I will wear earmuffs when I meet Matt Lindland

Carla Axtman

With the Olympics completing its first week and headed into the second, many Americans are fondly waxing patriotic over the enormous athletic feats of such athletes as Michael Phelps, Nastia Lukin, Shawn Johnson, etc. The drama (highlighted by ever-hyper color commentators such as Rowdy Gaines and Tim Daggett), has been a constant on my TV ever since the games got underway.

So when I found out that Oregon's own GOP state house candidate Matt Lindland had been a part of the Greco-Roman Olympic Team at the 2000 games in Sydney, I was intrigued. Politics AND the Olympics! How could I go wrong?


As it turns out, I couldn't.

During the Olympic trials in Dallas,Texas, Lindland wrestled Keith Sieracki in a 167 1/2-pound qualifying match. During the match, it appears that Lindland bit down on Sieracki's ear. From the New York Times:

Though not conclusive, the tape, viewed by The Associated Press, showed Lindland making a deliberate move toward Sieracki's right ear as the two wrestlers jostle for leverage. Sieracki immediately jumped back in protest, and close-up footage showed a small amount of blood coming from the ear.


The incident in question happens to be on YouTube (natch). So as Bob Costas himself might say, let's go to the videotape!

Mike Tyson has nothing on this guy.

Lindland eventually lost the match by a 2-1 decision. But Lindland complained that he'd been tripped (apparently biting the ear wasn't enough cheating for Lindland to win) so a rematch was ordered. Linland prevailed. But the US Olympic Committee didn't want to make the roster change.

So being the good Repubican that he is, Lindland sued, all the way to the United States Supreme Court:

Justice John Paul Stevens, acting without comment yesterday, left intact court rulings that forced the committee to reinstate Lindland. Committee members sought to keep Keith Sieracki on the team instead.

Lindland eventually did compete in the Sydney Olympic games, winning the Greco-Roman wrestling silver medal in the in the 69-76 kg weight after losing a decisive match to Mourat Kardanov of Russia.

Maybe instead of keeping those earmuffs for myself, I should loan them to Suzanne Van Orman. Given Lindland's history, she might need them more than I do.

Oh..and toss some money Suzanne's way, while you're thinking about it.

  • Syd Clayborne (unverified)

    [Off-topic comment removed. -editor.]

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    Uh...exactly how does any of that absolve or excuse Lindland?

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    Wow now you are an expert on competing for the Olympic games? LOL...

    How many non-story super stretches can you make in one little house campaign?

    Did you bother to follow up on the rest of the controversy? Or were you simply picking and chosing for the sake of picking and chosing.

    I don't remember how that all panned out but I remember reading up on that particular event back durng the primary. Seems there was enough evidence that Lindland's opponent did indeed cheat and the episode you are talking about was just another red herring.

    But it makes for cute political headlines for those who don't know anything about the sport.

    Now that Sen. Betsy Johnson on the other hand...

    yip yip

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    Did you actually watch the video of the incident?

    Whether the other guy cheated or not, Lindland is on video biting his ear. The stretch here is you trying to downplay it as a "red herring"?

    My nephew wrestled for years and I went to many of his matches. He was the State Champ in his weight class for Washington State during his senior year in high school. I went to many of his matches--and I never saw a guy bite another guy's ear.

    Are you trying to assert that its common practice to bite people during Olympic-level Greco-Roman wrestling matches?

  • Typical (unverified)


    I love how on his own website, Lindland says "... if government does not get in the way too much, then there is no limit to your potential success."

    You know who probably agrees with that? Keith Sieracki, who Lindland pushed out of the Sydney Olympics by whining to the government and asking the government to put him on the team instead.

    Whether or not it was justified, seems that Lindland thinks it's OK for the government to get in the way, just so long as it's in the way of his opponent, and not him.

    What a hypocrite: "I'll use the courts to challenge a sports ruling against me, but government is bad and shouldn't get involved." Nice.

  • Syd Clayborne (unverified)

    republican Biting -- Carla quick - put in on your website. democrat biters -- references removed by editor.

    That's why the majority of people hate both parties, and can't stand politics.

    ~Bite me

  • meg (unverified)

    Though not conclusive, the tape, viewed by The Associated Press,. Not to Carla. She is a expert, her nephew is a State Champ.

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    Not interested in believing your own lying eyes, eh Meg?


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    I don't remember how that all panned out but I remember reading up on that particular event back durng the primary. Seems there was enough evidence that Lindland's opponent did indeed cheat and the episode you are talking about was just another red herring.

    AWESOME! The new rule from NW Republican is simple: Two wrongs DO make a right.

    If one guy cheats, it's OK for the other guy to cheat.

  • Slappy McDickleton (unverified)

    A disappointing and childish post, but there have been a great of that going around at BO lately.

    In full disclosure I only write for myself.

    It seems to me that our politics should be enough to win these races on. Is attacking his olympic background really going to bring about a better reality for any Oregonian? Lets talk about his positions on political issues.

