partie, l'été prochain, en Grèce, mettant par la même occasion fin aux supputations des dernières semaines.

«J'ai décidé de ne pas participer aux Jeux Olympiques! explique-t- elle depuis Melbourne, où elle a encouragé son petit ami Lleyton Hewitt. Je souhaite effectivement demeurer loyale envers les gens avec qui j'ai conclu un contrat. Ce sont les seuls qui ont voulu de moi, il y a deux ans. On essaie de les rendre coupables alors qu'ils sont simplement corrects. C'est dommage.»

«J'espère que Justine gagnera»
Même si elle ne l'avait jamais clamé haut et fort, il était devenu clair, récemment, que la deuxième tenniswoman mondiale souhaitait participer au plus prestigieux événement du sport mondial. Simplement, contrainte à troquer sa tenue habituelle de la marque italienne Fila pour endosser celle de l'équipementier allemand Adidas habillant la délégation belge, la Limbourgeoise a préféré renoncer.

«C'est d'ailleurs bien qu'on ne parle pour une fois plus de Justine et de moi! ajoute-t-elle. J'espère que les journaux évoqueront, enfin, les 40 autres athlètes qui iront aux Jeux Olympiques. On n'écrit jamais rien sur ces autres sportifs alors qu'ils évoluent dans des sports pourtant plus olympiques que le tennis, en fin de compte. J'espère sincèrement que Justine décrochera l'or à Athènes et que les autres athlètes belges décrocheront de nombreuses médailles. J'irai sans doute les supporter!»

Lauréate de neuf tournois en 2003, dont le Masters de Los Angeles, Kim Clijsters ne défendra donc pas les couleurs de la Belgique aux prochains Jeux Olympiques. Tout juste y dansera-t-elle peut-être le sirtaki, le soir, pour célébrer l'une ou l'autre performance de ses compatriotes. Par contre, elle a, au contraire de Justine Henin, décidé de participer à la prochaine campagne de Fed Cup, dont le premier tour contre la Croatie, fin avril, se disputera plus que probablement à Bree.

«Quelle ambiance, ici, en Australie pour la finale de la Coupe Davis! écrit-elle encore. Mark Philippoussis a apporté le point décisif par une température de 32°. On transpirerait pour moins que ça! J'ai été chez le coiffeur pour le dîner officiel. L'ambiance était similaire à celle de la Fed Cup à Bree. A ce propos, je vais y reprendre part parce qu'elle se disputera probablement à Bree. De plus, je veux demeurer dans le Groupe mondial avec la Belgique.»

Il y a, pour elle, d'autres défis qu'une médaille olympique...

(par Serge Fayat)

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 10:41 AM
These are two scans of a paper's headline today...

and that's the last I'm doing right now LOL, my work is waiting :o

(leaving while thinking of Angèle's wise words some time ago, when she said here that she was fearing certai things would come down on Kim's head one of these days... )

'til later :wavey: and thanks in advance to everyone willing to contribute re this issue (by translating or adding comments, any help is welcome) :kiss:

tournesol
Dec 2nd, 2003, 11:01 AM
La Dernière Heure headlines this:

« La Guerre des sponsors nous prive d’une médaille quasi acquise »

POURQUOI CLIJSTERS N’IRA PAS AUX JEUX

This means "The sponsor war is depriving us of an almost certain medal!"
and "Why Clijsters doesn't go to the Games"

Kim Clijsters, prisonnière de son contrat d’équipement chez Fila, doit renoncer aux Jeux Olympiques d’Athènes, où les athlètes belges ne peuvent se produire qu’avec du matériel Adidas. Une situation ridicule née des règlements désuets du CIO et qui nous prive d’une médaille quasiment acquise. En revanche, la championne limbourgeoise a décidé de participer à la prochaine Fed Cup.


Kim is bound by her Fila contract and so must decline to participate in the olympics where Belgian athletes will have to wear adidas. This stupid situation results from outdated (B?)OIC regulations which deprives us of an almost certain medal. On the other hand she decided to take part in the 2004 fed cup.

-------------

probably the 1st time i agree with this paper :eek:

the second article is copy paste from kim website

edit: may i add that i find those articles quite moderate

Katja
Dec 2nd, 2003, 11:53 AM
I have the article of "Het Laatste Nieuws", but no scanner or time to type it in here. But I could make a small resume of it by tomorrow. Tell we if that would be ok.

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 11:54 AM
Thanks a lot, Dani! :kiss:

LOL at you agreeing with the paper!

Here's another article (tens and tens in the international media), from ESPN, with an interesting quote...


Monday, December 1, 2003

Clijsters out of Olympics in sponsor dispute

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Kim Clijsters, the No. 2-ranked player in women's tennis, is pulling out of next summer's Athens Olympics because she will not be allowed to wear apparel from her own sponsor.

In comments on her Web site, Clijsters said Monday she won't take part in the games because the Belgian Olympic Committee prohibits its athletes from wearing apparel not made by team sponsor Adidas.

Clijsters has a deal with the manufacturer Fila which stipulates she can only play in the company's clothing.

"I want to remain loyal to the people with whom I have closed a contract," said Clijsters, ranked second behind countrywoman Justine Henin-Hardenne in the world. "They were the only ones interested in me two years ago."

Although The Associated Press reported that the Belgian Olympic Committee has tried to negotiate with Clijsters, Fila and Adidas, Howe Burch, Fila's senior vice president of global communications and sports marketing, told ESPN.com he does not believe that is the case.

"To my knowledge, we have not been contacted by anyone from the Belgian Olympic Committee in trying to resolve this matter," said Burch, who would not comment on the company's specific contractual terms with Clijsters. "Something like this might be able to be resolved, but in the end it's going to be Kim's decision."

The International Olympic Committee's Belgian president, Jacques Rogge said he would not intervene in the matter.

"It is a question of solidarity that all athletes participating in the Olympic Games wear the same uniform. I feel sad to hear that Clijsters will not be in Athens, but she is still young and I am sure that as time passes, she will reflect on that decision," Rogge told television channel VTM.

"She will realise she missed a real opportunity to win a medal, but I respect her decision. No, I will not try to make her change her mind, that is not my role. The Belgian Olympic Committee and Kim are big enough to solve the matter between them."

Henin-Hardenne is already under contract to Adidas, which has sponsored the Belgian team since 1976.

Clijsters said she would play for Belgium in next year's Fed Cup because she wants "to keep Belgium in the World Group."

"The Belgian Olympic Committee sold their rights and their marks to Adidas and they certainly have benefited from that decision," Burch said. "I don't think it's fair to hold Kim to a different set of standards. I'm sure Adidas officials had their eyes wide open, in that they could have athletes compete wearing their competitor's products."

Apparel disputes are not new at the Olympics. On the victory stand at the 1992 Barcelona Games, Michael Jordan, who was under contract to Nike, and other U.S. players draped a U.S. flag over the Reebok logo of their basketball warmup suits.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com sports business reporter Darren Rovell was used in this report.

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 11:56 AM
I have the article of "Het Laatste Nieuws", but no scanner or time to type it in here. But I could make a small resume of it by tomorrow. Tell we if that would be ok.

superb! thanks!

Hagar
Dec 2nd, 2003, 01:27 PM
Jezus, can't they leave Kim alone? Gosh, if she has a contract with Fila that means she has to play in Fila. It's the BOIC that is wrong here, not Kim.
In any case, they fact that this gets so much airplay in the national and international press, definitely shows that Kim is an international top sporter.

Nica
Dec 2nd, 2003, 03:51 PM
one more article from CNN :p
actually it's almost the same but....
i guess it wasn't posted here :confused:

Clijsters turns down Olympic place
Tuesday, December 2, 2003 Posted: 0928 GMT ( 5:28 PM HKT)

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) -- World No. 2 Kim Clijsters will not play tennis for Belgium at next summer's Olympic Games after a wrangle over sponsored clothing.

The 20-year-old said she will "remain fair" to her own backer -- Italian manufacturer Fila -- rather than wear rival Adidas' official Belgian uniform in Athens.

"As long as my clothing remains an issue, it is impossible for me to go to the Olympics," Clijsters has said. She confirmed her decision on Monday.

"I've decided not to go to the Olympic Games," Clijsters said in a diary on her official Web site.

"I want to remain fair to the people I made a contract with. They were the only ones who wanted me two years ago."

Clijsters wished her compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne -- already sponsored by Adidas -- luck at the Olympics.

"I really hope Justine takes the gold in Athens and hopefully the other Belgians take plenty of medals as well," she said. "I'll be their number one supporter."

However, Clijsters will fly the flag for her Fed Cup team next year after turning her back on the Belgian cause last month in Moscow.

Missing Clijsters and her No, 1-ranked compatriot Henin-Hardenne, the Belgian team fell in the semifinals to an understrength U.S. team.

Clijsters, who made no secret of her disappointment when Moscow was made host for the Fed Cup climax, last weekend watched boyfriend Lleyton Hewitt help capture the Davis Cup title for Australia.

"The atmosphere was comparable with the Fed Cup in my home town Bree. Next year I'll play the Fed Cup again because the event will probably be organized in Bree again," she said

"I also want Belgium to stay in the world group and the event fits in my schedule."

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 05:22 PM
The issue is now all over the Australian media today too:

The following is published in several newspapers:

Belgians smash Clijsters

By Raf Casert in Brussels
December 3, 2003

FROM IOC President Jacques Rogge to newspapers and television networks, Kim Clijsters was heavily criticised today for her decision to boycott next year's Athens Olympics because of a commercial contract.

Fellow Belgian Rogge led the chorus of complaints against Clijsters, who said she would skip the Games because the Belgian Olympic Committee wouldn't allow her to wear an outfit provided by her personal sponsor Fila to collect a possible medal.

The decision of the world's second-ranked player, once the darling of Belgian sports fans, made the front pages of all newspapers, topped by such scathing headlines as "making money is more important than taking part" or "sponsors more important than medals."

She decided to boycott the games even though the Belgian Olympic Committee had made a major concession, allowing her to play in her Fila outfit instead of one provided by team sponsor Adidas during the August 13-29 Olympics.

The committee insisted that should Clijsters win a medal, she'd have to wear the official Adidas team outfit during the medal ceremony.

Rogge said Clijsters' decision highlighted a lack of solidarity, not only with Belgian teammates but also with poorer athletes from around the world who need financial help to make it to the Olympics.

"The wearing of the Adidas shirt will show solidarity," Rogge said, calling it a question of goodwill. "The problem is that 80 per cent of athletes don't have enough financial support when they go to the Olympics."

Rogge said he thinks Clijsters will "regret her decision."

For Belgium, Clijsters' absence means a rare chance to win a medal has evaporated. The country's last gold medal dates back to the 1996 Atlanta Games. Belgium has won only three golds in the last 20 years.

"With Kim Clijsters we had a major potential for a medal," said Olympic Committee Secretary General Guido De Bondt on VRT radio on Tuesday. "We could even have dreamt of two," he said, noting that Clijsters is ranked world No.1 in doubles play. "This is a serious blow."

Compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne has already committed herself to playing in Athens. Henin-Hardenne took over the world's top ranking from Clijsters last month.

"I want to remain loyal to the people with whom I have closed a contract," Clijsters said of her decision. "They were the only ones interested in me two years ago."

Clijsters, 20, has long been a favourite of Belgian fans because of her carefree, easygoing style.

