Tag Archive: 2012 Summer Olympics

Aug 04 2012

Overcoming The Odds

Age, heart conditions, and traumatic events were no deterrents to achieving their goals of reaching this Summer’s Olympics games in London and for some it has earned them gold.

Swimmer Dana Vollmer overcame a heart condition to win Olympic Gold and set a couple of world records

Dana Vollmer, 2012 OlympicsAt the age of 15, already an elite swimmer, Ms. Vollmer, from Granbury, Tex., was taken to a local doctor after experiencing dizzy spells while training. Doctors discovered she had an abnormal heartbeat and set up a procedure to correct it. But they then discovered she had a genetic cardiac electrical disorder called long QT syndrome, which could lead at any moment to sudden cardiac arrest.

The diagnosis was sobering. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, each year about 2,000 people under the age of 25 die of sudden cardiac arrest in the United States, most because of long QT syndrome and other electrical and structural defects in the heart. While sudden cardiac arrest can strike those who are sedentary, the risk is up to three times as great in competitive athletes.

Such diagnoses have derailed the ambitions of many young athletes. But Ms. Vollmer and her family decided against what may have been a career-ending decision to implant a defibrillator in her heart, and instead chose – with the approval of her doctors – to allow her to continue training as long as an external defibrillator was always within reach.

In 2004 in Athens at the age of 16, Dana won her first Olympic gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay event. Dana didn’t qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but has since returned, renewed and refreshed overcoming her physical problems and the psychological effects that were holding her back. Monday night, she not only won the gold in the 100 meter butterfly, she did it in won in 55.98 seconds, breaking the world record. Then on Wednesday night at the Olympic Aquatic Centre, Dana Vollmer swam the second leg of the 4×200 freestyle relay, along with Missy Franklin, Shannon Vreeland, and Allison Schmitt on the last leg, the U. S. swim team won the Olympic gold medal and setting an Olympic record. The U. S. women’s team hadn’t won a swimming relay eight years at the Olympics.

Overcoming the psychological trauma of being sexual assaulted by her coach when she was 13 years old, Kayla Harrison won the first gold medal in judo for the United States.

Kayla Harrison, 2012 OlympicsIn November 2007, a man pleaded guilty in a federal court in Dayton, Ohio, to illicit sexual conduct involving a 13-year-old girl. He was a judo coach, and the girl was a student he had trained closely and brought to international tournaments. Her name was given in court papers simply as “K.H.” or “the victim.” [..]

Harrison is simply the best on the team. It helps that she is also good-natured. And that she has a story she is not afraid to tell, a story that is jarring even for a sports press that can be nearly unhinged in its pursuit of the next inspirational tale.

The questions she fielded at the end of her match, about what she was thinking on the podium, about what the medal means to her, about how this compares to her own struggles, could be wince-inducing in their coy inquiries into such a painful topic.

But she answered them all with the same composure she had just used against her opponents on the mat.

“It’s no secret,” she began, after a long pause, when a reporter asked her to name the worst moment she had to face in her career, “that I was sexually abused by my former coach. And that was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to overcome.”

Harrison has told her story before, first to USA Today only days after the indictment of Jerry Sandusky came down and the front pages were full of news about Penn State, sexual abuse and coaches who exploit their authority.

She said she felt it necessary to speak out so that others in her position could take heart.

Kayla is not a “victim”, she is a hero and a champion.

And for us for us seniors, who think that our time is over to be Olympic competitors  there is Equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan the London Olympics oldest athlete:

Hiroshi Hoketsu, 2012 OlympicsThe crowd did not go wild for Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan as he rode Whisper out on to the sand of the Greenwich Park equestrian arena at one o’clock on Thursday afternoon. It wasn’t a question of bad manners; more a question of consideration.

A stadium-sized roar to acknowledge the arrival of the Games’ oldest competitor – a ramrod-straight and dapper man of 71 – would have frightened the mare and probably embarrassed her rider.

