If hyperlocal was the journalism trend of 2011, then hyperinternational is today's hotness. (It's also possible we just made it up.) That's why Gelf Magazine and Deadspin have decided to showcase the bestor at least the most interestingforeign-produced journalism with our new featureZooming In: The Olympic Edition.
Throughout the Games, we’ll comb through hundreds of international news publications to bring you stories and local perspectives that can’t be found stateside. Each day, we'll give you our top five finds, giving you the chance to be as globally cultured as foreign-government-controlled papers permit.
Today we look into Jamaican bashes, Grenadian politics, and what Morrissey really thinks.
'A so the ting go, a yah so nice.' Locals Celebrate Bolt's World Record | Jamaica
Usain Bolt is a demigodor, perhaps, a full-fledged godin his home village of Sherwood Content, where the Jamaica Observer provided an insider's look at the village's post-world-record celebration.
"To the world! I am on top of the world. I am floating," exclaimed Bolt's aunt Lilian Bolt, who was elegantly captured mid-float by the reporter/photographer.
Once Lilian's nephew crossed the finish line, the Observer reported that "Lilian broke out into wild celebration, dancing to the beat of Mackie Conscious' song entitled Bolt, which was recorded after the phenomenon sprinter's victory at the Olympics in Beijing, China, four years ago."
Villagers gathered in the streets, cheering, singing, dancing, and banging on pots and pans. The group then made an informal motorcade to Falmouth, the parish capital, and continued the celebration in historic Water Square.
"A so the ting go, a yah so nice," one reveler shouted.
"Lightning strike twice," said another as he mimicked Bolt's famous pose.
And how did Lilian end the historical night? According to the Observer, she "called upon the government to consider Bolt as a national treasure."
After the Gold Medal, The Race Is On for Fastest 'Congrats!' | Grenada
Kirani James won the first-ever Olympic medala gold in the 400-meterfor Grenada, the tiny Caribbean nation that is roughly the size of Winston-Salem, North Carolina (with less than half of Winston-Salem's population).
The BBC reports that "Grenadians danced, cheered and waved flags in the streets." The prime minister even declared this afternoon a national holiday.
But what's a local success story without a little political grandstanding?
That's exactly why Grenada's New National Party congratulated James and the people of Grenada with an editorial that ran in Spice Grenada at 8:37 pm last night. It was clutch, because it took the party's opposition, the National Democratic Congress, until nearly 11 pm to file their formal congratulations.
Did residents of Grenada think for two a half hours that the National Democratic Congress wasn't proud of the hometown hero? Probably not; it looks like these things are pretty pro forma.
The New National Party congratulated James and "[called] on all Grenadians that in their celebration of this historic achievement that we as a people do so in ways which would make Team Grenada as proud of us as we are of them." The New Democratic Congress's lengthier statement included a quote from their public-relations officer, Arley Gill, (who probably wrote the whole thing), saying, "The NDC and the rest of the nation are grateful to Kirani and wish him continued success. At the same time, let us continue steadfast in our support of the Grenadian athletes who are still competing at the Olympics." The press release added that "Gill described Government's renaming of Lagoon Road to Kirani James Boulevard, following his World Championship victory in 2011, as a 'visionary act.' "
The Grenada United Labour Party and any other Grenada parties had better start working up their statements quick, as the NDC and NNP are already locked in fierce battle for the most heartfelt congratulations.
Morrissey Is Not Pleased With Your Olympics | England
At last, a taste of that trademark British cheek we've all heard so much about. Calling the Olympics "lethal to witness," moderately-relevant indie demigod Morrissey unloaded on his blog this weekend, sparing from his bile neither the Royal Family nor their close consorts, "Lord and Lady Beckham."
Although the post from the Manchester-raised ex-Smiths frontman is dated to Saturday, the British press didn't report on it until Monday, probably because accusing the media of treating the British public like "undersized pigmies" is a poor lead-in to the magic of Kate's kiss cam.
Still, that over a week was able to pass before someone unleashed the haters seems remarkable.
This is Britain, for Pete's sakeland of Monty Python and the infamous lotto lout. Considering the moratorium, maybe Morrissey's invocation of "1939 Germany" isn't just the hysterical ranting of a shameless celebrity on the cusp of a new world tour. The nation has been rendered "foul with patriotism," he warns ominously, and "no oppositional voice is allowed in the free press."
On the other hand, what exactly is there to oppose about Jessica Ennis's abs?
Newspaper Takes The Country's Olympic Efforts To Task | Zimbabwe
With over half of the Olympic games behind us, Zimbabwe finds itself medal-less. One Zimbabwean newspaper, the Herald, believes that such a failure is the fault of the country's Olympic infrastructure, which doesn't do nearly enough to recruit and groom new athletes.
The Herald editorial argues that Zimbabwe came into London hoping to squeeze one last bit of Olympic magic out of its past hero, Kristy Co-ventry, who won a combined seven medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympics. Though Co-ventry, at 28 years old, may be past her prime and the editorial claims that Zimbabwe's Olympics committee was wrong to have put so much faith in her rather than trying to recruit new talent.
"Are we doing enough, as a country, to tap such talent and expose it, the way we did it with Makusha, or we just wait for a lucky break as and when it comes without putting a lot of our efforts into the project?" asks the editorial.
That seems to be a fair question, especially when South Africa is brought into the conversation as a comparison. South Africa took home just one medal at the Beijing games. In response the country redoubled its efforts in training and producing athletes. The result? South Africa has won three gold medals in London, thanks in large part to the arrival of two elite swimmers, Cameron Van der Burgh and Chad le Clos.
The Herald would love to see Zimbabwe take a similar approach, more aggressively recruiting and training athletes, heading into the 2016 Games. Though there is a lot of reforming to be done, as Zimbabwe sent more Olympic officials than athletes to London.
Media's Obsession With Gold Medals a Product of the Chinese Sports System | China
In a point/counterpoint editorial in the Global Times, two Chinese writers discuss how the media's obsession with gold medalsand blatant disregard of bronze and silvercame to be.
During this year's Games, China has been noticeably preoccupied with its gold-medal count. Zhang Yiwu, an opinion writer for the Global Times, writes that he finds this to be "quite natural.
"There are historical reasons why China attaches great importance to gold medals," Zhang writes. He writes that China's war-torn and poverty-stricken history, and China's gold-medal drought before 1984, contributed to the nationaland mediaobsessions with gold medals. Zhang also blames the media for overstating the country's obsession with gold.
Meanwhile, Liu Yuanju, another Chinese journalist, thinks that the call for paying more attention to athletes "should be encouraged." China's public is not that obsessed with medals this year, Liu writes, citing (again) a more "mature" social mentality rather than a structural problem with the sports system. By the end of the piece Liu seems to think that the media "gold medal fever" isn't even happening: "This is exactly why both new and traditional media are beginning to pay more attention to silver and bronze winners." But, nevertheless, Liu finds this to be a "pleasant" development for Chinese society.
Kate Bennert, Isaac Rauch, Dan Gartland, Adam Rosen and Tom Ley contributed to this article.