The Belgian Olympic Committee held talks with Adidas and Fila up to last week, confident the problem could be solved.

The German sports manufacturer Adidas has sponsored the Belgian team since 1976 and is also involved in backing the Belgians participating in the Paralympics and the Olympic youth festival.

At the Sydney Olympics, the Belgian doubles team of Dominique Van Roost and Els Callens won bronze.

The Associated Press

ikke
Dec 2nd, 2003, 05:27 PM
Thanks for the articles...

Here is a scan from HLN. It's not much, but....

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 05:28 PM
Then of course the Flemish minister of Sport has joined in:

De Standaard, Dec. 2, 2003

Keulen wants Kim Clijsters at the Games

By kld, translation by Ingrid

Flemish Minister of Sports Marino Keulen wants to do his outmost best to get tennis star Kim Clijsters to the Olympic Games of Athens. Clijsters has announced on her website that she won’t go to Athens.
Kim Clijsters is sponsored by Fila. She should have to wear the outfit of the Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC), sponsored by rival Adidas, at the Games. Justine Henin however will play in Athens. She is sponsored by Adidas.

In a press statement Keulen says: “We Flemings are the champions of reasonableness. Therefore it cannot be that Kim Clijsters is staying away from the Olympic Games next year when she is at the very top of her sportive abilities, and this because of sponsor issues.
By doing so she will miss a golden opportunity to win a medal, which is also a pity for our country, as we don’t have too many candidates for a medal either. However, it has to be possible to reach a settlement which is fair for all parties.
If need be Kim will play in an outfit of Fila and with a racket of Adidas or vice versa.” [note: just an example]

The minister wants to mediate between the BOIC and Kim Clijsters in order to bring Kim still to participation.
END
---

Note: The minister said on Radio 1 that he doesn’t want to do this by a simple phone call, but wants to sit down with the parties to discuss this matter.


To be continued I suppose...

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 05:30 PM
Thanks for the articles...

Here is a scan from HLN. It's not much, but....



thanks!

Well, the least we can say is that we know what to do here today :(

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:01 PM
Ok, first part of another article published in De Standaard today.(its' long, so I'll post it in parts)

This was on the Opinion page. The tune is not soft for Kim.

The writer is an editor and covers Belgian news.

Analysis: Earning money is more important than participating.

By Dominique Minten, translation by Ingrid

What is the highest achievement for a sportsman (-woman)? A golden medal at the Olympics. Yes indeed, though? We would start to doubt it, because Kim Clijsters has decided not to go to Athens. Reason of skipping: sponsor problems. Is money than more important after all than the sportive honour?

The website of Kim Clijsters is a beautiful source of information. As such we read in Kim’s diary that Limburgs finest has been to the hairdresser’s, that she and Caroline Maes will go to the sauna together next week, and that she also will be buying some Christmas gifts.

And in the midst of all this information she coolly mentions also that she won’t be playing the Olympics next year. Bam: there goes an (almost) certain medal. But far worse is the reason why Clijsters isn’t going: it seems that an unbridgeable gap is existing between her sponsor and the one of the Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC). Do we have to be surprised that this gap doesn’t get bridged? Yes and No.

Second and last part of the opinion article in De Standaard today:

First the facts for a moment. It was already clear since quite some time that the participation of Clijsters at the Games wouldn’t be plain sailing. The world number two is sponsored by Fila since a year and a half, while the BOIC has a contract with Adidas as olympic sponsor. Dad Clijsters had already made it known that he absolutely wouldn’t see his daughter participating in an Adidas outfit. Kim herself though would like to go to Athens: she let that been known again last week.

Busy negotiations between dad Clijsters, Fila and the BOIC have already been going on since a few weeks in order to get out of the deadlock. It should be clear: it weren’t easy talks, and they were even more hampered because Fila has recently been taken over by the American Sport Brands International.

Some options which would satisfy both parties appeared last week in Le Soir. One of the possibilities was to let Clijsters play without logo on her outfit and Adidas would also allow that she could wear her Fila schoes. An even more accomodating option came up: Clijsters would play in Fila outfit, but in case she’d win a medal she had to appear in an Adidas outfit for the ceremony then.

The latter should have been a really big concession from BOIC for their charter stipulates that it is the Committee’s privilege to determine in which outfit an athlete has to play. The athlete himself only decides about his technical equipment, in this case the racket. According to Le Soir there wasn’t yet a break-through to be expected; a final decision would only be taken after the Australian Open. So somewhere mid January.

The laconic announcement of Kim Clijsters is exactly therefore very unexpected. “But'', she says, “I want to stay honest with the people I have made a contract with two years ago. They were the only ones who wanted me two years ago. They try now to blacken them while they are only correct.''

By this “they” she points at the Belgian media, who keep on writing lies according to her: now also about her relation to doubles partner Ai Sugiyama. It is correct that the Belgian media will strongly condemn her decision of not going to Athens. The journalists however won’t look for the culprit at the sport sponsor, but at the Clijsters clan itself.

Especially dad Lei will be under fire again. It is known that the former Red Devil is an extremely tough negotiator when it comes to money. Did he yet again play the game a bit too hard? Moreover, it is about Adidas here, a brand he has no good experiences with. Two years ago, when his daughter was looking for a new sponsor, Adidas choose Justine Henin over Kim Clijsters. A blame with far-reaching consequences, it appears now.

The Clijsters now make play with “honesty towards a loyal partner'. It sounds nice, but is it believable? Do they maybe fear that Fila would throw them out? Let’s be serious: no sponsor in his right mind will slaughter his golden hen.

Furthermore, Kim Clijsters wouldn’t be the first - and also the greatest- sports person who has to do some water in her sponsor wine for the Olympic Games. At the Games of 1992 NBA-star Michael Jordan -THE Nike-icon – played with a Reebok logo. During the ceremony Jordan then had draiped an American flag over his shoulder so the logo was hardly visible. Venus Williams played in Sydney in Reebok - her personal sponsor – but collected her medal in the official Adidas outfit.

One thing is certain: Clijsters doesn’t have to participate at the Games for the money.
Clijsters was record earner this year with a good 4 million dollar price money. She won’t become richer because of a participation at the Games. Moreover, the tennis players estimate the Grand Slams as higher on a sport level. Clijsters herself describes tennis as a “less olympic sport”.

But the common sport fan doesn’t think like this of course. He wants that his country is represented as good as possible at the greatest and most prestigious sport event on earth. And for Belgium Kim Clijsters belongs there. Therefore it is to be feared that the discontent about her non-participation will expand further than the media. Even the non patriotic Belgian wants to see as many medals as possible. So it’s a real possibility that this case will leave ‘popular Kim’ with a big hang-over.

---

Other article from De Standaard, Dec. 2, 2003

(this one was on the frontpage)

Clijsters not to the Games

by domi,fca, translated by Ingrid

BRUSSELS - Kim Clijsters won’t play the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens. Sponsor problems are keeping her away from the biggest sports event on earth. The Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC) is disappointed, but hopes that public opinion is going to make her change her mind.
The no for the Games came as a surprise yesterday. It was known that there were sponsor problems, but everyone was assuming that negotiations were still fully going on between Clijsters, her sponsor Fila and the BOIC.
The astonishment was therefore then great when Kim Clijsters announced on her official website that she wouldn’t participate at the Games.
Clijsters is sponsored by Fila. Clijsters should have to wear the outfit of the BOIC, sponsored by rival Adidas, at the Games. The BOIC made her the proposal to play in Fila, but to do everything else in an Adidas outfit. This extreme concession wasn’t to be of any use.

According to the BOIC it is not opportune for the time being to continue negotiations. “I am disappointed of course,'' says President François Narmon. “But I am also an optimist. I hope that the public opinion will make Kim change her mind. Experience tells us that athletes usually regret a non-participation.”

Brαm
Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:41 PM
I read the article in "De Morgen" today and it is really harsh :( :awww:

It's a serious blow for everyone, so I must say I understand them a bit. No need to be rude though!

Brαm
Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:43 PM
And in the midst of all this information she coolly mentions also that she won’t be playing the Olympics next year.

I agree. Sorry to say so, but Kim shouldn't have put that somewhere between "going to the hairdresser's" and "getting a massage" :( :(

Elke
Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:46 PM
D eMorgen! :yawn:

i'm working on hBvL, they're pretty reasonable....

Come-on-kim
Dec 2nd, 2003, 07:01 PM
In La Dernière Heure, I was actually surprised they didn't bash Kim :eek: They were quite ok with it, just a little dissapointed

Elke
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:07 PM
Clijsters not at the Olympics.
'I decided not to go to Athens. I want to be loyal to the people with whom I have a contract. They are the only ones who really wanted me two years ago. It's a pity they are blackened now.' Those are the qoutes by Kim on her official website.It's decided: she won't play at the Olympics.

Clear language, but we're guessing about the 'blackening bit. Probably a bad communication between Australia and Bree. From that diary, it's pretty clear Kim has no moral problems with her decision. 'What an atmosphere! Danced and sweated in the crowd!' and she closed with: 'now I'm going to bed, cos I'm tired of all the partying.' She pointed at the party that followed after Australia and Lleyton of course, won the DC.

LOYALTY
With her decision, Kim makes an end to the speculations about going to the Olympics. The biggest problem was the bad timing , right before US Open. But also the commercial side was difficult to overcome: Kim also has contracts with Mitsubishi and Mer Du Nord. Those contracts, outside the court were a big problem, if things were going juridical

Come-on-kim
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:12 PM
Clijsters not at the Olympics.
'I decided not to go to Athens. I want to be loyal to the people with whom I have a contract. They are the only ones who really wanted me two years ago. It's a pity they are blackened now.' Those are the qoutes by Kim on her official website.It's decided: she won't play at the Olympics.

Clear language, but we're guessing about the 'blackening bit. Probably a bad communication between Australia and Bree. From that diary, it's pretty clear Kim has no moral problems with her decision. 'What an atmosphere! Danced and sweated in the crowd!' and she closed with: 'now I'm going to bed, cos I'm tired of all the partying.' She pointed at the party that followed after Australia and Lleyton of course, won the DC.

LOYALTY
With her decision, Kim makes an end to the speculations about going to the Olympics. The biggest problem was the bad timing , right before US Open. But also the commercial side was difficult to overcome: Kim also has contracts with Mitsubishi and Mer Du Nord. Those contracts, outside the court were a big problem, if things were going juridical
from which paper is it?

Seems like we are both defending Kim's own decision in the GM :lol:

Elke
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:25 PM
It's from Het Belang van Limburg. It's one of the papers Lei has a good contact with.

TennisHack
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:25 PM
That's a normal thing, though. It's of course all very easy when you're dealing with non-pro athletes, but in the case of fi a name like Kim big business is involved, easily resulting in conflicting interests.

The last thing I want to do is start defending the BOIC as I find them majorly messing up for our athletes, and esp. in this case, however one can't blame the BOIC for taking the money of Adidas and having them as their sponsor.

On the other hand, the way they have been handling this issue, that's another thing. This also applies to Fila imo, like I wrote here yesterday. This is so bad PR for Fila too! Hell, even Jordan did get exceptions in the past (wasn't playing for Fila, but well, you get what I mean to say).


Then there should be a distinction between professional and amateur athletes. Professional atheletes have sponsor contracts that shouldn't come under fire every year for the over-commercialized Olympic games. Either let the pros play with their own sponsors in similar outfits (a la Davis or Fed Cup) or don't let professional sports be part of the Olympics.

