These athletes knew what style was about // Olympic Wanderings: August 7th, 2012

07/08/2012 § Leave a comment

Ol’ George Hodgson’s winning time in the 1,500 free? Eight minutes off the current mark held by Sun Yang.

What did an Olympian look like 100 years ago? Slate has put up a dandy collection. Included are great photos of the tug-of-war, Icelandic wrestling, hammer throwers, runners, swimmers and shooters.

*American twitter-ers have been up in arms about NBC’s tape-delayed coverage. Plenty of counter-points have been raised against those complaints, chiefly that most people aren’t on Twitter, and that if it were such a problem, why is NBC setting records?

NPR’s Linda Holmes has written a thoughtful piece, considering both sides of the argument.

**The Economist ran the numbers, and the old Soviet empire still rules when it comes to medals per athletes:

***Declan Hill, author of ‘The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime,” saw little in the Canada v USA semifinal yesterday to suggest there’s any chance of the game having been fixed.


The mayor who wants to be an Olympian // Olympic Wanderings: August 1st, 2012

01/08/2012 § Leave a comment

How do we not start with London’s over-the-top mayor, Boris Johnson, getting stuck in the middle of a zip line?

The cause of the incident has not yet been confirmed, but it is understood to be down to a “loss of momentum” as the wire sagged lower than expected. Other visitors to Victoria Park are believed to have since used it successfully.

Now, I must admit, I once got stuck on a zip line. However, I also wasn’t the mayor of London at the time.

**After defeating Canada’s Milos Raonic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga told the Daily Mail that the Olympics is his chance for glory:

The Frenchman said: ‘It’s good because this is the only way to write my name in history for the moment. With Rafa, Roger and Novak, even Andy (Murray), it’s tough to go through big tournaments. So I’m really happy. I hope I will have some more.’

Of course, there are still plenty of big names left.

***The Cape Times (South Africa) writes that Swimming South Africa is hoping Chad Le Clos’ victory last night, combined with Cameron van der Burgh’s gold on Sunday, will lead to increased corporate sponsorship for development.

“I think it makes it all worthwhile,” said Jace Naidoo, president of SSA. “For me, what it really shows is that we have talent in the country and that, with the right kind of support, we can deliver on the results for the country.

“Yes, it’s hard work and Cameron was very focused, but I think the support makes the difference. The plan can work. We just need to find the resources to support that plan.

“Hopefully, after the performances by Cameron and some of the other swimmers, people will see that it’s a worthwhile investment. We’re not asking for a donation. We’re asking the country to invest in our swimmers because they can do the country proud.

****It’s the most annoying chant in the world (according to some), and is ruminating on behalf of American liberals just what should be done about it.

For starters, t’s not the Cold War anymore, writes David Sirota:

The former, held in Los Angeles, was a Cold War spectacle of hyper-patriotism deliberately orchestrated to give the big middle finger to the boycotting Soviets and their allies. As ESPN’s Michael Weinreb recounted, “Spectators quite literally wrapped themselves in the flag” and “chants of ‘U.S.A.!’ became so jarring for the foreigners present that IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch wrote a letter complaining about ABC’s unabashedly patriotic coverage of the games.”

– Johnston

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