Hoketsu, after all, had not travelled from his home in Germany to fly the flag for older athletes, nor had he come to court the sympathy vote.

He had come to London, as he went to his first games in Tokyo in 1964, and to Beijing four years ago, to compete and, hopefully, to win.

And beneath a bright sky that turned Whisper’s brown coat a dark gold, that is what he tried his best to do. [..]

His white-gloved hands keeping her on a tight rein, Whisper executed a neat diagonal cross of the arena before pausing and reversing neatly to one corner. Seven minutes later, after she had appeared to jog on the spot, skip and goose-step her way around the arena, Whisper came to a stop in front of the judges. As the first drops of rain began to fall from a greying sky, the crowd burst into applause and Hoketsu raised his hat in acknowledgement.

And with that, the oldest Olympian rode out of the arena, to finish 17th out of 24.

When he was asked about his performance and  if he would compete in Rio in four years, he blamed any errors on himself and said that competing was in doubt because of his partner Whisper’s age. He also lamented how the Olympics have changed since he started competing 48 years ago:

“The Olympic Games itself has changed a little bit,” he said. “At that time, participation was of more importance to everybody. But now I think medals are much more important, not only for athletes but also even for politics.

We salute all the champions at the Olympics.

Aug 03 2012

Olympic Firsts for a Determined Champion

On Thursday night a diminutive 16 year old took the gold medal in Individual Gymnastics and accomplished something unique, not once but twice with the same performance. Gabrielle Christina Victoria “Gabby” Douglas, a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics teama member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, became first African-American and first woman of color in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. She did it with support and encouragement from her family in Virginia Beach and her adopted family in Des Moines, Iowa where she trained under Liang Chow, the former coach of 2008 Summer Olympics gold medal-winner Shawn Johnson.

She’s not done yet. Gabby is scheduled to compete in the finals of uneven bars on August 6 and balance beam on August 7.

Fly, Gabby, fly.

Aug 03 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 10

Broadcast Schedule

Time Network Sport Competitors
6:30 am Vs. Beach Volleyball elimination
7 am Vs. Women’s Football SWE v FRA
7 am Bravo Tennis (Men’s and Women’s Semifinal) all
8:30 am Vs. Women’s Volleyball JPN v RUS
9 am MS Men’s Gymnastics (Trampoline) all
9:30 am Vs. Women’s Football USA v NZL
10 am NBC Track & Field (Opening, Women’s 400m) all
10:30 am NBC Rowing (Men’s Pair, Single and Quadruple Sculls, Women’s Double Sculls) (Medals) all
10:30 am MS Women’s Water Polo RUS v AUS
10:30 am NBC Swimming (Men’s and Women’s 4x100m Medley, Men’s 1500m, Women’s 50m Free) all
11 am Vs. Archery (Men’s Individual Final) (Medal) all
11:30 am NBC Track & Field (Qualifying) all
11:30 am MS Women’s Handball RUS v BRA
noon NBC Beach Volleyball elimination
noon Vs. Women’s Football (Elimination) BRA v JPN
12:30 pm MS Women’s Water Polo ESP v HUN
1:30 pm Vs. Shooting (Medal) all
1:30 pm MS Equestrian (Team Dressage Day 2 Qualifying) all
2 pm NBC Swimming (Men’s and Women’s 4x100m Medley, Men’s 1500m, Women’s 50m Free) all
2:30 pm NBC Women’s Water Polo USA v CHN
2:30 pm Vs. Women’s Football (Elimination) GBR v CAN
2:30 pm MS Table Tennis (Women’s Team) USA v JPN
3:30 pm MS Badminton (Mixed Doubles Final) (Medal) CHN v CHN
3:30 pm NBC Rowing (Men’s Pair, Single and Quadruple Sculls, Women’s Double Sculls) (Medals) all
4 pm NBC Cycling (Track Cycling Final) (Medal) all
4 pm MS Beach Volleyball elimination
4 pm Vs. Weightlifting (Men’s) (Medal) all
4 pm NBC Track & Field (Medal) all
5 pm Vs. Women’s Basketball CZE v USA
5 pm CNBC Boxing (Men’s Fly and Welter Weight) elimination
7 pm Vs. Beach Volleyball elimination
8 pm NBC Prime Time (Men’s 100m Fly, Men’s Trampoline (finals), Track & Field, Diving, Women’s Volleyball (USA v SRB)) (Medals)
12:30 am NBC Late Night (Cycling (Track Final), Heptathalon, Women’s Discus) (Medal) all
1:30 am NBC Prime Time repeat
3 am CNBC Boxing repeats elimination
4 am Vs. Triathalon (Medal) all