I do agree it's bad press on all sides, but that's because the media has blown this whole thing out of proportion. I'm surprised at the vitirol that Kim's been criticized with when her decision is perfectly sound. She doesn't care for the Olympics (and frankly, neither do I) but that doesn't mean she should be lynched.

TennisHack
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:32 PM
For Belgium, Clijsters' absence means a rare chance to win a medal has evaporated. The country's last gold medal dates back to the 1996 Atlanta Games. Belgium has won only three golds in the last 20 years.

"With Kim Clijsters we had a major potential for a medal," said Olympic Committee Secretary General Guido De Bondt on VRT radio on Tuesday. "We could even have dreamt of two," he said, noting that Clijsters is ranked world No.1 in doubles play. "This is a serious blow."

OUCH!! They managed to smack Kim and Justine all in the same breath!

Better watch out or they will bite the hand that feeds them . . .

Come-on-kim
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:33 PM
It's from Het Belang van Limburg. It's one of the papers Lei has a good contact with.
ok lol

Elke
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:35 PM
It's almost a national case!:eek:
The Flemish minister of sport is gonna have a personal meeting with the Clijsters family and another one with the BOIC.
I think the Prime Ministre should resign if Kim won't go!:p

I'm still working on the editorial of Het Belang van Limburg, probably for tomorrow, :yawn:

Come-on-kim
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:41 PM
It's almost a national case!:eek:
The Flemish minister of sport is gonna have a personal meeting with the Clijsters family and another one with the BOIC.
I think the Prime Ministre should resign if Kim won't go!:p

I'm still working on the editorial of Het Belang van Limburg, probably for tomorrow, :yawn:
:lol: Come on Guy :p

BTW, wasn't Bert Anciaux "close" to Kim's family

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:51 PM
OUCH!! They managed to smack Kim and Justine all in the same breath!

Think you got this wrong, though. They aren't smacking Justine; it's about a possible second medal in doubles. At least that's how I understood it when I heard the interview.

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:52 PM
It's almost a national case!:eek:
The Flemish minister of sport is gonna have a personal meeting with the Clijsters family and another one with the BOIC.
I think the Prime Ministre should resign if Kim won't go!:p

I'm still working on the editorial of Het Belang van Limburg, probably for tomorrow, :yawn:


Thanks a lot, Elke! :kiss:


Re Guy: I won't stop him :p

KaseyL
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:53 PM
:lol: Come on Guy :p

BTW, wasn't Bert Anciaux "close" to Kim's family

Nope, not according to Lei. I recall an interview with Lei where he mentioned that Bertje was going to do this and that... but he never heard of him again... something along these lines was said.

TennisHack
Dec 2nd, 2003, 10:28 PM
Think you got this wrong, though. They aren't smacking Justine; it's about a possible second medal in doubles. At least that's how I understood it when I heard the interview.

No, I knew what they meant ;) I just meant that there is a implied insult to Justine because suddenly the medal chances have evaporated -- like only Kim could bring home the goods from the Olympics.

Cajun Moon
Dec 3rd, 2003, 02:53 AM
MSNBC, an American 24 hour news cable network has been running on the constant news tracker the following: "Tennis star Kim Clijsters pulls out of the Athens Olympics because can't wear own sponsor's clothing."

This is pretty amazing since there is so little coverage of Kim in the US as compared to the American players. This indicates how big this story is becoming.

The tracker was running at 5:00 am and still is at 9:00 pm. Enough already.

It's too bad that this is being played out in the media.

TennisHack
Dec 3rd, 2003, 03:23 AM
From TennisWeek:

http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=10034&bannerregion=

Dress Down Day: Clijsters Criticized For Decision To Skip Olympics
By Richard Pagliaro
12/02/2003

Kim Clijsters won't be carrying the Olympic torch any time soon, but her decision to skip the 2004 Olympics over a clothing clash with the Belgian Olympics has fueled a fire of criticism. International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge joined a collection of critics declaring discontent over Clijsters' decision to sit out the Games.

The Belgian Olympic Committee has declared all of its athletes must wear adidas — the official clothing sponsor of the Belgian Olympic team — and rejected Clijsters' request that she wear Fila, which has been her clothing sponsor since May of 2002.
The price of pursuing a gold medal proved too costly for Clijsters, who announced her decision to skip the Olympics as a show of support for her clothing sponsor, on her official web site.

"I've decided not to go to the Olympic Games," Clijsters said. "I want to remain fair to the people I made a contract with. They were the only ones who wanted me two years ago."

Claiming Clijsters would eventually "regret her decision", the IOC president said sponsorship commitments between clothing companies and national Olympic committees are necessary to subsidize sports and athletes who cannot afford to compete in the Games.

"The wearing of the adidas shirt will show solidarity," Rogge told the Associated Press. "The problem is that 80 percent of athletes don't have enough financial support when they go to the Olympics."

Some members of the Belgian media has criticized Clijsters for placing commerce ahead of her country.

The nation has won only three Olympic gold medals in the past two decades with its last gold coming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. The clothing clash will not affect top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne, whose clothing sponsor is adidas, but Belgian officials had hoped the combination of Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne would produce multiple medals at the Olympics. In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Belgian doubles team of Dominique Van Roost and Els Callens won the bronze medal. A potential Clijsters-Henin-Hardenne pairing would have been a formidable force in the Athens Olympics set for August 13-29th.

"With Kim Clijsters we had a major potential for a medal," Olympic Committee Secretary General Guido De Bondt told VRT radio in comments printed by the AP. "We could even have dreamt of two. This is a serious blow."

Professional athletes ranging from Michael Jordan to Gustavo Kuerten have had clothing clashes with their national Olympic Committees in the past. Nike-endorser Jordan draped the American flag over the Reebok logo on his U.S. warm-up suit during the medal ceremony at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

In similar cases in the past, some prominent athletes have offered to compete wearing no logo on their uniforms rather than risk violating their existing clothing contracts by wearing a rival company logo on their Olympic uniform.

According to the Associated Press report, Belgian Olympic Committee officials conducted conversations with Fila and adidas in an effort to reach a compromise that would permit Clijsters to play, but those talks were unsuccessful. Adidas has sponsored the Belgian Olympic team since 1976.

KaseyL
Dec 3rd, 2003, 07:41 AM
I read the article in "De Morgen" today and it is really harsh :( :awww:

It's a serious blow for everyone, so I must say I understand them a bit. No need to be rude though!

Indeed Bram, but then it was to be exptected that Hans Vdw would be roasting Kim. Of all the journalists he is always the hardest on Kim, to my knowledge anyway. If he can bash her, he won't stop himself. And let's be fair, how this case has been so unfortunately handled, communicated, by Kim is just a splendid gift for this guy or anyone willing to shoot at Kim. She has made herself a sitting duck by the poorly way this has been handled.

Mr Verbeeck then, trying to do some damage control yesterday on TV news, has done his best to explain Kim's situation. But that was then too little and too late of course.



For all good understandings; I am NOT bashing Kim, on the contrary, I am a huge fan as always, and I have the outmost respect for her decision. One fairly can state that tennis at the olympics indeed isn't the top so what the hell, if she doesn't want to go, OK, a pity but hey, it's her decision. I also can understand the disappointment it creates of course.

But, BUT I sincerely and deeply regret how all this has been communicated, explained...

I'll shut up though LOL; I have been writing on this quite enough :o and am repeating myself :p but I'm still so :banghead: @ the poor communication from the Clijsters family re this decision.

-

BTW: The entire translation of De Standaard articles from yesterday are now up here; see my related post in this thread.

kim4eva
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:56 AM
Hearing how bad the Belgian mewspapers are, I'm glad I'm in HK :angel:...the newspapers are actually not commenting on it and just says Kim's not playing, that's it.

Anyways I always will respect and support whatever Kim's decision is. It does sort of pisses me off a bit but it's alright, it's Kim's decision and everyone has a right to decide what they want.

KaseyL
Dec 3rd, 2003, 09:19 AM
(Posting bits and pieces in between work :o )

Overview of other comments (no shortage yet :tape: ) :


all translations by Ingrid

Source: VRT news text, Dec. 2, 2003

1) Highlight from De Morgen, Dec. 2, 2003

By Hans Vandeweghe

“Kim Clijsters doesn’t go to the Games. It was on her website, in between a note about the hairdresser and the sauna. Almost incidentally, with a contempt that exceeded all decency. The family Clijsters won’t improve its popularity, but that’s not the aim of dad Lei, on the contrary.”

And

“To refuse an Olympic selection is one step further than arrogance. There are numerous examples of athletes who had to renounce their own sponsor, just think of Michael Jordan. It is beyond any doubt that Lei is in the driver’s seat here. The amount of perversity of the message has clearly been thought of, and Kim isn’t like that.”


2) Comments of Robert Van de Walle, head of the Belgian Olympic delegation [and former judo champion]:

“If somebody doesn’t like to go to the Games, than nothing is to be done about it. But even then, Kim could have informed us in another way though. The BOIC didn’t receive an official message. She did put it on her website between the soup, the potatoes and a visit to the hairdresser’s. A pity. I wonder how much she really wanted to go.” (in HLN)


3) Comments of Sabine Appelmans, former Belgian top player: [always pro Kim imo]

“To me, being allowed to participate at the Olympics is a honour. But I can understand Clijsters loyalty to her sponsors. I think that it’s not about money here. I think that Kim is thinking: ‘I’ll still get a chance in 2008.’ Because I don’t think she’ll stop so soon.” (in HLN)


4) Comments of Roger Moens, former athlete and winner of the silver medal at the Games in 1960:

“If tennis players don’t attach enough importance to an olympic medal, than we don’t have to attach enough importance to their attendance or absence. Clijsters received the Grand Cross in the Order of Leopold II recently. This is one of the highest honours in our country. Well, if the Belgian team is worth nothing to her, than she better swiftly return this badge of honour too then.”


5) Comments of Filip Dewulf, former Belgian top tennis player:[always pro Kim imo]

“To me, Kim’s decision is acceptable. But she is a prominent Belgian athlete and a potential medal winner. Therefore it seems a bit weird to me to let the dispute between the sponsors look like the obstacle.”


6) Comment of François Narmon, President of the BOIC, on TV1:

“I have the impression that Clijsters still will consider her decision again.”
“I count on Kim’s common sense: to obtain a medal at the Olympics is something extraordinary.”


7) Clijsters’ coach Marc De Hous on Radio 1:

“I easily can imagine that Fila won’t be happy when Clijsters has to collect a possible medal in an Adidas-jacket. There is a lot of money involved with such contracts.”
Moreover, De Hous thinks that “tennis isn’t really an olympic sport,” but he adds that this is his personal opinion.

---

That's it for now.
Elke is working on the articles in Het belang van Limburg, and Katja would try to do a summary of Het Laatste Nieuws, thanks a lot you both! :kiss:

I'll do a (strange imo) article in Het Nieuwsblad, and will bring De Standaard too, today if possible. Especially De Standaard (considered to be the leading quality paper) has quite something to say again; with some remarkable quotes from Fila, with the editor giving Lei a slap in the face, and comments of Monami and Callens too. (I know what to do when I have a minute free. :tape: )

Could someone maybe keep an eye on what the Walloon papers are saying today please? that would be great help too. :kiss:

Come-on-kim
Dec 3rd, 2003, 09:52 AM
BTW, yesterday in La Dernière Heure, Jean-Michel Saive said he understood Kim! He said that the have to support their sponsors!

nicky
Dec 3rd, 2003, 10:02 AM
If you want to, I can translate (this evening, that is) Hans Vandeweghe's article in full...but it's not too nice, as expected.

