奧運餘韻(上)——TVB沒有告訴你的幾件事

李慧詩、傅園慧、菲比斯、Abbey DAgostino、Nikki Hamblin、Ryan Lochte、Mo Farah、李宗偉和郎平以外,這屆里約熱內盧夏季奧運會,還有幾件瑣事你可能差點錯過。

沙灘排球的服裝爭議

自1996年沙灘排球成為奧運競賽項目,女子沙灘排球的指定運動服裝只有兩種:比堅尼及緊身連體衣(bodysuit)。於西方文化裡,這兩種服裝好像最正常不過。但及後卻有中東國家的選手,因為宗教信仰或文化背景的關係,拒絕穿著比堅尼或緊身連體衣,而放棄參賽沙灘排球。直到2012年倫敦奧運,才容許女子參賽選手穿著有袖/無袖上衣和短褲。看起來最簡單不過的事情(畢竟,男子沙灘排球的服裝要求比女子寬鬆得多),也等上了十六年才得到轉變。

但或許來到這一屆奧運,埃及女子沙灘排球隊出場時,服裝問題才被得以正視。Doaa Elghobashy穿著長袖衫褲,配以穆斯林婦女頭巾(hijab),跟德國隊的比堅尼形成強烈對比。西方輿論對此卻反應不一,一些認為是體現奧運無分種族文化宗教的努力成果;另一邊廂,卻有女權主義者認為是女性於穆斯林國家受到欺壓的表現。

埃及本身算是比較開明的伊斯蘭國家,體現信仰的方式亦有不同,而且有近一成的人口為基督教徒。像Doaa Elghobashy,她是自願配戴穆斯林婦女頭巾;而她的搭檔Nada Meawad,則選擇穿著長袖衫褲,而沒有配戴頭巾。由於對賽的德國隊,國內不斷有聲音禁止穆斯林教徒配戴面紗,令一個去年無條件接收難民的民主國家,變成今天右翼民粹主義抬頭的國家,令這場比賽更見矛盾。經過一輪非議以後,荷蘭女子沙灘排球及後也選擇穿著長袖衫褲比賽,以示支持埃及隊。如此轉過眼光一看,其實規定穿著比堅尼,也不就是西方國家的父權社會遺留下來的印記嗎?

英國於獎牌榜上的驚喜

奧運獎牌榜上大贏家,大概只會想到美國、中國和俄羅斯。但英國今年驚喜不斷,金牌數目名列第二,三百六十六個參賽運動員,有三分一獲取獎牌(一百三十人)。2008至2016三屆奧運會的金牌數目(75金)已經超過了由1936至2004所獲得的金牌數目(73金)。而且英國也於最多不同項目獲得金牌(14項),比某些強國更加注重多樣發展。英國也是奧運至今唯一一個國家,能夠於主辦奧運之後的一屆,比主辦一屆獲得更多的獎牌。

話說1996年奧運,英國只得一面金牌。作為昔日的日不落帝國,褪色王朝的滋味當然不好受。當時的首相馬卓安決心發展體育運動,故設立國家彩票(The National Lottery),而博彩收益全數用於體育運動發展。那時候來說,是一個頗受爭議的決定,但時至今日,有差不多四分之三的資金來源,都是沿自國家彩票。

20過去,保守黨敗走十多年,再執政時回頭一看,當年的努力終於看到成果。

有輿論說,今後難免有其他國家引用近似的模式去資助運動員,令英國的競爭力相對減弱。但其實,有不少名氣較弱運動員,不單止配套設施不足,甚至全無贊助商,連日常生活也成問題。如果你有看到某些運動員把運動鞋的牌子掩蓋,後可能就只不讓贊助商免費宣傳的下下策。

如果有任何方法可以令運動員於更好的環境下訓練,抄襲一下又何妨?