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!

After Warnings of an Olympic Crush, Businesses Suffer in a Deserted London

By JOHN F. BURNS, The New York Times

Published: August 2, 2012

With the Games nearing the end of their first week, and 10 more days to go, there has been no sign of the normal tourist-inflated crush at this time of the year – much less the no-room-to-move congestion officials warned would come with huge throngs of Olympic visitors competing for space on London’s notoriously overcrowded roads and transit systems, and in its shops, theaters, museums, galleries and restaurants.

Jeremy Hunt, the culture and sport minister in the Cameron cabinet, said Thursday that people who saw the Olympics as an economic body blow were premature and taking too narrow a view. The government now acknowledges that there is unlikely to be any short-term boost from the Games. It has reassured those nervous about its outlay on the Games – put at about $15 billion by government officials and as high as $20 billion by some experts, with road, railway and other improvements factored in – that the expense will be recouped in the long term by a $20 billion boost in Britain’s trade.

Mayor Boris Johnson, one of the Games’ biggest boosters, has made a midcourse correction of his own. He has admitted that the instant Olympic bounce he once forecast for London’s economy has evaporated, replaced by a “patchy” performance across many important sectors. But holding out for a turnaround, he has said things could improve as people realize that London without the crowds has become an unusually inviting place to go.

Normally crowded sidewalks in areas like Knightsbridge, Oxford Street, Bond Street, Piccadilly and Soho have looked much as they do when the city empties for summer weekends. Tables at sidewalk cafes have gone begging, and tickets to the West End’s normally sold-out hit shows are readily available, often at 20 percent discounts.

Cabdrivers complain that business is down 30 percent from normal at this time of year. “Where are the million extra visitors that we were promised?” asked Steve McNamara, a spokesman for the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association. He coupled this with a palpable absence of the national pride Mr. Cameron has urged on a nation hosting its first Olympics since 1948. “I’m looking forward to the closing ceremony,” on Aug. 12, Mr. McNamara said.

Stores in the upscale West End shopping district have said sales are down by 10 percent and more, and restaurants used to turning people away are desperate for trade. Ricky McMenemy, managing director of the Rules restaurant in Covent Garden, popular with Americans for a menu specializing in traditional British foods, said that after a “disaster” last Friday, when diners stayed away to watch the opening ceremony, the restaurant was “seeing a 50 percent downturn” in diners this week. Hundreds of West End hotels that had advertised rooms at premium prices, in some cases five times the normal rate, have dropped prices back to the usual level or even offered heavy discounts.

Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  Brilliant!

A High-Profile Cheering Section for a Horse’s Olympic Debut

By MARY PILON, The New York Times

Published: August 2, 2012

Ann Romney, whose husband, Mitt, is the presumptive presidential candidate for the Republican party, was on hand as an owner of Rafalca, a 15-year-old mare.

Rafalca and her rider, the veteran equestrian Jan Ebeling, took the stage early and finished the opening round of their Olympic debut with a score of 70.243, placing 13th. They have to wait to see how the rest of the field fares Friday before knowing whether they will advance to the Grand Prix Special on Tuesday.

Well, people have asked.