Oh, and on a sidenote: Kim's just made sure she will not win any end of year awards now ;) :p.

kim4eva
Dec 3rd, 2003, 10:58 AM
[Edit by Mod:
source: CNN, Dec.3, 2003

Clijsters serving for her sponsors

LONDON, England -- When Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the Olympic movement in the final years of the 19th century, he optimistically imagined the Games as a celebration of amateurism, played in a "spirit of friendship" that would "ennoble and strengthen sports."

It is hard to imagine the French aristocrat would have sympathized with the dilemma of Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters, who has announced she would rather miss next summer's Athens Games than risk upsetting her kit sponsor.

"As long as my clothing remains an issue, it is impossible for me to go to the Olympics," argues Fila-dressed Clijsters. The Belgian Olympic team wears Adidas. (Full Story)

Yet Clijsters' decision is wholly in keeping with the modern nature of the sports industry, in which major stars command six-or seven-figure sums to wear one t-shirt instead of another.

And when the bank balance is the bottom line, corporate loyalty counts for more than national ties or some out-dated sporting creed.

Contractual contradictions
On the other hand, Clijsters -- ranked No. 2 in the world -- is also possibly using her contractual contradictions as an excuse to skip a tournament she probably doesn't want and certainly doesn't need.

After all, soccer has managed to combine team and player sponsorship for years.

Both the rugby and cricket world cups were preceded by player revolts which thwarted organizers' efforts to ban personal endorsement contracts that conflicted with official sponsorship deals -- with both tournaments going ahead with a full quota of stars.

And Clijsters reportedly rejected a compromise deal that would have allowed her to play in her usual Fila kit but switch to an Adidas team uniform for a possible medal ceremony.

The real issue is likely that Olympic tennis holds no attraction for Clijsters, whose main ambitions for 2004 must focus on winning a Grand Slam -- having twice finished as a runner-up this year.

On both those occasions, she was beaten by compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne. It must be difficult to muster patriotic pride when you're not even the best player in the country.

And while the grandees of the International Olympic Committee may like to think of the Olympic gold medal as a "fifth Grand Slam", for players and tennis fans there are only four events that matter.

By skipping the Olympic tennis event, which runs from August 15-22, Clijsters can focus solely on preparations for the U.S. Open, which starts in New York on August 23.

A bigger surprise than Clijsters' non-involvement would be if more stars of the court -- men and women -- didn't follow her example and give Greece a miss next summer.

Advance of professionalism
So has the advance of professionalism killed de Coubertin's Olympian idealism?

In reality, the Games have been fighting to retain their relevance in an increasingly competitive sports market for decades.

As Avery Brundage, IOC president from 1952 to 1972, recognized as long ago as 1954: "As soon as you take money for playing sport, it isn't sport, it's work."

On the athletics track and in a huge range of minority sports from weightlifting to curling, an Olympic medal remains the height of ambition.

But the most successful Olympic sports of the past century -- soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball and ice hockey -- now market their own dreams, with success measured in dollars rather than gold.

In the 21st century it is the soccer World Cup that better captures the global imagination, or the Super Bowl or World Series in the soccer wastelands of the U.S.

Clijsters has been slammed in the Belgian media and by Jacques Rogge, a fellow Belgian who also happens to be president of the International Olympic Committee.

But her absence from Athens will be quickly forgotten if 2004 is the year she finally joins the ranks of Grand Slam champions.

I hope that's gonna be true :D

Mod message:

thanks for the article! But please could you mention the source and date next time? Thanks in advance.

KaseyL
Dec 3rd, 2003, 11:12 AM
och pleasssse, all the crap she's getting over her... :tape:

I've been saying it here already, and am again repeating myself :o , but what do you want :p , with all these articles flaming her :tape:

pffff at the BOIC and all the politicians and everyone crying shame, scandal and all.

-The BOIC is more interested in their VIPS than in helping our Belgian athletes so they better should shut up,
- and most of the politicians and all would sell their soul to have a photo opportunity with an athlete, especially a top star, but then forget the average athlete's misery here in Belgium next (OK, exception here to Keulen maybe and the new Top Sport Flanders scheme, credit were credit is due),
-tell me with a straight face that the Olympics these days is about sport, the olympic spirit of participating, instead of earning big bucks... I challenge everyone crying scandal! And with all respect for Rogge, but he knows this too. Of course, he can't discredit his own organisation, so...

KaseyL
Dec 3rd, 2003, 11:16 AM
This said, here's another article...

Kim sure makes headlines these days!


Chicago Tribune, Dec. 2, 2003

Belgian tennis star Clijsters thinks like an American

By RICK MORRISSEY

CHICAGO - Tennis star Kim Clijsters is Belgian and no dummy, the latter identity turning out to be a lot more powerful than the former.
Whenever loyalty has to choose between country and money in sports, loyalty knows where its waffle is buttered. So Clijsters recently informed her country that because she would not be allowed to wear apparel from her sponsor, Fila, in the 2004 Olympics, she would not compete in Athens. The Belgian Olympic Committee requires its athletes to wear Adidas clothing.

We in the United States react to this development by shrugging. For us, the only surprise to this point is that no athlete has yet wrapped himself in a Nike-swooshed flag while taking a victory lap. We are longtime observers of the Great Athletic Cash Grab, so outrage toward Clijsters and her outstretched palm is almost non-existent on these shores.
I'd like to think that our athletes always have been on the cutting edge of greed and that what is happening with Clijsters is the natural result of the export business we started long ago.

Welcome to America, all you Belgians!

Athletes don't play for team or country anymore and haven't for a long time. They play for shoe companies and apparel makers, for Golden Arches and Big Blue, for milk mustaches and sports drink electrolytes. Tiger Woods is more Nike than American. Allen Iverson salutes whenever the Reebok flag is unfurled.

Michael Jordan is identified as much with Nike as he is with anything else, and you'll remember that it was Michael who used an American flag to cover up the Reebok team logo on his warm-ups during the medal presentation at the 1992 Olympic Games.

Should we be more upset with Clijsters? Are we waving a white flag in surrender here? No, we're just being realists. The moment pros were allowed in the Olympics, it was over. The Clijsters affair is the inevitable outcome of that decision. Pros play for money. Corporations offer money. It's a happy marriage.
"It has nothing to do with money," Clijsters said.

You're waiting for her to say it's about respect, aren't you? It has to do with "respect for the set agreements" with Fila, she said, adding a new twist to the well-worn theme. She would be dissing Fila if she wore Adidas at the Olympics, understand? Belgian critics are upset about Clijsters' decision, saying the whole thing is absolutely about money.

We have been there. We've been there so many times, we're numb. Jordan hid behind the flag in Barcelona, and he was rightly condemned for it. But Michael is a trendsetter in whatever he does, and it wasn't long before lots of people were following suit. When Nike signs LeBron James to a $90 million contract, dwarfing what he gets from the Cavaliers, to which team do you think he pledges allegiance?

The Nike team.

If James is like the standard superstar athlete, the person he talks to on the phone the most is his agent. You think I'm kidding. Look, if every time something good happened to you financially and if the same person was always there with you when it happened, you'd start to think that person was, at the very least, a lucky charm.

My guess is that Clijsters talks to Fila officials and her business managers more often than she talks with her family. So when the Olympics apparel controversy came to a head, it became a moral issue. In her mind, it became an issue about values. This affected not just her but her family of business partners. With whom were her loyalties?

With the Republic of Fila.

Many times during the Olympics, the best access the media have to the top athletes is at news conferences organized by corporate sponsors. In the last two Olympic Games, if you wanted to ask sprinter Michael Johnson any questions, you went to the Nike news conference, not a U.S. track team news conference. Nobody should be surprised with Clijsters' decision, not if they have been paying attention the past 15 years or so. She's more Fila than Belgian.

The decision by Clijsters, who is ranked No. 2 in the world, could cost Belgium two medals. That's not easy for the country to swallow. It won five medals in the 2000 Olympics, compared with 97 for the United States.

And Clijsters sold out for a lousy shirt. OK, a lousy Fila shirt that has made her very, very rich.

Welcome to America, Kim. You're one of us now.
---

KaseyL
Dec 3rd, 2003, 11:21 AM
If you want to, I can translate (this evening, that is) Hans Vandeweghe's article in full...but it's not too nice, as expected.

Oh, and on a sidenote: Kim's just made sure she will not win any end of year awards now ;) :p.

great, if you could! Thanks a lot in advance!

and LOL @ the awards


btw, did anyone hear the joke re Kim on Radio 1 now?

here it is: A joke on Flemish Radio 1, Dec. 3, 2003 (in Friedl’ Lesage’s program, 11AM-1PM)

‘Hugh Heffner’, boss of Playboy, calls the radio. He says he has heard about the sponsorship troubles of Kim Clijsters and is willing to make a proposal. As Playboy is celebrating their 50th anniversary, they’d like to sponsor Kim. This will solve all clothing issues at the Olympics for good, he says.

---

:p I still can laugh LOL, best too (sigh).

kim4eva
Dec 3rd, 2003, 11:36 AM
[Edit by Mod:
source: CNN, Dec.3, 2003

Mod message:

thanks for the article! But please could you mention the source and date next time? Thanks in advance.

sure! :D you sound like my history teacher! :lol:

Eimear O'Mahony
Dec 3rd, 2003, 03:10 PM
Just thought I'd say in relation to this issue that Ireland actually had a similar controversy with the track and field events. The Irish team as a whole was sponsored by Asics but a lot of the big name Irish track and field stars (Sonia O'Sullivan being the main one who, at the time, was sponsored by Reebok) refused to compete in and wear Asics gear. A lot of them threatened to strike if they weren't allowed to wear the gear of their sponsors. It went on for weeks in Ireland. In the end the athletes did represent Ireland wearing the Asics gear so maybe there's hope for Kim yet

Eimear O'Mahony
Dec 3rd, 2003, 03:11 PM
That was in relation to the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I just realised I forgot to put which competition it was in relation to

ikke
Dec 3rd, 2003, 07:02 PM
Thanks a lot for all the articles :worship: :kiss:

nicky
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:01 PM
De Morgen, 2/12/03

I've put the dutch and English version up, because I can't get al the expressions right in the translation. So the Dutch-readers can get all the subtleties

