In a scene reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Iraqis attacked a giant statue of Hussein with sledgehammers.
Russian commentators, however, were disdainful."You call that toppling?" said Istvan Ivanov, of the All-Russian Federation of Image Wreckers.  "It took thousands of them.  We used to topple statues of Stalin with a third that many people. And our statutes were solid, not like that hollow pot-metal crap they use down there."  Wadlisaw Demczuk, of the Polish League of Smashers, demurred, however.  "I think they did a credible job for a people who were out of practice.  Let's face it -- the Russians only managed to pull so many statues down because they got to watch while we and the Czechs did all the developmental work on statue-toppling.   If they'd had to start from scratch they'd still be waiting for the five-year plan to deliver the rope.They'd be no better than the Romanians, and we all know they cheat by making the statues out of plaster."
Czeslov Jovic, of the all-Czech Original Icon-o-Clasts, agreed.  "They obviously have a long way to go, but we all did when we started.  With some good coaching, and a little luck, there's no reason they can't make the olympics. They're in a weak regional bracket-- when was the last time a Syrian toppled a statue?  The Iranians are 25 years out of practice."  Some U.S. commentators, however, weren't so sure.  "There could be a lot of competitive regional teams in a few years, if you know what I mean," said Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
Many observers hope new competitors will enliven an Olympic Sport that has been hit hard lately with charges of corrupt judging and doping statues with liquid nitrogen to make them more fragile.  They point out that ratings for statue-toppling spiked eight years ago with the participation of the wildly unqualified Jamaican team, but have dropped since then.