The Goal Is Winning Gold, Not Winning Every Match

By SAM BORDEN, The New York Times

Published: August 2, 201

Derek Jeter is a career .313 hitter. And yet in certain situations, sometimes even important situations in important games, Jeter goes up to the plate with the intention of not getting a hit. If he is successful – that is, if he succeeds at failing – he will be congratulated by his teammates when he returns to the dugout. The rules of baseball and other sports create situations in which a type of failure can be good strategy.

In the badminton case, the teams’ ultimate goal was clear: win a gold medal. And what is one way to help do that? Avoid the best teams for as long as possible. This was not a sacrifice bunt because there was no sacrifice. The teams, after evaluating the tournament setup that was presented to them, saw an opportunity to give up nothing in the hope of gaining something significant. One could argue it would have been silly for them not to seize that opportunity.

On Tuesday in Cardiff, Wales, the Japanese women’s soccer team purposely played for a draw in its final group game, hanging back in the second half and never pushing forward to try to score. This strategy was ordered by the team’s coach, and his reasoning was simple: a draw meant his team would stay put and play its quarterfinal in the same city a few days later. A win meant the Japanese would have to travel to Scotland to play the knockout game.

To that coach, Norio Sasaki, less travel meant a better chance at winning the tournament. To those badminton players, a loss in the final group game meant the same. Fans who complained about having bought tickets to see something like that are not seeing the athletes’ big picture. The competitors’ main obligation is to do what sets them up best to win a medal. They trained to play well, yes, but more important, they trained to win a medal. And Tuesday, losing gave them the best chance to do that. If fans are still angry, they should be angry at the organizers who made the situation possible, not the athletes themselves.

At least someone agrees with me.

The Guardian interactive chart to see where Ye’s performance ranks against those of swimmers at similarly high profile competitions between 2010 and 2012.

Aug 02 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 9

Broadcast Schedule

Time Network Sport Competitors
7 am Bravo Tennis (Singles and Mixed Doubles Quarterfinals, Singles Semifinals) all
7 am Vs. Men’s Volleyball SRB v GER
8:30 am MS Men’s Beach Volleyball BRZ v ITA
9 am MS Men’s Water Polo MNE v SRB
9:30 am Vs. Women’s Field Hockey CHN v NED
10 am NBC Swimming (Men’s 100m Fly, 50m Free, Women’s 200m Back, 800m Free) all
10 am NBC Canoe/Kayak (Men’s Whitewater C-2) (Medal) all
10 am MS Men’s Water Polo ROU v HUN
10:30 am Vs. Women’s Beach Volleyball GBR v RUS
10:30 am NBC Swimming (4 events) all
11:30 am NBC Women’s Beach Volleyball USA v ESP
11:30 am Vs. Men’s Basketball BRA v RUS
11:30 am MS Men’s Volleyball POL v ARG
12:30 pm NBC Swimming (4 events) all
12:30 pm NBC Cycling (Medal) all
1 pm NBC Men’s Water Polo USA v GBR
1:30 pm Vs. Table Tennis (Men’s Semifinals)
1:30 pm MS Equestrian (Team Dressage! (day 1 of 2)) all
2 pm NBC Rowing (Women’s 8, Men’s Light 4 (Medal), Women’s Single and Light Double Sculls, Men’s 4 and Light 4 Semifinals) all
2 pm Vs. Archery (Women’s) all
2:30 pm MS Men’s Handball SRB v DEN
3 pm NBC Men’s Volleyball USA v BRA
3 pm Vs. Boxing (Round of 16 Light, Middleweight) all
4 pm MS Badminton (Semifinals) all
4:30 pm MS Judo (Medal) all
4:30 pm MS Shooting (Medal) all
5 pm MS Men’s Handball SWE v ISL
5 pm CNBC Boxing (Round of 16 Light, Middleweight) all
5 pm Vs. Men’s Basketball USA v NGR
7 pm Vs. Olympics TBA
8 pm NBC Prime Time (Women’s Gymnastics All-Around, Swimming Men’s 200m IM (Medals), Men’s Beach Volleyball) USA
12:30 am NBC Late Night (Women’s Whitewater K-1, Table Tennis Men’s Singles (Medals)) all
1:30 am NBC Prime Time repeat
3 am CNBC Boxing repeat
4 am Vs. Beach Volleyball elimination
5 am Vs. Women’s Volleyball BRA v CHN

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!