(待續)

有關梁天琦——「雖然我不同意你的觀點,但我誓死捍衛你說話的權利。」

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

來自Evelyn Beatrice Hall(而非Voltaire)的一句說話,表述了言論自由的最核心價值,也成就了今晚我要說的一番說話。

我並不認同梁天琦之前大部份的言論或行為。今天的他打倒昨日的他,與之前的立場劃清界線,怕且只是權宜之計。我甚至認為他(懷疑/allegedly)於旺角煽動暴動、非法集結等罪,證據確鑿、應被判刑。

但是,「我認為」在今天的前提下,不應具有任何的影響力。我認為的如是,選舉主任所「認為」的也該如是。

今天我們面對的,不是立法會選舉、不是港獨、不是選舉權與參選權,而是最赤裸裸的言論自由受到剥削。選舉主任以羅列的所謂證據,是梁簽署確認書「確認擁護《基本法》」之前的事。而所有Facebook專頁已經更新,梁亦沒有在任何公開場合提及港獨或任何不擁護《基本法》的言論。選舉主任既非司法制度下的法官、亦非行政制度下的決策官員,區區一個公務員,何以能夠憑感覺去否決一個人當下的言論,並且舉一反三、去投射梁一旦當選後會否從新支持港獨?

如此說來,今年二月立法會補選,當時梁積極推動港獨,郤又可以確認參選資格,是否當時的選舉主任失職?還是梁當時的立場比現在還要溫和?抑或是何麗嫦女士你僭位越權?

如果一個人說過的話不能夠更改立場,這遊戲一直下去將會非常危險。梁跟其他被否決提名的人不同。其他候選人「用自己的方法」去闡明自己的立場,但梁寧受胯下之辱,也一心要走進立法會。現在既然不讓梁「改過自新」去確立「不提倡港獨」的立場,那麼即使梁「守行為」多四年,四年後的選舉主任仍可以以「梁於2016頭曾提倡港獨。從他過去的言論,難以信納他改變了港獨立場」來否決梁的選舉資格。如此說來,是否香港人已經喪失了改變言論立場的自由?

退一萬步來說,當中共政權於「四二六社論」已經將當時的事件定性為「極少數別有用心的人煽動學生、工人製造動亂」,梁振英卻於六月五日刊報「強烈讉責中共當權者血腥屠殺中國人民」。如此說來,我們有理由相信,梁振英一定未停止過與中共鬥爭的立場,香港社會撕裂的現狀,正是梁振英反共的計劃之一,故應該褫奪其參選下屆特首的資格。面對此辯題,請問何麗嫦女士如何回應?

再重申一次,我不認同梁天琦的立場。他能夠出選而我又可以投票的話,也不會投票給他。但是其是而非其非,是我輩還剩下的一點基本認知。至於「無篩選」的全民普選特首云云,經此一役以後,大家心知肚明,無謂虛耗心神,去期待一些不會出現的海市蜃樓。

悼Mr. Chun

人生進入了一個年紀,就需要面對身邊人生老病死的問題。早些年有一些意外,年紀相若的朋友過世,心情當然比較沉重。人大了,事情重覆了,感覺便好像沒有太過強烈。

不過再多的事情,人始終不能變成完全地麻木。Mr. Chun只教了我一年物理課,但聽到他過身的消息,舊事還便湧上心頭。

很慚愧,到中三的時候,他才是我第一個完完全全地用英文教書的老師。一開始時,上課怕得要命,不僅要追上課堂進度、也要追上他的英文,唯恐落後於人。我還記得他喜歡用直尺在黑板上劃上筆直的線條,跟物理學上的一絲不苟有點玄妙的呼應。加上他身高六呎,又一副嚴肅的模樣,我相信當年害怕他的物理課的,不止我一個。

最意想不到的,大半個學年過去了,我跟很多同學都一直以為Mr. Chun不懂說中文。後來在陸運會聽到一把熟悉的聲音作旁述,才發現他一直在我們面前裝作聽不懂中文。課室內如是,走廊上也如是。過幾年回想起來,才明白那是誠心為學生們打算的作育手法。不過我們倒沒有因為英文差而被他駡過。他看的,是背後的推理、思維。用流利的英文答不到簡單的物理問題,他當然會責駡;用粗疏的英文答對了問題,則仍會得到肯定和鼓勵。我知道了以後,膽子好像大了一點(還是很小),物理課也變得輕鬆了,可以更專注於內容上。