Kim Clijsters heeft beslist: ze gaat niet naar de Olympische Spelen.
Het stond gisteren ineens op haar website, tussen een bericht over de kapper en de sauna. Quasi en passant, met een dédain dat alle fatsoen oversteeg.
Jammer. Het water tussen Bree en Brussel was niet langer te diep, meer zelfs: er was geen water meer tussen het BOIC en de Clijstersclan.
Het BOIC had toegegeven en de nummer twee van de wereld zou in Athene in haar Fila-outfit mogen tennissen. Het trainingspak bij een eventuele medaille en een ploegoptreden zou dat zijn van het Belgian Olympic Team (en Henin): adidas.
Die deal kan alvast in de prullenmand. De familie Clijsters zal er qua populariteit niet op vooruitgaan, maar daar is het de misantrope pater familias ook niet om te doen, wel integendeel. Allemaal verloren moeite, vindt Lei. Wie rijk genoeg is, hoeft ook niet nog eens populair te zijn. Dat België een bijna-zekere medaille mist (misschien zelfs twee met de dubbel erbij), zal de Clijsters-clan ook een zorg wezen. Aan België hebben ze geen boodschap; als we te veel durven zeuren, verhuizen ze misschien naar Australië.
Een olympische selectie weigeren, is de arrogantie voorbij. Het is al eerder vertoond, maar niet in België door een atleet van dat niveau en al helemaal niet door een tennismeisje van twintig. De basketbalspeler Kobe Bryant wilde niet naar de Spelen van Sydney, maar niet wegens de kledij van het Dream Team. Hij zou die zomer trouwen.
Er zijn legio voorbeelden van atleten die hun persoonlijk merk heel even hebben moeten afzweren om het hogere belang. Michael Jordan, voor 10 miljoen dollar per jaar bij Nike, speelde in Barcelona 1992 in Champion en kwam in Reebok-trainingspak zijn (tweede) gouden medaille afhalen. Het Reebok-logo was bedekt door een Amerikaanse vlag, dat wel.
Het staat als een paal boven water dat vader Clijsters hier de regie voert. Over het perversheidsgehalte van de boodschap is duidelijk nagedacht en zo zit de authentieke Kim Clijsters niet in elkaar. Je kunt alleen maar gissen welke vreselijke dingen Lei in zijn jeugd zijn aangedaan om zich nu zo te willen revancheren. Tenzij dit de truc is van de achterhaalde voetbalcoach: het creëren van een calimerostrategie – wij tegen de boze buitenwereld – om zijn brave en af en toe luie dochter te prikkelen en eindelijk tot trainen aan te zetten.
Hans Vandeweghe


Kim Clijsters has decided: she is not going to the Olympic Games.
Yesterday, it was suddenly on her website, between the hairdresser and the sauna. Almost “en passant” (don’t know how to translate that, “in between”? :confused: ), with an air (“dédain” ) that transdescended all decency.
A pity. The water between Bree and Brussels was no longer too deep, more so: there was not water anymore between the BOIC and the Clijstersclan.
The BOIC had folded and the worlds number 2 would be able to play in her Fila outfit in Athens. Training suit if receiving a medal and during team presentations would be that of the BOIC (and Henin): Adidas.
That deal is for the waste basket. It will not make the Clijsters family more popular, but that’s not the aim of the (“misantrope” ???) pater familias, quite the contrary. A redundant effort, Lei thinks. He who is rich, does not have to be popular. That Belgium misses out on an almost certain medal (maybe 2 with the doubles), is no worry for the Clijsters clan. They have no feeling for Belgium. If we nag too much, they may move to Australia.
To refuse an Olympic selection, is beyond arrogance. It has been done before, but not in Belgium by an athlete of that level, and certainly not by a 20 years old tennisgirl. Basketballplayer Kobe Bryant did not want to go to the Games in Sydney, but not because of the clothing of the dream team. He was getting married that summer.
There are plenty examples of players who had to renounce their personal brand shortly for the higher interest. Michael Jordan, 10 million dollar a year with Nike, played in Barcelona 1992 in Champion, and collected his (second) gold medal in a Reebok suit. The Reebok logo was covered by the American Flag, yes.
It is more than clear that daddy Clijsters is directing this. The perversity of the message has been thought about, and the authentic Kim Clijsters isn’t like that. One can only guess what terrible things have been done during Lei Clijsters’ childhood to feel the need for vendication so hard. Unless it’s the tric of the (outdated) footballcoach: creation of a Calimerostrategy (I hope the kids overhere know who Calimero is? :p :D ) – us against the bad outside world – to irritate his nice and sometimes lazy daughter into more training.

Brαm
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:15 PM
I don't know if I can post this here, so Ingrid can delete this post is she has reasons to do so, ok?

Here's a video about Kim being frontpage news.

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/sport/overzicht/1202clijstersniet/index.html?video_1

Hawk
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:21 PM
Poor Kimmie's getting flamed everywhere :(

btw Nicky..en passent..it translates 'in passing'. Meaning she sort of said it in a 'oh by the way..' kinda fashion.

nicky
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:22 PM
I just want to add that although Hans Vandeweghe doesn't like Kim (more Lei for that matter), he's one of my favorite journalists :o. His column is one of the first things I read in the saturday paper (don't buy another one, haven't got time to read it ;) ).
He's very sharp, but also very witty, and he knows al lot about sports! Often, he hits the nail right in the head. Usually he defends the sportspeople against the big bobo's; he has already attacked the BOIC for instance several times because they do too llittle for their athletes (a critisism many of you have uttered these days), he has ridiculed politicians who wanted to gain popularity on the back of sportspeople without doing anything structural for them,...

I don't always agree with the man, but I can stand critisism on my fav. And as far as her father is concerned, I usually agree with Hans ;) :p.

Brαm
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:24 PM
Poor Kimmie's getting flamed everywhere :(

btw Bram..en passent..it translates 'in passing'. Meaning she sort of said it in a 'oh by the way..' kinda fashion.
LOL Hawk, it was nicky who posted that article ;)

:wavey:

Hawk
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:26 PM
LOL Hawk, it was nicky who posted that article ;)

:wavey:

lol..oops my bad :p

I'll change it ;)

Nica
Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:35 PM
I don't know if I can post this here, so Ingrid can delete this post is she has reasons to do so, ok?

Here's a video about Kim being frontpage news.

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/sport/overzicht/1202clijstersniet/index.html?video_1

could u help me, plz? :worship:
i entered the site but what's next??
it's everything in dutch or french there so i don't understand what to do... :p

KaseyL
Dec 3rd, 2003, 09:36 PM
could u help me, plz? :worship:
i entered the site but what's next??
it's everything in dutch or french there so i don't understand what to do... :p

Please, can somebody help Nica?

(Nica, I can't get in either, sorry)

KaseyL
Dec 3rd, 2003, 09:43 PM
Nicky, thanks for the translation! :kiss:

Re Vdw: I thought it would have been worse than this, from what I understood.

I am also familiar with his columns, he can indeed be quite to the point.
But I can't stand his continued negative writings about Kim though, or better, family Clijsters in particular (read Lei esp.). I think that he isn't so fair when he is writing re Kim. No matter what, he always seems to like to discredit or play things down.


And thanks, everyone in here, for posting. :cool:
I must say that you are all very calm here (some are doing a work out in GM? :p ), but really, seriously, I'd love to see some more reactions on all the articles posted here the last days (reactions among Kim fans, for good understandings ;) ).
As far as I can remember, this is the worst press Kim has ever had imo?
Do not hesitate to share your thoughts as a Kim fan here!

KaseyL
Dec 3rd, 2003, 09:55 PM
As promised earlier today

another article from

De Standaard, Dec. 3, 2003

A courageous man

by Ingrid

SUMMARY
The article starts to talk about the Flemish Minister of Sport. (see my translation re his planned intervention in the Kim-Olympics case as it repeats it)

REAL TRANSLATION of remaining text:

Truly a creative proposal [re the intervention]. However, it is becoming more and more clear that the entire sponsorship problem was only an excuse.

The heart of the matter is with dad Clijsters who has decided for whatever obscure reason that his daughter has no business at the Olympics. In order to change dad Clijsters’ – not exactly the prototype of a reasonable Fleming - his mind, it takes more than a courageous man.

But in case it wouldn’t work out for Athens, than there is still hope for 2016 [note: Flanders or read Flemish government wants to be candidate for hosting the Olympics then] as Bree wants to organise the Olympic tennis tournament. Kim cannot escape that one, even for a Fedcup in Bree she leaves her house.[nicer translated than the original Dutch version by lack of a good English alternative coming to mind :o]

Kim will be hardly 33 in 2016 – extremely young compared to Martina Navratilova who still played the Masters at age 47 a few weeks ago. To reach gold in the “Kim-o-drome'' [they refer to the basketball temple of Bree, venue of a Fed cup too]. It has to be possible.

---

More translations of today's De Standaard to follow, as well as from Het Nieuwsblad, which had another article yesterday, even bringing Lleyton in as a factor leading to the decision.

But I call it the day now LOL, have had enough for today! :p :wavey:

Nica
Dec 3rd, 2003, 10:04 PM
Please, can somebody help Nica?

(Nica, I can't get in either, sorry)

thx for taking care but i've just found it by myself :bounce: jush was clicking everywhere and then found correct link ;) btw i know some dutch words like *sport* *Kim Clijsters* *Olympic* :p :p

TennisHack
Dec 3rd, 2003, 10:10 PM
I must say that you are all very calm here (some are doing a work out in GM? :p ), but really, seriously, I'd love to see some more reactions on all the articles posted here the last days (reactions among Kim fans, for good understandings ;) ).
As far as I can remember, this is the worst press Kim has ever had imo?
Do not hesitate to share your thoughts as a Kim fan here!

The people in GM are fools, and have continued to latch onto the media's criticism of Kim. Personally, I think her decision is sound, no matter what my feelings are of her. A lot of people in GM are just adding to the pile-on because they don't like Kim. It seems none of them understand the situation either and, in typical GM style, it has resulted in the mess we see.

I think it all comes down to whether or not you think the Olympics are important in tennis. I don't, and it appears Kim doesn't either. But, if you hold the belief that the Olympics are important then your opinion is understandably different.

It does seem to be the worst press Kim has gotten in her career, but I can't say I didn't see it coming. Her intensified row with Justine made everything ripe for the pickings. Her father doesn't sound like a saint, either, so him opening his mouth didn't help matters. Either way, now that Kim is at the top of the sport I suspect she'll receive more criticism from the press, especially the yellow press that wants to make her and Justine's relationship something it isn't (best friends, bitter enemies, whatever). I think Kim's big enough to handle it, and I don't think she'll let it get to her. Justine, too. I just hope they can get used to it, seeing as how this is probably the way it's going to be from here on out . . .

Hawk
Dec 3rd, 2003, 11:28 PM
And thanks, everyone in here, for posting. :cool:
I must say that you are all very calm here (some are doing a work out in GM? :p ), but really, seriously, I'd love to see some more reactions on all the articles posted here the last days (reactions among Kim fans, for good understandings ;) ).
As far as I can remember, this is the worst press Kim has ever had imo?
Do not hesitate to share your thoughts as a Kim fan here!

Perhaps we are in denial :p or don't want to face the horrible situation :o

*Promptly plunges head into the sand* :p

I can say for myself..I just don't like to read negative things about Kim. I try to avoid them till they blow over, cause it doesn't exactly make me want to jump up and down :p and I don't have any desire to feel :fiery: or :sad: about something concerning Kim.

Anyhoo ..that's just me ;) :p

Dannithesnail
Dec 4th, 2003, 05:26 AM
It must be difficult to muster patriotic pride when you're not even the best player in the country.

um, irrelevant! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

vutt
Dec 4th, 2003, 11:42 AM
I’m wondering what will happen if Kim will participate Olympics, but will wear Fila outfit anyway. Do they have authority to force Kim to wear Adidas outfit. She just could wear Fila during medal ceremony. Ok she might have to pay fee for violating BOIC contract, but I think Fila guys will gladly compensate it after ALL THIS free publicity they have got. Why not!