The joys of obscure Olympic sports

By Mike Downey, Special to CNN

updated 11:47 AM EDT, Wed August 1, 2012

“Wait a minute. Didn’t you GO to Olympic women’s judo once?” Yes, indeed I did. Barcelona, 1992.

I saw a point go on the scoreboard under the word “koka.” It was my first time seeing an ippon go up on a koka. I was enjoying my first judo. I wasn’t yet ready for the National Judo League to put Monday Night Judo on TV, but I was having a good time.

I got a kick out of watching them fight. I looked up that day’s judo results later on a computer and found the following: 19 ippons, 13 waza-aris, 22 yukos, 35 kokas, 13 shidos, three chuis, two keikokus and no hansoku-makes.

Don’t you hate it when you watch judo all day without seeing a single hansoku-make?

Aug 01 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 8

More Dancing Horsies and a Tiara

Broadcast Schedule

This is the complete schedule for today.  It covers from 6 am to 6 am.

Time Network Sport Competitors
6 am Vs. Table Tennis (Men’s quarterfinal)
7 am Vs. Badminton (elimination round) elimination
7 am Bravo Tennis (round of 16 Singles, start Mixed Doubles) all
7:30 am Vs. Cycling (Women’s) all
9 am Vs. Archery (Women’s) elimination
9 am MS Fencing (Women’s Sabre) all
9:30 am Vs. Men’s Football BRA v NZL
10 am NBC Cycling (Men’s Time Trial) (Medal) all
11 am NBC Swimming (Men’s 200m Back, 200m IM, Women’s 4x200m Free, 200m Breast, 100m Free) all
11 am Vs. Women’s Water Polo HUN v CHN
11 am MS Boxing (Bantam, Heavy, Super Heavy weight) elimination
11:30 am NBC Men’s Beach Volleyball USA v LAT
noon MS Men’s Football JPN v HON
noon Vs. Men’s Football MEX v SUI
12:30 pm NBC Swimming (5 events) all
1 pm NBC Women’s Water Polo USA v ESP
1:30 pm MS Fencing (Women’s Sabre) (Bronze Medal) all
1:30 pm Vs. Boxing (Bantam, Heavy, Super Heavy weight) elimination
2 pm Vs. Archery (Men’s) all
2:30 pm NBC Canoe/Kayak (Men’s Whitewater K1) (Medal) all
2:30 pm Vs. Men’s Football GBR v URU
3 pm NBC Women’s Volleyball USA v CHN
3 pm Vs. Women’s Beach Volleyball BRA v CZE
3:30 pm MS Fencing (Women’s) (Medal) all
3:30 pm MS Men’s Football SEN v UAE
4:30 pm NBC Rowing (Women’s Pair, Quad Sculls, Men’s 8 (Medal) (5 more events) all
4:30 pm Vs. Archery (Men’s) all
5 pm MS Women’s Beach Volleyball CZE v AUS
5 pm CNBC Boxing (Bantam, Heavy, Super Heavy weight) elimination
5 pm Vs. Women’s Basketball USA v TUR
7 pm MS Table Tennis (Women’s Singles final) (Medal)
8 pm NBC Prime Time (Swimming and Diving Finals, Men’s Gymnastics All-Around (Medal), Beach Volleyball) all
12:30 am NBC Late Night (Cycling (Women’s Time Trial), Rowing (3 finals)) (Medal) all
1:30 am NBC Prime Time repeat all
3 am CNBC Boxing repeat elimination
4 am Vs. Men’s Basketball FRA v LTU
5:30 am Vs. Women’s Field Hockey USA v AUS

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!