後來中六拜讀了《A Brief History of Time》、大學畢業帶了《The Elegant Universe》去歐洲旅行,直到上兩個月看完了《The Martian》,才發現轉眼已過了十多年。相對今天上班、喝醉、做夢都說英文的我,很難回想那時的光境是怎樣的。在澳洲遇過的歐洲人,都說我的英文好;高中時的英文老師,在舊同學的婚宴上也說我的英文很好。但每次有人這樣說,我也難免面紅耳赤——當年全班英文最爛的可是我啊。

事隔近二十年,英文不算得上是脫胎換骨,物理學上也沒有甚麼貢獻。但第一個令我不再害怕英文的人、第一個令我喜歡物理的人,是Mr. Chun。

願主懷安息。

About Swing Dancing

It was Hong Kong Swings’s 10th year anniversary last week, and it also marked the time where I have been swing dancing for almost 8 years. It is a long time for any kind of hobbit or interest or sport, and I feel like I should write something about it.

Only few took it seriously when they first heard of swing dancing. Some due to the gratuitous euphemism of the word “swing”, some due to the general impression of any form of partner dancing as boring, uptight, and somewhat old-fashion ballroom dancing. For most, they would be really confused or clueless, as it is not the kind of dance you’d hear every now and then like salsa or tango.

Well, in all fairness, that was probably what I thought as well.

It was December 2008 when my colleague, Hardik, has his farewell party. He picked Grappa’s Cellar in Jardine House for the dinner with the team. It was a busy night. Like, 120%-full-house busy. What we didn’t know was, Grappa’s was (and still is) the place to host the swing dance social night. And since it’s December, it happened to be Hong Kong Swings’s Christmas party night too. My colleague was actually a pretty good swing dancer, and he went straight to the dance floor after the first course.

Now for a table of 12 people, none of us knew what was going on. We tried hard to understand, but it seemed so much couples were dancing randomly on their own. Mind you, for those who have been to a regular Wednesday night, it was such a busy night they didn’t have any free beginner lesson. So there was absolutely nowhere to start. And I started.

I remember it was Michelle, Christine and Mike who encouraged me to dance. I don’t think Michelle even remember that, but I do. It was the first time in my life to be so committed to do something so embarrassing. But the ultimate reason was even simpler than that. I wanted so much to dance with this particular girl. And since I was in an age that testosterone controlled all lesser (or better, retrospectively) decisions in my life, I did ask her to dance and we danced. It was simultaneously the best and the worst 3 minutes of the night, but it was worth it. It was how it all started.

But it was ever since more than that. Swing dance fitted me. I didn’t like choreographed dances. I often felt ballroom dances were too rigid. Salsa and tango came with a lot of sex appeal, and it was not something I was looking for. And I am probably saying it with huge amount of bias.

Swing dance, on the other hand, check all the boxes. It is casual. It is fast-paced. It is fun. It has a lot of science (physics) in it. And most importantly, swing dance has a fair bit of cheekiness. Or smugness. Or try to mix something new or make a synchronized move, with a partner you have just met 30 seconds ago. On the dance floor you don’t see a sad swing dancer. Everyone is happy in a very particular way. Some people may treat swing dance very seriously of course, and some people may on the other hand over-do the cheekiness, always try to be under the spotlight of the floor and such. But if you have the right amount of playfulness, it always brings you and your dancing partner smiles.

I am very thankful that I have been part of this community in Hong Kong. I’ve seen people complaining about how boring Hong Kong is, while it really isn’t. I am sure a lot of salsa, tango, hip-hop, dancers do share the same feeling, being in a small but really close community enjoying the things that they all love. Or the same as cross-fit groups, book clubs, ice-skiing groups, dragon boat teams, whiskey tasting groups, dodgeball teams and the like. The width of Hong Kong never stopped at cinemas and shopping malls.

Keep exploring. Keep dancing.