Brαm
Dec 4th, 2003, 11:52 AM
Kim isn't participating so please, no more if's & maybe's.

It's sad for the fans, but we have to respect her decision. Let's just good she does well at the slams, where it really matters. ;)

Belgium = Best
Dec 4th, 2003, 04:35 PM
:( :bigcry: :( :sad:

nicky
Dec 4th, 2003, 11:07 PM
I must say that you are all very calm here (some are doing a work out in GM? :p ), but really, seriously, I'd love to see some more reactions on all the articles posted here the last days (reactions among Kim fans, for good understandings ;) ).
As far as I can remember, this is the worst press Kim has ever had imo?
Do not hesitate to share your thoughts as a Kim fan here!

My thoughts about this.

I understand her decision - but not because of Fila, it's because she doesn't think tennis is a very olympic sport, and because she wants to concentrate on the Slams. If she really wanted to go, she would have worked something out with Fila.

BUT, I do not agree with her. The Olympics are the most prestigeous sports event in the world, it's only every 4 years, so a medal is a precious thing. And Belgium is a small country, with very limited chances for a medal. If one of our topathletes shows no interest, it's a blow for the fans/public in general. I also find it quite condescending towards all the other athletes, who's only aim it is to be able to go to the Games.(and a pity for Els, who's chances of going are really small now)

Furthermore, there's the atmosphere of the Games. Sabine Appelmans always said it was such a great experience, living in the olympic village with athletes from all kinds of sports. I'd think that's something Kim would love? (As Sabine has also said, long before all this row)

By the way, LL isn't going either? Any ideas why? He's Mr. Patriot himself ;).

The announcement. That really was awful. Like many journalists wrote, "between the hairdresser and the sauna". Please. If you make such a decision, be so kind to inform the BOIC first. And then announce it on your website, seperately, if you do not want to hold a press conference. I really wonder if she realises how bad this comes across.

So I am not surprised at all about the bad reactions, and can even agree up to some level. The press is overdoing it of course, but with everything Lei has said and done lately (the JHH doping row, the press boycot), that was to be expected :shrug:.

I hope you don't mind me sounding somewhat negative. I'll still be a fan of course, but I find it a terrible pity :sad:

Dannithesnail
Dec 5th, 2003, 06:24 AM
Yay! An article NOT completely against Kim's decision!


Tennis
Clijsters not all wrong in snubbing Olympics


By JOHN ROMANO, Times Sports Columnist
Published December 4, 2003

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you must choose, which virtue would you wish for your children? To be true to their word or loyal to their state?

If it came down to one or the other, which direction would you prefer for your daughter? To follow a sensible path or chase a dream?

If Kim Clijsters were the person you cared about most in the world, what would you advise her to do? Honor a contract or play in the Olympics?

The choices are difficult and the answers are not absolute. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed or has an agenda.

Clijsters, if you do not know, is the No. 2 women's tennis player in the world. And she will not be playing in the Olympics in Athens next summer.

This is because Clijsters (pronounced KLEYE-sters) has an endorsement deal with Fila, which means she is contractually obliged to wear its clothing when she plays. The Belgian Olympic Committee, on the other hand, has a deal with Adidas. And they say she must wear that clothing if she were to make it to the medal stand.

So feel free, at this point, to call her a sellout. Compare her to rockers turning songs into jingles or authors altering a plot to please a network. Sneer at her selfishness and marvel at her gall.

But, before snubbing the snubber, remember this:

She has a point.

Tennis is her job. Fila is her employer. What's so complicated about that? Naturally, it would have been nice if the stars aligned for Clijsters as they did for fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne, who has her own deal with Adidas. Or if the Belgian Olympic Committee had relaxed its clothing rules.

But the bottom line is Clijsters, now 20, made a promise to Fila as a teenager and is being criticized for following through on it.

It is a problem only because it does not conform with our Olympic ideals.

We hear of Jim Shea, and our hearts melt. Shea, the first three-generation Winter Olympian, won a gold medal in the skeleton in 2002. And the moment was less joyful than it should have been. His grandfather, Jack Shea, a gold medal winner in 1932, was killed by a drunken driver two weeks before the Games.

We hear of Cathy Freeman, and our bodies shiver. It was Freeman who was a cause for some and a shill to others in Sydney in 2000. She wore the uniform of Australia and the burden of aborigines. And when she ran a victory lap after winning the 400 meters, she carried the flags of both.

We hear of Kerri Strug, and our memories are tickled. It was the 80-pound Strug who showed us what strength and courage meant in Atlanta in 1996. On a severely sprained ankle with torn ligaments, Strug soared through the air and nailed her landing off the vault as the U.S. women won the all-around gymnastics gold for the first time.

These are our standards for the Olympics. These are the images we pull from our memory when the calendar year ends with an even number.

But they are the exception, not the rule. The Olympics are now spoiled performers and crooked organizers. They are networks pushing stories and agents seeking deals. They are drug abusers and ego massagers. And, yes, they are professional athletes.

It is easy, for those of us on the sideline, to speak of ideals. To talk of glory instead of paychecks and patriotism in place of pragmatism. In this case, it is easy because we are not being asked to break our word.

And, yes, because it is not our bank accounts being impacted.

Every four years, for a few days, we care about the Olympics. But when the Games are over, we go back to orderly lives. Meanwhile, the athlete must forever live with the choices made.

Would it have been better if this dilemma was resolved by compromise? Of course. Perhaps Clijsters would have felt differently if she were permitted to wear an outfit without a logo.

And maybe it would have been wiser if, two years ago, her agent had anticipated the problem and had a stipulation written into the Fila contract.

But at least she is taking a stand, whether you agree or not. To me, that's more palatable than Michael Jordan wrapping himself in the U.S. flag so the logo of a competing sponsor would not be seen on his outfit.

"(This) has less to do with money than with respect for set agreements," Clijsters wrote on her Web site.

Maybe you believe that's a load of hooey.

And maybe you are right.

But I still find it difficult to criticize someone for honoring a contract. Clijsters did not try to have it both ways. She did not use another excuse.

She made a decision that was right for her, even if it was not the best situation for her country. And that is the most regrettable part of this mess. Regrettable because Olympic fame does not come often to Belgium. The country has seen three gold medals in 20 years and none since 1996.

In the end, it is this simple:

Clijsters was asked to do a job for her country.

But, it turns out, she was previously employed.

duck
Dec 5th, 2003, 09:51 AM
I think this comment is the condensed version of the above article. ;)

December 4, 2003
RON RAPOPORT SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Here's the part of the fuss over Kim Clijsters' decision not to compete in the Olympics next year -- out of loyalty to the sporting goods company that pays her bills -- that I need someone to explain to me: Why is it good business when a country auctions itself off to the highest bidder but unpatriotic when an athlete does it?

BTW, I'm confused. I never heard anything about Ll not competing in the Olympics - no announcement or anything. Where did this come from?

Elke
Dec 5th, 2003, 10:24 AM
Lei :tape: said once in an interview they hadn't decided yet what they're going to do, because Lleyton 'wouldn't feel safe over there.'

Don't know if he made up his mind yet, but I'd be utterly surprised if he wouldn't go....

duck
Dec 5th, 2003, 10:33 AM
Lei :tape: said once in an interview they hadn't decided yet what they're going to do, because Lleyton 'wouldn't feel safe over there.'

Don't know if he made up his mind yet, but I'd be utterly surprised if he wouldn't go....


Oh I see. I doubt very much that Ll wouldn't go. Australia would be far more dangerous for him then that Greece ever could be!

The media would kill him for refusing to go on safety grounds when every other Aussie athlete went. :eek:

Elke
Dec 5th, 2003, 10:52 AM
yup, think so too. But Lei also said the Australian Olympic Committee was thinking about getting their own security guards with them to Greece.

But I haven't heard about that since that interview....

nicky
Dec 5th, 2003, 11:11 AM
Well I read in the newspaper articles regarding Kim that one of the reasons for her not going was the fact that Lleyton wasn't going either...:confused: :shrug:

-Fienesse-
Dec 5th, 2003, 11:17 AM
My thoughts about this.

I understand her decision - but not because of Fila, it's because she doesn't think tennis is a very olympic sport, and because she wants to concentrate on the Slams. If she really wanted to go, she would have worked something out with Fila.

BUT, I do not agree with her. The Olympics are the most prestigeous sports event in the world, it's only every 4 years, so a medal is a precious thing. And Belgium is a small country, with very limited chances for a medal. If one of our topathletes shows no interest, it's a blow for the fans/public in general. I also find it quite condescending towards all the other athletes, who's only aim it is to be able to go to the Games.(and a pity for Els, who's chances of going are really small now)

Furthermore, there's the atmosphere of the Games. Sabine Appelmans always said it was such a great experience, living in the olympic village with athletes from all kinds of sports. I'd think that's something Kim would love? (As Sabine has also said, long before all this row)

By the way, LL isn't going either? Any ideas why? He's Mr. Patriot himself ;).

The announcement. That really was awful. Like many journalists wrote, "between the hairdresser and the sauna". Please. If you make such a decision, be so kind to inform the BOIC first. And then announce it on your website, seperately, if you do not want to hold a press conference. I really wonder if she realises how bad this comes across.

So I am not surprised at all about the bad reactions, and can even agree up to some level. The press is overdoing it of course, but with everything Lei has said and done lately (the JHH doping row, the press boycot), that was to be expected :shrug:.

I hope you don't mind me sounding somewhat negative. I'll still be a fan of course, but I find it a terrible pity :sad:

I completely agree with you Nicky. Exactly what I'm thinking, can't say it better ;-)

duck
Dec 5th, 2003, 11:22 AM
yup, think so too. But Lei also said the Australian Olympic Committee was thinking about getting their own security guards with them to Greece.

But I haven't heard about that since that interview....

i forgot to say thanks Elke!

I think I remember hearing about it. A lot of countries might bring extra security, imo, but it's a big jump from extra security guards to not competing at all.

Brαm
Dec 5th, 2003, 12:50 PM
I completely agree with you Nicky. Exactly what I'm thinking, can't say it better ;-)
Agreed :) Well said Nicky :yeah:

TennisHack
Dec 5th, 2003, 05:38 PM
Tennis
Clijsters not all wrong in snubbing Olympics


By JOHN ROMANO, Times Sports Columnist
Published December 4, 2003

Thanks for this article. It more or less sums up my argument in a precise fashion :)

ans
Dec 5th, 2003, 10:24 PM
I haven't been on the Internet this week (sorry, Ingrid, next time I'll do my bit of the translations). I don't have much to say about it actually.
Only this: everything has been blown out of proportion, as usually. I read about Kim's decision in her diary on Sunday or Monday and I thought "ah well, that's a pity, but at least she does play Fed Cup". I prefer her to play USOpen anyway (and Fed Cup because we get to see her then). I could never have imagined the fuss this decision would cause!!!
All this will make Kim's dilemma whether to move to Australia or not much easier: she will go there in the hope people will show more respect towards a sportswoman who has given her country already so much. Belgium doesn't deserve topplayers like Justine and Kim...really. I'm sick of all the gossip and bad-talk.

kim4eva
Dec 6th, 2003, 10:04 AM
in the BBC sport website, the "have your say" part is just horrible at Kim :rolleyes: but i found this positive opinion so I thought i'd post it :D

Why is everyone blaming Kim Clijsters for her Olympic problem? Isn't the Belgium Olympic team equally guilty of this awkward situation? I don't know exactly how strict or negotiable these contracts are, but it seems to me she is in a lose-lose situation, since it is not very professional to agree to terms and then ignore them whenever she wants. I think it is up to the Belgian team to defend her (or Henin who could have been in the same situation), and work out a compromise where the sponsor can excuse one player on the team.

