And the number of Olympic medals Hudson Valley won is…

Zero. But that really doesn’t matter to me at all because it’s still pretty freakin awesome that we had at least seven athletes compete in the Olympics.olympic_closing_ceremony_msnbc.jpg

They all deserve their props including Yonkers native James Blake. He lost the bronze medal match in tennis, but he deserves a gold medal in my book for beating Roger Federer, the world’s best tennis player, in an earlier match.

(Editors note: According to my research, nobody from the Hudson Valley won a medal. But I may have missed someone, so I do apologize in advance if I am wrong).

(AP Photo)

List of Olympic athletes from our area

The Olympic games in Beijing is coming up in the next week or two. Be sure to root for the local athletes representing our country:

James Blake (from Yonkers) — tennis
Courtney King-Dye (trains in Bedford) — dressage
McLain Ward (from Brewster) — equestrian
Sarah Mergenthaler (former coach at American Yacht Club in Rye) — sailing


Then we have a few local athletes representing other countries that deserve some love too:

Milan Jotanovic (Manhattan College) — shot put for Serbia
Aliann Pompey (Manhattan College) — track for Guyana
Joe Ryan (Manhattan College) — coach for Guyana

I’ll add more to the list if I find more and try to update you guys on their progress when the games start.

(Photo by Angela Gaul / The Journal News)

Richard Gere’s Fiat fiasco

Richard Gere just can’t catch a break in Asia these days. First it was the Shilpa Shetty kiss heard round the world, which led to him being threatened with lawsuits for public indecency. Then it was his outspoken remarks about the upcoming Olympics, and how the opening ceremonies should be banned due to the Chinese government’s treatment of Tibet. Both of which, yes, were either intentionally or unintentionally bound to push some buttons. But now an ad that Gere filmed for Fiat’s Lancia Delta sedan is causing an uproar. The reason? Towards the end Gere plays in the snow with some pint-sized Buddhist monks.

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Seriously? The Chinese are that paranoid that an ad with no spoken words and no overtly political message can be interpreted as inflamatory? Apparently, yes. So much so that the Italian auto maker issued a public apology, saying it feels bad for “misinterpretations of its well-established position of neutrality.” Which, let’s face it, is like saying, ‘I’m sorry you blew things out of proportion,’

Fiat to keep running ad featuring actor Richard Gere in Tibet despite apology to China” [AP]