A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 17, 2018
“Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics…”

The Special Olympics is a sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. A politically incorrect meme uses “Special Olympics” to define a meaningless victory.

“Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you’re still retarded”—that is, internet arguments are a waste of time—is a saying that has been printed on many images. “‘Arguing over the internet is like competing at the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you’re still retarded.’ - Unknown” was posted on the newsgroup alt.bored on August 7, 2001.

Politics is often used in the meme. “Voting for President Bush is like running in the special olympics, even if you win you’re still retarded” was posted on the newsgroup alt.peace on October 18, 2004, popularized by a campaign flier in Tennessee. “How are posting in /r/politics and participating in the special Olympics the same? Even if you get the gold, you’re still retarded” was posted on Reddit—Jokes on January 19, 2018.


Wikipedia: Special Olympics
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to 5.7 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 100,000 events a year. Like the International Paralympic Committee, the Special Olympics organization is recognized by the International Olympic Committee; however, unlike the Paralympic Games, Special Olympics World Games are not held in the same year or in conjunction with the Olympic Games.

Google Groups: alt.bored
My laptop has been shipped.
Stephen Gilman
8/7/01
“Arguing over the internet is like competing at the Special Olympics.
Even if you win, you’re still retarded.” - Unknown

Google Groups: alt.comedy.standup
New McCarthyism?
Eric B.
9/17/01
(...)
Eric B.
“Arguing on the internet is like competing in the special Olympics. Even if you win you’re still retarded.”

Google Groups: alt.games.video.xbox
special olympics
The Kays
11/10/01
I read this once and it describes this newsgroup pretty well.
“Arguing on the Internet is like being in the Special Olympics. Win or lose, you’re still retarded.”

13 October 2004, U.S. Newswire (Washington, DC), “Statement in Regards to Derogatory Portrayal of Special Olympics Athletes in Political Flyer”:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /U.S. Newswire/—The following is a statement from the office of Timothy P. Shriver, chairman and CEO, Special Olympics:

We at Special Olympics are astounded and appalled by a political flyer being distributed in Tennessee, showing the head of President Bush superimposed on the body of a Special Olympics athlete, saying, “Even if you win, you’re still retarded.”

We see this communication as an egregious, gratuitous insult to our almost 2 million athletes in over 150 countries around the world and a stunning affront to the more than 200 million people in the world who have intellectual disabilities.

Google Groups: alt.peace
‘Voting for President Bush is like running in the special olympics, even if you win you’re still retarded.’
phil
10/18/04
From some Democratic Campaign office in TN.
http://www.drudgereport.com/busholympics.jpg

Bet you guys are so proud!

Urban Dictionary
arguing on the internet
The comeback inevitably used by the loser of a flame war. Usually accompanied by an image of someone running at the Special Olympics(with optional G.W Bush head pasted on) and the text: “Arguing on the internet is like running at the special olympics. Even if you win, you’re still retarded.”
Flame winner: “Your argument therefore rendered invalid by the fact that....”
Flame loser: “Arguing on the internet is like running at the special olympics. Even if you win, you’re still retarded.”
Rest of the board: “Lamer.”

#flame-mate#flamewar#flamey#flamer#flamefucker
by ridebmxnz April 19, 2006

Google Books
One Man’s America:
The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation

By George Will
New York, NY: Crown FOrum
2008
Pg. 119:
A campaign flier in Tennessee pictured George W. Bush’s face superimposed over that of a runner in the Special Olympics, and proclaimed this message: “Voting for Bush is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you’re still retarded.”

Twitter
Saint Bastard™‏
@SaintBastard
Being the “Top Blogger” on MySpace is like winning the Gold Medal in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you’re still retarded.
7:15 PM - 19 Mar 2008

Twitter
Amber Jacobson‏
@BleedHairspray
having the most followers on twitter is like winning a gold medal in the special Olympics, in the end you’re still a retard
7:00 PM - 4 Jun 2009

Twitter
Erin‏
@ohnoitserin
fighting on the internet is like winning gold in the special olympics.  even if you win you’re still fucking retarded.
10:58 PM - 1 Sep 2009

YouTube
Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics because
SuperDaveVideos
Published on Oct 2, 2012
Arguing on the Internet is like competing in the Special Olympics. Even if
you win, you’re still retarded.

Twitter
Bangkok Bacon ❄‏
@baconbkk
Arguing on the internet is like getting gold in the Special Olympics. Nobody cares, and in the end you’re still retarded.
7:46 PM - 26 Dec 2013

Reddit—Mean Jokes
Arguing on the Internet is like running in the special Olympics… (self.MeanJokes)
submitted May 11, 2014 by GoggleCrom
If you win, you’re still retarded.

Google Books
Disability Hate Crimes:
Does Anyone Really Hate Disabled People?

By Mark Sherry
New York, NY: Routledge
2016
Pg. 36:
There are almost 2 million images under the Google image search ‘retard’ and another 4.9 million under the term ‘retarded’, many of which feature real people with developmental disabilities whose images have been ‘Photoshopped’ to include comments such as, ‘Arguing on the internet is like running in the special Olympics. even if you win, you’re still retarded’.

Reddit—Jokes
How are posting in /r/politics and participating in the special Olympics the same?
submitted January 19, 2018 by VegaTheAutisticFuck
Even if you get the gold, you’re still retarded

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Wednesday, January 17, 2018 • Permalink