    I have said it before, I will say it again, this is not a good way to go about picking up rural Clackamas County seats. "olympic hero's", guns, the flag and the like are very important out here and these sort of atacks only bolster Lindland's engery and focus.

    Bashing a silver medalist is just tacky and shallow!

  • Slappy McDickleton (unverified)


    With caulflower ear that bad, Lindland could have caused that amount of blood with pressure from a Q tip!

  • Typical (unverified)

    Slappy, let me get this straight:

    1. Lindland timingly touts his medal in his campaign.

    2. It is discovered that he may have gotten said medal through tactics that were against the rules and also in direct contrast to his stated campaign principles.

    3. Suddenly, the discussion is off-limits.

    I'm sorry if you're on to something I'm not, but it seems to me that voters should know if someone they're considering for elective office has a tendency to viciously break the rules for personal gain. Whether they find that relevant is their business; I sure do.

    Just because he has obtained a medal doesn't mean that no one's allowed to inquire into his methods -- especially if they're underhanded. And Carla has provided some very good evidence... video evidence, in fact!

    Anyway, I'm sure the voters of District 52 like him just about enough to give him another silver medal in November. :)

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    Posted by: Typical | Aug 18, 2008 6:09:57 PM

    Ding, ding, ding!!!

    We have a winner!!!

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    Carla that is not what I said and I think you know that.

    Oh and sure talk about stuff like this if you want. In fact I hope and pray that you guys DO talk about this stuff.

    The fact is is that Sieraki cheated and barely won that first match. Then Lindland asked the government to do what conservatives expect it to do.

    A rematch was called for and then, since his opponent could not cheat Lindland defeated Sieraki pretty handily.

    Of course if there was anything to this video then the folks who know a little bit more about wrestling than your brother would have acted on it.

    They didn't. They acted against Lindland's opponent.

    Then Lindland went on to win a silver medal in the Olympic games (cute how you tried to downplay it with the offhand remark about Lindland's "decisive" loss to the gold medal winner.).

    And you pick THAT to be your cause celeb today?

    Wow are we getting desperate?

    Oh and Kari? Did I say that two wrongs make a right? What did the governing body say about this "biting" incident? Are they just a bunch of morons or what?

    Dang, they really need Carla on the Olympic committee. I'm sure it would help our medal count.

    yip yip

  • Joba (unverified)

    Matt Lindland didn't mind all of those lawsuits, lawyers and judges so he could get to Sydney, but he does think that running for office is "kind of a hassle" and "kind of a pain in the ass."

    Voters in HD 52, beware: Matt Lindland is a busy man. If you're not going to give him an Olympic medal, then he's not interested in helping you.


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    The fact is is that Sieraki cheated and barely won that first match. Then Lindland asked the government to do what conservatives expect it to do.

    Uhhh, okay Ted.

    So Lindland biting the guy's ear is excused in this situation exactly...how?

    Clearly the USOC saw things differently. Maybe biting people is just a little to over the line for them..?

    In terms of "what conservatives expect" government to do..this is a rather odd excuse, given how conservatives in general howl about lawyers and those who are litigious. As a group, conservatives as a whole appear conveniently selective when it comes to what's appropriate to take to court and what isn't.

  • edison (unverified)

    Ummm ... not that it has any relevance, but I always thought Greco-Roman wrestling was kind of weird. Now, I'm sure. Another thought, do Democrats wrestle? Oh, and how about conservatives? Do progressives? Just wonderin’ …

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    This is such a typical conservative's approach to the world. Demand (incessantly) that everyone play by rigid rules but then when the conservative can't win by playing by the rules they go straight for dirty tricks. That's EXACTLY what we've seen from the GOP for the last decade.

    I don't have to be a wrestler to appreciate the difference between fair play and dirty tricks.

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    Hey Kari -- responding to your radio comments as much as the above...is it really so shocking that ear-biting could be accompanied by the opponent cheating? No comment on the Lindland fight (I'm really not familiar with the sport), but the Katherine Dunn story linked above might be of particular interest to Portlanders. It's pretty damning -- of Holyfield.

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    Also, Carla -- glad you found a use for my photo of Matt Lindland. Here's a link to the Wikipedia article about him, which I originally took the photo for.

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    My apologies, Pete. I should have linked to the wikipedia page when I used that photo.

    I'll fix that now.

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    Carla you keep refering to the incident as though it is fact and requires an "excuse."

    Unless you can produce for me the official documents that say what you say then I dispute your facts and will adhere to the official body who seem to have dismissed that part of the incident altogether.

    Oh and we all know that YouTube is the final arbiter of all things factual. In fact according to YouTube Obama had a gay lover.

    Or something like that.

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    Oh and we all know that YouTube is the final arbiter of all things factual. In fact according to YouTube Obama had a gay lover.

    Of course the u-tube link that Carla provided showed actual footage of "The Law" biting his opponent's ear followed by a close up of the damage, and the Obama u-tube doesn't similarly show Obama engaged in a sexual act, but I guess these are just irrelevant details to the Great Minds over at NWR.

    Yip! Yip!

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