The team has a lot to gain, since Kim is a contender for a medal. The team and the Olympic management have put commercial sponsorship ahead of the desire of most of us who just want to see competition at the highest level and don't care what the athletes wear. It is particularly obvious when they pick on one athlete and act surprised she has the same contractual obligations as they do. Let's see how the Olympic Committee handles the WIlliams sisters who have two different sponsors.
Cornelia Boynton, Bolton, Mass, USA

nicky
Dec 6th, 2003, 10:01 PM
Hans Vandeweghe strikes again :devil: ...as was to be expected. His weekly column is devoted to daddy Clijsters. I'll translate it as soon as I have time, probably tomorrow or monday.

Brαm
Dec 6th, 2003, 10:03 PM
Hans Vandeweghe strikes again :devil: ...as was to be expected. His weekly column is devoted to daddy Clijsters. I'll translate it as soon as I have time, probably tomorrow or monday.
Oh no, not him again :( Some ppl seem to wait for these kind of situations, so they can use their "bad pen" again :rolleyes:

nicky
Dec 6th, 2003, 10:11 PM
Well, the column is actually quite good, be it very harsh on Lei. Some interesting facts though...
(that's what they call a teaser ;) :) )

great smash
Dec 7th, 2003, 09:08 AM
Well, the column is actually quite good, be it very harsh on Lei. Some interesting facts though...
(that's what they call a teaser ;) :) )
I've read a large no. of interesting facts this week and some of them are certainly true, but let's take the SN Brussels story. All I know is that by the time Justine was in Brussels, Kim was still playing the doubles final. To me that story was a first!

There's obviously a war going on between this journalist and the Clijsters family, so I wouldn't call this the most reliable article.

The conclusion that's drawn that it's really daddy causing all these problems and that Kim is still the same sweet girl is right though :angel:

kim4eva
Dec 8th, 2003, 12:49 PM
yet another nice comment about Kim :D Kim sure has some great supporters out there!

Clijsters represents the best of sports
Letters to the Editor
Published December 7, 2003

Source:St. Petersburg Times, FL - 7 Dec 2003

Thank you for John Romano's column on Kim Clijsters (Clijsters not all wrong in snubbing Olympics, Thursday). I cannot believe anyone would criticize her for her decision. Clijsters is absolutely the finest woman to ever swing a tennis racket. When no one knew who she was, Fila put her under contract. Now she is honoring that contract. How can it be wrong to keep your word?

I'm sure Clijsters would love to participate in the Olympics. This was probably a very difficult decision on her part.

If other professional athletes would have half the integrity Clijsters has, sports (and the world) would be a much better place.

Nica
Dec 8th, 2003, 02:12 PM
wow...
that's really great that not all ppl in the world r bad and there's still someone who knows what human being means :worship: :worship:

Hawk
Dec 8th, 2003, 05:30 PM
When no one knew who she was, Fila put her under contract. Now she is honoring that contract. How can it be wrong to keep your word?


She was #3 in the world at the time :o I think maybe one or two people might have known who she was ;) :p

nicky
Dec 8th, 2003, 09:38 PM
Okay, as promised, the latest column by HvdW. I've put the dutch version first, because, as usual, it's full of expressions that are hard to translate. If anyone wants to correct me, feel free.
One word I do not know how to translate: "Misantroop" . If anybody has any ideas?

My own remarks are put in color in the English version.

Hans Vandeweghe - De Morgen 5/12/03

Wat maakt Lei Clijsters tot een fulltime misantroop?Hoe ongelukkig, hoe gefrustreerd, hoe klein en kromdenkend, hoe miserabel moet je niet zijn om zo de hele wereld tegen jou in het harnas te willen jagen?

Ik ben niet trots omdat ik gelijk heb gekregen, maar ik zat er niet naast toen ik vier jaar geleden al voorspelde dat Pa Treurwilg zwaar zou wegen op de carrière van zijn dochter. Iedereen in het milieu – en ik ben dan nog niet eens tennisverslaggever – kende de verhalen over Lei Clijsters.

Bij de Vlaamse Tennis Vereniging, een voorbeeldbond in veel opzichten, wordt de naam Lei Clijsters spontaan geassocieerd met horror en acute depressie achterna. Alsof men in Wilrijk er alles heeft aan gedaan om zijn dochter te verknoeien, zo behandelt Lei Clijsters de VTV’ers. Terwijl het andersom was: men heeft haar genetisch potentieel tot ontwikkeling laten komen. Mooi zo, bedankt VTV, tot ziens, en laten we goeie vrienden blijven: zo zou een sociaal evenwichtig mens reageren. Niet Pa Lei.Eens zijn dochter op eigen benen, moest de VTV met alle mogelijke middelen worden gekoeioneerd.

Aanvankelijk leek het erop dat hij er alles aan deed om zijn kleine meisje te beschermen en daardoor een beetje over de schreef ging. Al snel bleek dat het hem was te doen om revanche. Waarom en op wie, is niet heel duidelijk.Bij de eerste kritische opmerking hadden ook de media de boter gegeten. Toen Kim Clijsters al sportvrouw van het jaar werd in 1999 omdat ze het toernooi van Luxemburg had gewonnen in een jaar dat ze in alle Grand Slams was afgeslacht, werden bij haar uitverkiezing kritische noten geplaatst. Het Laatste Nieuws werd in de ban geslagen en moest op vredesmissie. De Morgen ligt onderaan in de laagste schuif. Persona non grata for life, zeg maar.Door deze columns. Het zij zo.

Maar onderhand heeft Lei Clijsters zowat met iedereen ruzie, tenzij er een zakelijke of provinciale band is.De timing om uitgerekend nu bekend te maken dat ze niet naar de Spelen gaat, is weloverwogen.Nu zit ze nog in Australië, straks is het Sportvrouw van het Jaar, krijgen we de eindejaarsfeesten, vervolgens de Australian Open, waar ze favoriete is en goed kan winnen, dan komt ze pas naar Europa en we hebben nog twee en een halve maand te gaan tot het toernooi van Antwerpen. De kans dat ze dan nog wordt uitgefloten, is miniem.

Het is natuurlijk een denkpiste voor het tennispubliek om straks in Antwerpen ongenoegen te laten blijken. Zoals het ook een denkpiste is om geen Filaspullen te kopen, hoewel ik bijna zeker meen te weten dat het merk geen schuld treft. En geen kraaltjes, hangertjes of sweaters van Kimmeke kopen. Ach, ook Kim Clijsters treft geen schuld, al zal ze ongetwijfeld zeggen dat ze helemaal zelf heeft besloten om niet naar Athene te gaan.Onzin natuurlijk. De enige beslissing die Kim mag nemen, is naar welke beautyfarm ze zal gaan. Ik begrijp niet dat een meisje van twintig voorzien van een portemonnee en lief zich nog steeds verlaat op haar vader om beslissingen te nemen. Zou ze wel beseffen dat bij haar papa joie de vivre gelijkstaat met misprijzen op het randje van mensenhaat?

Het kind heeft nog geen enkel serieus één-opééninterview mogen geven. Dat gaat verder dan bescherming. Dat ruikt naar gevangenschap. En commercie: creëer een schaars goed... Vorig jaar kwam Justine Henin naar De laatste show, niet Kim Clijsters, die eerst was gevraagd. SN Brussels Airlines wilde na Roland Garros de twee Belgische finalisten met een speciaal vliegtuig naar huis brengen.Op wiens financiële eisen liep het mis? U mag twee keer raden.

Andere sporters vernederen, daar heeft Lei Clijsters zich in gespecialiseerd. Een paar jaar geleden vroeg een weekblad een dubbelinterview Stefan Everts-Kim Clijsters aan. Antwoord van Pa Lei: wie is Stefan Everts om naast mijn dochter te mogen staan? Met de opmerking dat je met gouden medailles alleen maar schoenen kunt verkopen, was het absolute dieptepunt bereikt. Welke zieke geest wil nu Fred Deburghgraeve zwaar beledigen en zodoende alle grenzen van het fatsoen overschrijden?En zo kent de incrowd nog tientallen voorbeelden.

Bij het BOIC proberen ze al vier jaar een normaal gesprek met die man te voeren, maar ze worden steeds weer geschoffeerd. Gebrek aan respect voor alles en iedereen, dat tekent Lei Clijsters en dat misantrope gedrag straalt nu af op zijn sympathieke dochter. Iemand die (zonder sponsoring) meer dan 4 miljoen dollar per jaar verdient, moet zich niet druk maken over merkjes. Die hoort solidair te zijn met haar collega-topsporters, zoals Michael Jordan destijds. Haar aanwezigheid in Athene had het Belgian Olympic Team een boost kunnen geven.Zeker weten dat iedereen van het team voor haar en Henin was komen supporteren. Henin-Clijsters in een unieke nationale dubbel, was dat niet mooi geweest? En dan in de finale winnen van de Williamszussen, met de andere sporters van het team hysterisch in de tribune, terwijl Pa ongeïnteresseerd de gazet leest.

Arme Lei. Het is af en toe leuk om de hele wereld tegen jou in het harnas te jagen – ik ben daar ook niet vies van – maar het moet niet te lang duren.Nooit in de geschiedenis van de Belgische sport is iemand meer uitgespuwd dan jij. Daar word je toch niet opgewonden van? Want opgepast, men wordt sneller sociopaat dan men denkt.



What makes Lei Clijsters a full time “misantroop”? How unhappy, how frustrated, how small and twisted, how miserable do you have to be to willingly set the whole world up against yourself?

I’m not proud to be proven right, but I was not wrong when I already predicted 4 years ago that daddy “weeping willow” would weigh heavily on the carreer of his daughter. (note: it's true, he did. I remember thinking he was exagerating at the time...)

Everybody of the incrowd –and I’m not even a tennis journalist- knew the stories about Lei Clijsters. At the Flemish Tennis Association (VTV), an exemplary sportsassociation in many ways, the name Lei Clijsters is spontaneously associated with horror and an acute depression. As if the people in Wilrijk (note: where the Flemish Tennis School is) have done everything to ruin his daughter, that’s the way Lei Clijsters treats those people. While it was the other way around: they developed her genetical potential. Well done, thank you VTV, goodbye and let’s be good friends: that’s the way a socially balanced human being would react. Not daddy Lei.Once his daughter on her own legs, the VTV had to be harrassed by any possible means.

In the beginning, it looked like he wanted to protect his little girl, and went over the line a bit doing so. But rapidly it turned out he was out on revenge. Why, and against who, is not very clear. At the first critical note, the media was the guilty party. When Kim already became sportswoman of the year, after she had won the Luxemburg tournament in a year she was slaughtered at every Grand Slam tournament (note: not entirely true, she did reach 4th rounds in Wimbledon & USopen) , critical notes were published. "Het Laatste Nieuws" was banned and had to go on a peace mission. "De Morgen" went bottom down in the bottom drawer. Persona non grata for life, so to speak.All because of these columns. So be it.

But by now, Lei Clijsters has an argument with about anybody, unless there’s a business or provincial tie.

