Tuesday, August 17, 2004

frank bartolillo

SHOUT OUTs to Frank Bartolillo, the Australian Deaf fencer who will be competing in this year's Olympic Games. I spent many happy hours learning to fence in college and miss the sport intensely. So every time I hear about a Deaf fencer, I get a little excited.

I have a problem with his biography however. Under "awards and honors" whoever wrote the bio quotes the Miami Sun-Herald: "He is one of only a handful of deaf athletes who have competed at the able-bodied Olympic Games." (Sun Herald 18/04/04) Um, what? Yeah, there havent been THAT many Deaf athletes competing in the Olympics - but they've been there. And Deaf people are able-bodied. The whole sentence just feels like, you know, a Black person putting "One of the few Black people on the US Senate" as an "award or honor" on their webpage. It's kind of more emphasizing of the discrimination people experience, than how special the person themselves is, you know?

Or - worse - it makes it seem like he's there out of special dispensation. Letting the Deaf kid play with the big boys. Fuck that. I kicked ass when I fenced for college, and so does Frank. GO AUSTRALIA!

Addendum: One more thing - why didn't they just list the competitions and stuff Frank has won? You're telling me Australia would send an untried fencer to the Olympics? No fucking way. They just put "it's an honor for him to be here." Stuffy assholes. Probably - and I couldn't guarantee this, but Sneaking Suspicion - they didn't bother to try calling him on relay.

1 comment:

TT said...

Good post, I was just scouring the web trying to work out what Frank's position was. Seems like he came 27th at this Olympics (I could be wrong tho). I hope next time he'll comes a little closer to getting the 'gold' he so longs for.