At London Olympics, empty seats have organizers scrambling, giving away tickets to children and soldiers

By Karla Adam, Washington Post

Published: July 29

A day after the city reveled in the splendor of Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed Opening Ceremonies, many locals were piqued Saturday when television footage showed empty seats at some of the most popular sporting events, including swimming and gymnastics, that they had been told were sold out. Such scenes ignited speculation that corporate sponsors had been provided tickets they weren’t using, leaving the public on the outside looking in.

The International Olympic Committee moved quickly to quash those rumors, saying sponsors had been allocated about 8 percent of available tickets, while at the same time they tried to determine exactly whom the unused seats belonged to.

On Sunday, many venues appeared full, but there were reports of empty seats at the Basketball Arena, where the U.S. men beat France, and Greenwich Park, where Zara Phillips, the queen’s granddaughter, was competing in equestrian.

On a rainy day at Wimbledon, Doreen Beeton stood on Henman Hill lamenting the half-filled Centre Court she saw on a giant video scoreboard. She believes many sponsors who were provided with tickets have no interest in the early-round matches.

Scrambling to calm the furor, London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said off-duty military and students already accredited for the Olympic Park would be offered the abandoned seats. British troops already were attending women’s gymnastics Sunday morning, Coe said.

This isn’t the first time organizers have come under fire for ticketing mishaps. Earlier this month, they withdrew 500,000 tickets for soccer matches following meager demand in large stadiums dotted around the country. They also announced in July they were offering refunds to thousands of ticket holders in the 10-meter platform diving event because the position of their seats meant that the divers would briefly jump out of view.

Faisal Lalani, 48, who had tried and failed last year to get tickets for swimming, came to the Olympic Park on Sunday hoping to snag one of the unused tickets he read about.

Standing outside of the entrance to the Olympic Park, with grandiose views of the Aquatics Centre and Orbit tower, he said, “I feel cheated.”

Badminton Doubles Pairs Face Match-Throwing Probe

By MIKE CORDER Associated Press

LONDON August 1, 2012 (AP)

Four women’s badminton doubles pairs, including the reigning world champions from China, faced a disciplinary hearing Wednesday after being charged with trying to throw their matches at the London Olympics to secure an easier matchup in later rounds.

World doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China and their South Korean opponents Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na were booed loudly by the crowd Tuesday after dumping serves into the net and making simple errors like hitting the shuttlecock wide.

The problem was repeated in the next women’s doubles between South Korea’s Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung and Indonesia’s Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii. Both teams were also warned for deliberately losing points in a match the Koreans won 18-21, 21-14, 21-12. The capacity crowd vented their displeasure on them, too.

“If we’re not playing the best it’s because it doesn’t matter – if we’re the first or the second (in the group) we’re already through. The most important thing is the elimination match tomorrow.”

You get no points for advancing to Q2, 17th or first.  Might as well save the tires.

Jul 31 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 7

So Saturday

Catch up guys, now we’re talking about this stuff-

A Five-Ring Opening Circus, Weirdly and Unabashedly British

By SARAH LYALL, The New York Times

Published: July 27, 2012

As is the case almost every Olympics, much of the speculation around it centered on how Britain could possibly surpass the previous summer host, China. In 2008, Beijing used its awe-inspiring opening extravaganza to proclaim in no uncertain terms that it was here, it was rich, and the world better get used to it.

That the Olympics come at a time of deep economic malaise, with Britain teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession, the government cutting billions of dollars from public spending, and Europe lurching from crisis to crisis, made the scene a bit surreal, even defiant in the face of so much adversity.

In The Guardian, the columnist Marina Hyde said government officials appeared to be rashly depending on the Olympics, which cost an estimated £9.3 billion (or $14.6 billion), to save the country’s struggling economy virtually single-handedly.

