It will be a hot time in the Olympic Village tonight.
Of course every Olympics begin with the Opening Ceremonies in which the host nation showcases its culture, its history, and terrifying lockstep unity.
I can’t believe that one of the choreographed pieces is a 40 foot high Voldemort attacked by 30 Mary Poppins. This is why I seldom bother with Opening and Closing at all Another thing to watch for is Barack Obama’s new :30 spot, if you care for that sort of thing.
“World Class Feats of Athleticism”
London 2012: Unfamiliar Olympic sports explained
David Hills, The Guardian
Saturday 21 July 2012 17.01 EDT
Whether it is Olympic badminton, beach volleyball, handball, shooting, Taekwondo, trampoline, fencing or BMX cycling, you need to know a foil from an épée, and endos from bunnyhops.
He left out Sailing and Wrestling in the lede.
Of course, these used to be ‘sports’ too-
When the Olympics Included Mud Fighting and Tug of War
By Bill Mallon, Bloomberg News
Jul 23, 2012 6:30 PM ET
In 1900, a series of obstacles were set up in the Seine River in Paris. Swimmers lined up for a 200-meter (656-feet) race in which they had to climb over a pole and a row of boats, then swim under another row of boats. That was the only time the 200-meter Obstacle Swim Race was contested at the Olympics.
Also in 1900, cricket was contested for the only time at the Olympics. The match was purportedly between French and British teams, but the French contingent was actually composed of British expatriates working in Paris at the time. Croquet also was played in Paris, then replaced in St. Louis in 1904 with a variant known as roque. Roque was named after croquet, by dropping the first and last letters, but played with smaller balls and much tighter wickets. Roque was hailed as the Game of the Century in 1904, but only four Americans competed and today it is essentially defunct.
Tug of war was quite popular, being held in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920, before falling from the program. Lacrosse was contested in 1904 and 1908, and in 1904, a Mohawk Indian team from southern Ontario placed third.
In 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924 and 1936, polo was an Olympic sport, falling from grace only after Berlin in 1936. It was the last sport to have been discontinued, until baseball and softball were ousted from the 2012 games. They are to be replaced in 2016 by golf and rugby sevens — a smaller, shorter variant of rugby union. These two sports won out over karate, squash, roller skating and ballroom dancing. — but neither will be new to the Olympics. Golf was contested at those unusual Olympics of 1900 and 1904, and was on the program for both 1908 and 1920, though it was canceled both times. Rugby tournaments were held in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924. The U.S. won gold twice, in 1920 and 1924 — which is why when the sport returns in four years, the defending champions will be those great practitioners of the game, the U.S.
The Joy of Six: Discontinued Olympic sports
Scott Murray, The Guardian
Friday 6 July 2012
The plunge for distance was essentially the long jump for divers. Contestants would plunge into the drink from a standing start, in order to propel themselves underwater as far along the pool as possible. Their total distance would be measured at the point they came back up for air, or wherever they’d got to after 60 seconds beneath the surface, whichever came first. Plungers weren’t allowed to propel themselves through the water – after the initial dive, they had to remain motionless.
There were plenty of gun-based oddities back in the day. At the 1900 Paris Games, slavering maniacs paid upwards of 200 francs for the pleasure of bringing down real live pigeons from the air with their pieces. Leon de Lunden of Belgium took the cash prize of 2,000 francs for his unmatched total of 21 murders.
At the unofficial 1906 Games in Athens, a duelling pistol contest was held, which saw contestants firing at dummies tarted up in frock coats and top hats. The bullseye was situated on the thorax. Bang! Right on the windpipe.
Running target (1972-2004) saw a life-size cutout of a boar cross a 10-metre gap in two-and-a-half seconds; contestants had to shoot it in the ring (please behave) 30 times, then another 30 times at half speed. The precursor to this event was the running deer; you can fill in the gaps.
In Equestrian competition we have seen such events as Long Jump, High Jump, Hunter and Hack, and Four-in-Hand Mail Coach.
My doggie friend is still quite pissed that Softball has been replaced by Golf.
Our good buddy Mitt didn’t strap Rafalca to the roof of his Bain Capital Gulfstream to drop him off, he’s not even going to visit; but he did use his Salt Lake City cred to win the hearts and minds of his United Kingdom hosts.
David Cameron hits back at Mitt Romney over London 2012 doubts
Owen Gibson, Olympics editor, The Guardian
Thursday 26 July 2012
Romney said the fallout from the G4S security fiasco and a threatened strike by immigration officials were “disconcerting” and questioned whether British people would get behind the Games.
“Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment? And that’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin. It is hard to know just how well it will turn out,” said Romney.
But Cameron, who was due to meet Romney later on Thursday, said: “In terms of people coming together, the torch relay demonstrated that this is not a London Games, this is not an England Games but this is a United Kingdom Games. We’ll show the world we’ve not only come together as a United Kingdom but are extremely good at welcoming people from across the world.”
Asked whether the Games and Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, which will be watched by a predicted 1 billion people, offered an opportunity rebrand the country, Cameron said: “We don’t need to rebrand Britain. Britain has a great brand. I hope people will see all the things they like about Britain’s past, our history, our contributions to world development. But I also hope they will see a very open country and one that has an enormous amount to offer for the future.”
Olympic Games already have their share of controversies
By Shashank Bengali, McClatchy Newspapers
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Some 36,000 troops, police and hired contractors will stand guard at Olympic venues and on the streets of London and other cities. After the private security firm G4S acknowledged last week that it wouldn’t be able to furnish all of the 10,000 contractors it had agreed to, British officials called up additional service members to fill the gap.
The foul-up compounded what for many Londoners is beginning to seem like a long, costly summer, which began with a lavish diamond jubilee for Queen Elizabeth II and has coincided with ever bleaker economic news: The Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday that the economy had shrunk by 0.7 percent from April to June, a far worse contraction than had been forecast, deepening a double-dip recession that’s the severest in decades.
Meanwhile, the cost of staging the games has risen to several times the initial projection, exceeding even the infamous budget-busting standards of the 1996 Atlanta games. London’s now are expected to end up as the most expensive ever, at a cost of more than $14 billion.
Competition got under way Wednesday, but a women’s soccer match that involved Colombia and North Korea was delayed by an hour after North Korean players were introduced on a video with their faces next to the South Korean flag.
The BBC reported that the rather dramatic mix-up – the neighboring countries are still technically at war, having never signed a treaty after a cease-fire took effect in the 1950s Korean conflict – occurred at the studio that produced the pregame video. The Christian Science Monitor pronounced it perhaps the worst blunder by a host nation in the Olympics’ 116-year modern history.
If you are someone who think we are just ‘Exceptional’, you might be interested in this article from The Guardian– London 2012 Olympics: 30 American athletes to watch out for.
Other than that they’ve tried to keep most of the spectacle ‘secret’, no spoilers, but you will find because of the time difference Opening Ceremony is already done. Thank goodness NBC has tape delayed it for 7:30 pm.
Repeat at 2:30 am. Regular events start tomorrow at 5 am. Formula One Hungaroring Qualifying on Speed at 8 am.