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Nick Friedell

Iraqi fans rejoice, your athletes are back in the Game(s)

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One of my favorite memories of the Athens Olympics occured before the torch was even lit. The night before opening ceremonies, the Iraqi men's soccer team, playing in its first Olympic game since 1988, stunned Portugal in an opening round match.

I was lucky enought to be in Athens at the time, working for NBC as a production assistant. I remember walking around the city after that game, and hearing Iraqi fans excitedly break out into different chants.

"DA NUH NUH NUH IRAQ!"

"DA NUH NUH NUH IRAQ!"

I heard that particular chant in my sleep.

When I saw the news today that the IOC was going to reverse its decsion and allow Iraqi athletes to compete in Beijing, I couldn't help but think about those fans I had seen in Greece.

Although there will only be two Iraqi athletes competing during these Games, I know that somewhere, those Iraqi supporters have to be smiling.

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