Referring to a British track-and-field star, Ms. Hyde wrote that according to the government’s thinking, “Jessica Ennis winning gold is no longer merely a sporting aspiration but something that would cause a massive and immediate recalibration of the balance of payments.”

Ok, maybe not that, how about this-

NBC fail shows network’s commitment to ‘the last great buggy-whip Olympics’

Heidi Moore, The Guardian

Monday 30 July 2012

I am using anti-internet-censorship technology of the kind that is favored by political dissidents trying to connect with the outside world against the wishes of oppressive regimes.

Normally, the Olympics would not require the kind of computer-address-scrambling technology used by revolutionaries, hackers and child pornographers – but good luck trying to get at live events any other way if you happen to live on US soil.

In response to the complaints, NBC stated its intentions publicly: to herd Olympics viewers into exclusively primetime viewership of the games. There was no sleight of hand in NBC’s admission: it was completely open.

It is absolutely extraordinary that smart viewers are frustrated with NBC’s coverage and flaunting their use of proxy services to watch the BBC. It is not piracy – the proxy services are legal, and the BBC has broadcast rights too – but the fact that tech CEOs, journalists and others are sharing tips about how to avoid a major network is a sign that the network is missing a crucial turning point in responding to what audiences want from Olympics coverage.

Why should they respond to what the people want when all the other elites don’t give a rat’s ass?  Personally I favor direct action-

South Korean fencer in protest after controversial Olympic defeat

Press Association, The Guardian

Monday 30 July 2012

The 25-year-old thought she was through to the final of the women’s épée when, to her horror and that of her coach, Shim Jaesung, the clock was reset from zero to one second. The score was 5-5 at the time, but that would have been good enough for her under the rule where one fencer is awarded “priority” when a contest goes into sudden death. When the action resumed the German Britta Heidemann, gold medallist four years ago, scored a do-or-die hit that eventually put her in the final against Ukraine’s Yana Shemyakana.

The Korean coach furiously launched an appeal against the decision that had allowed the fight to continue and it was nearly half an hour before it was announced to the crowd – slow-hand clapping by this stage – that Heidemann’s win stood. Shin … remained on the piste. The bronze medal match and the final both had to be put back while the row went on, but almost 75 minutes later Shin was led off.

Shin said: “I think it’s unfair. The one second was over – I should have won. The hour was really difficult, but I thought if I got a yellow card [for leaving the piste] I might not be able to fight for bronze. I’m very sorry for the spectators. They spent a lot of money and I just don’t understand how this could have happened.”

Broadcast Schedule

Time Network Sport Competitors
7 am Bravo Tennis (Men’s and Women’s Singles second round, Doubles quarterfinals) all
8 am Vs. Men’s Water Polo HUN v MNE
9 am MS Table Tennis (women’s quarterfinals) elimination
9 am Vs. Equestrian (Individual Jumping) all
9:30 am MS Women’s Football CAN v SWE
10 am NBC Canoe/Kayak (Whitewater C-1) (Medal) all
10:30 am NBC Swimming (Men’s 4x200m Free Relay, 100m Free, 200m Breast, Women’s 200m Fly) all
10:30 am Vs. Men’s Beach Volleyball BRA v SUI
11 am NBC Rowing (Men’s and Women’s Single Sculls quarterfinals, Men’s Double Sculls and Lightweight 4 semifinals) all
11 am Vs. Women’s Beach Volleyball BRA v GER
11 am MS Badminton (Men’s qualifying)
11:30 am NBC Men’s Volleyball USA v GER
noon Vs. Women’s Football USA v PRK
noon MS Women’s Football FRA v COL
1:30 pm NBC Swimming (4 events) all
2 pm Vs. Boxing (Fly and Welterweights) elimination
2 pm MS Women’s Field Hockey USA v ARG
2 pm NBC Rowing (9 events, Quarter and semifinals) all
2:30 pm NBC Men’s Water Polo USA v ROU
3 pm Vs. Men’s Basketball FRA v ARG
3:30 pm MS Women’s Football GBR v BRA
4 pm NBC Men’s Beach Volleyball USA v ESP
4:30 pm MS Table Tennis (Women’s Semifinal)
4:30 pm Vs. Shooting (Medal) all
5 pm MS Archery (Men’s) all
5 pm Vs. Men’s Basketball TUN v USA
5 pm CNBC Boxing (Fly and Welterweights) elimination
5:30 pm MS Weightlifting (Men’s and Women’s) (Medal) all
7 pm Vs. Men’s Volleyball BRA v RUS
8 pm NBC Prime Time (Women’s Gymnastics, Diving, Swimming (Men’s 200m Fly)) (Medal)
12:30 am NBC Late Night (Swimming (Men’s 200m Breast, Women’s 200m Fly Semifinals), Women’s Beach Volleyball (Quarterfinal)) USA
1:30 am NBC Prime Time repeat
3 am CNBC Boxing (Repeats) elimination
4 am Vs. Men’s Field Hockey ESP v AUS
5 am Vs. Women’s Volleyball DOM v JPN