To announce Kim's not going to the Olympics is welltimed. Now, she’s still in Australia, soon there’s sportswoman of the year, then the Holidays, next the Australian Open where she is favorite and may very well win, only then she’s coming back to Europe, and we still have 2.5 months until the Antwerp tournament. Chances of her still being booed there are small.

That is of course a way for the tennisaudience to show its displeasure in Antwerp. Or not to buy Fila gear, although I know almost for certain that the brand is not to blame. Or not to buy neklaces or beads or sweaters of “Kimmeke”. Oh, even Kim Clijsters is not to blame, although she will no doubt say she decided herself not to go to Athens. Nonsense of course. The only decision Kim is allowed to take on her own is which beautyfarm to go to . I do not understand why a 20 year old girl with money in the bank and a boyfriend still lets her father take the decisions. Does she realise that for her father “joie de vivre” is equal to contempt on the edge of hatred for people?

The kid hasn’t given 1 serious one-to-one interview. That’s worse than protection. It smell like imprisonment. And commerce: create a scarse commodity...Last year Justine Henin came to the “Laatste Show” (popular talkshow) , not KimClijsters who was asked first. SN Brussels airlines wanted to bring both finalists of RG home on a special airplane. On whose financial demands the deal went wrong? Guess.

To humiliate other sportspeople, that’s a speciality of Lei Clijsters. A couple of years ago a magazine asked for a double-interview Stefan Everts-Kim Clijsters (Everts is multiple worldchampion motorcross) . Response of Lei: who is Stefan Everts to be standing next to my daughter? But the remark that a gold medal is only good for selling shoes, was the absolute lowest. What sick mind wants to deeply offend Fred Deburghgraeve (gold medal swimming Atlanta, now indeed selling shoes - for an exclusive brand - for a living) and cross all borders of decent human behaviour? And so the incrowd knows tens and tens of examples.

At the BOIC they have tried to hold a normal conversation with the man for 4 years, only to be offended every time again. Lack of respect for everything and everyone, that’s typical for Lei Clijsters, and this “misantrope” behaviour now radiates over his nice daughter. Someone who earned more than 4 million dollar (without sporsor deals), should not worry about brands. She should show solidarity with her colleagues top athletes, like Michael Jordan back then. Her presence in Athens could have given the Belgian Olympic Team a boost. I know for sure that everybody from the team would have come to cheer for her and Henin. Henin-Clijsters in a unique national doubles, wouldn’t it have been nice? And than win the final against the Williams Sisters, with the other sportspeople on the team hysterically in the stands, while daddy reads his newspaper uninterested.

Poor Lei. It is fun from time to time to turn the world against you – I do it myself from time to time – but it doesn’t have to last too long.Never in Belgian sportshistory someone was more disliked than you. That can’t turn you on? Because beware, one becomes a sociopath sooner than one thinks.

TennisHack
Dec 8th, 2003, 10:23 PM
My guess is that misantroop means misanthrope, just from reading your translation of the article.

That's pretty harsh! :o Although it's apparent this guy is dreaming his life away when he gushes on about this:

Henin-Clijsters in a unique national doubles, wouldn’t it have been nice? And than win the final against the Williams Sisters, with the other sportspeople on the team hysterically in the stands, while daddy reads his newspaper uninterested.

Oh, well. Guess there are some positives about not being in Belgium right now ;)

TennisHack
Dec 8th, 2003, 10:25 PM
BTW, here's the definition of misanthrope:

Main Entry: mis·an·thrope
Pronunciation: 'mi-s&n-"thrOp
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek misanthrOpos hating mankind, from misein to hate + anthrOpos human being
Date: 1683
: a person who hates or distrusts mankind

:)

Come-on-kim
Dec 8th, 2003, 10:30 PM
:eek:

Elke
Dec 8th, 2003, 11:00 PM
:lol: This fued goes already back to the days when Lei was still a football player, the same journalist...

Thanks for the translation Nicky, thought a moment of buying it, but 1 Euro, I refuse to pay to make the guy more popular.:p

Me thinks the guy needs to go on with his life and probably has to, cos I don't think too many were happy with this piece, but it has a nice 'style' ;):p

~|Naomi|~
Dec 9th, 2003, 01:45 AM
and we still have 2.5 months until the Antwerp tournament. Chances of her still being booed there are small.

Maybe that is his perception but I think if Antwerp was tomorrow the chances of the crowd booing her would be small anyway. It isn't that she isn't going to the olympics out of a lack of national pride and want to not represent her country, afterall she is representing Belgium twice next year - Hopman and Fed Cup so she hasn't in my mind turned her back on her country or anything.

I think the olympics aren't that big to Kim, wasn't she selected for Sydney but didn't go, now if the olympics were important to her I think she would have gone there but she didn't.

nm_cb
Dec 18th, 2003, 12:44 AM
This is an article that is similar to others posted, but has some different information

(foxsports.com.au)

Clijsters cops serve
By Leo Schlink
December 18, 2003

INTERNATIONAL Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has launched a scathing attack on fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters over her decision to boycott the Athens Olympics.


Clijsters - scathing attack.

Clijsters has refused to play because of a dispute with the Belgian Olympic Committee over apparel.

The world No. 2 was told she would be allowed to wear her customary Fila outfits while competing, but would have to switch to adidas apparel if she was involved in medal ceremonies. Clijsters, sponsored by Fila, refused and withdrew from the Games.

Rogge said Clijsters would regret her decision, which highlighted a "lack of solidarity", not only with Belgian teammates but also with poorer athletes from around the world who needed financial help to make it to the Olympics.

"The wearing of the adidas shirt will show solidarity," Rogge said, calling it a question of goodwill. "The problem is that 80 per cent of athletes don't have enough financial support when they go to the Olympics."

Clijsters, who is training in Adelaide with boyfriend Lleyton Hewitt, , has been the subject of scathing media attention in Belgium, where she has been accused of placing money ahead of the national interest.

World No. 1 Justine Henin- Hardenne, backed by adidas, has already committed herself to playing in Athens. Clijsters said money had nothing to do with her decision.

"I want to remain loyal to the people with whom I have closed a contract," Clijsters said, referring to Fila. "They were the only ones interested in me two years ago."

Dannithesnail
Dec 18th, 2003, 06:41 AM
Games bungle arms critics
Comment by Leo Schlink
December 18, 2003

INANE Olympic Games tennis scheduling exposes the sport not only to short-term loss, but also long-term damage.

Lleyton Hewitt's decision to bypass the Games is based purely on logistics and a healthy dose of pragmatism.

As with every other player in the world, Hewitt has been asked by tennis and Olympic officials to peak for the Athens Games from August 15-22 and then, just three days after the final, front at the US Open.

It is ludicrous scheduling and, as it was in Atlanta seven years ago, an administrative bungle likely to cost tennis its luminaries in Athens.

Tennis at the Games could have started on the opening day, August 13, which at least would have provided a five-day gap.

Or, even better, start before the opening ceremony, as soccer did at the 2000 Games.

Those who believe tennis has no place at the Olympics, despite its claims to be a founding sport of the modern Games, will seize on the absence of what is certain to be a raft of stars in Greece.

Despite the sport's full Olympic presence since 1988, it has sat uncomfortably alongside the purest Games pursuits such as track and field and swimming.

Tennis already has its four majors, Davis Cup and Fed Cup - all annual international highlights - so why the need for an awkward Olympic union every four years?

Having an Olympic outlet has been invaluable for the sport in Eastern Europe because of developmental concerns, but the Games are about celebrating the elite and those who aspire to it.

Without Hewitt, Kim Clijsters and possibly Andre Agassi, tennis is bracing itself for a repeat of the hollow Sydney tennis experience where Pete Sampras, Martina Hingis, Agassi, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport were absent.

Hewitt will cop flak for his decision but he has acted honestly. He sacrificed the closing quarter of this season - losing millions of dollars in potential earnings by taking time away from the regular circuit - to prepare for the Davis Cup final.

But critics should be aware that Hewitt's Davis Cup decision was not such much selfless as pragmatic.

His choice not to play Athens will be received with similar disapproval. He will be barraged for having the honesty to declare the Olympics do not fit his scheduling.

Never mind the fact Hewitt will continue to show up for Davis Cup - wherever and whenever it is held - nor the fact he contested the Sydney Games and, all things being equal, will probably play the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Hewitt's stance has nothing to do with Clijsters' decision to miss Athens. It is simply a matter of priorities.

If Hewitt was as accessible as his most vehement critics wished, the only issue to be examined today would be the tennis calendar and the positioning of the Olympic Games in it - both short and long-term

KaseyL
Dec 18th, 2003, 02:20 PM
Maybe that is his perception but I think if Antwerp was tomorrow the chances of the crowd booing her would be small anyway. It isn't that she isn't going to the olympics out of a lack of national pride and want to not represent her country, afterall she is representing Belgium twice next year - Hopman and Fed Cup so she hasn't in my mind turned her back on her country or anything.

I think the olympics aren't that big to Kim, wasn't she selected for Sydney but didn't go, now if the olympics were important to her I think she would have gone there but she didn't.

Indeed, don't see her receiving much booing at all, and certainly not by her fans.

This "non-patriotic" and "money grabbing" attitude is just a portrait by a part of the media, who have an own agenda when it comes to the Clijsters family (quite possibly linked to issues with Lei, media boycot things and all... :tape: ) or whatever other reason to not bring at least a more balanced approach to this Olympics topic.

Oh well. The likes of Hans VDW will never change, I suppose... :rolleyes:

--

And thanks a lot to everyone posting here :kiss: , and a big thank you to Nicky, for her great translation of that latest De Morgen crap! :worship: (saved me a lot of time :kiss: )

bubbliscious
Jan 6th, 2004, 04:50 PM
Tennis an Olympic sport? Belgian isn't so sure

Kim Clijsters has questioned the legitimacy of tennis as an Olympic sport, defending her controversial decision to boycott the Athens Games because of a commercial contract with her long-time apparel sponsor.

"I think it's great that tennis is as Olympic sport now but, to me, tennis doesn't feel like an Olympic sport," said Clijsters yesterday, commenting for the first time on what was a front-page issue in Belgium for several days.

"Seeing tennis in Sydney four years ago, I don't think they got the publicity and the crowds that they get in grand slams and everything, so that was a little bit disappointing I think there as well."

Clijsters said she was unaware of the extent of the fuss her decision caused in her homeland, and criticism from International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge that she would regret her decision to remain loyal to Fila rather than wear the national uniform - supplied by adidas - during any medal presentation.

"It didn't come this far, to Australia, so I was pretty happy for being here," said the ever-smiling Clijsters, whose fiance, Lleyton Hewitt, will skip Athens for scheduling reasons.

"I didn't catch up with a lot of things that happened," she said.

By Linda Pearce

Sarah<Kim-fan>
Jan 6th, 2004, 07:38 PM
[QUOTE=kim&lleytonrule]Maybe that is his perception but I think if Antwerp was tomorrow the chances of the crowd booing her would be small anyway. [QUOTE]

The Belgian people ADORE Kim, cfr. all the polls she won...
Belgium really turned into a tennis-country after the great performances of Kim and Justine the last couple of years and most people don't really care about Kim not going to the Olympics, it's just the Belgian press who's always very negative, unfortunately... :sad:
Anyway,
lov ya all guys,
Sarah

GO KIM!!!!!!!!!