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!

Dancing Horsies

One thing I got to see yesterday was the Cross Country part of the Team Overall Equestrian event.  Men and Women, no discrimination (except by money) Zara Phillips (Elizabeth’s grand daughter) was part of the UK Team and put in a respectable performance.  It was fun to watch, like riding through a miniature golf course and there were lots of crashes for you Turn Left fans.  Today they finish with Jumping so no Dancing Horsies.

Ok, maybe some.

Jul 30 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 6

Rocky Anderson on the Olympics

From Up w/ Chris Hayes

Broadcast Schedule

This is the complete schedule for today.  It covers from 6 am to 6 am.

Time Network Sport Competitors
6 am Vs. Women’s Badminton (Singles) USA v CHN
6:30 am Vs. Women’s Volleyball SRB v KOR
7 am Bravo Tennis (Second Round) all
8 am Vs. Equestrian (Individual and Team Cross Country) all
9 am MS Women’s Water Polo ESP v CHN
10 am NBC Swimming (Men’s and Women’s 200m Butterfly and Free) all
10 am MS Badminton (Men’s Doubles) USA v JPN
10:30 am NBC Rowing (Men’s 4, Women’s Double Scull) all
10:30 am MS Women’s Beach Volleyball BRA v GER
11 am NBC Canoe/Kayak (Women’s K1) all
11 am MS Women’s Water Polo ITA v AUS
11:30 am NBC Women’s Volleyball USA v BRA
11:30 am MS Women’s Basketball RUS v BRA
12:30 pm Vs. Archery (Men’s Preliminary) all
1 pm Vs. Boxing (Fly and Light Heavy Weight) elimination
1:30 pm NBC Rowing all
1:30 pm MS Table Tennis USA
1:30 pm NBC Swimming all
2 pm MS Men’s Field Hockey GBR v ARG
2:30 pm NBC Women’s Water Polo USA v HUN
3 pm Vs. Women’s Volleyball ITA v JPN
3:30 pm MS Men’s and Women’s Weightlifting all
4 pm NBC Men’s Beach Volleyball USA v POL
4 pm MS Women’s Handball FRA v ESP
4:30 pm Vs. Shooting (Air Rifle) (Medal) all
5 pm MS Women’s Beach Volleyball AST v AUS
5 pm CNBC Boxing (Fly and Light Heavy Weight) elimination
5 pm Vs. Women’s Basketball ANG v USA
7 pm Vs. Olympics TBA
8 pm NBC Prime Time (Swimming (Men’s 200m Free), Diving (Men’s Synchronized Platform), Men’s Gymnastics (Team)) (Medals) all
12:30 am NBC Late Night (Swimming (Women’s 200m IM), Canoe/Kayak (Whitewater)) all
1:30 am NBC Prime Time repeat
3 am CNBC Boxing repeats elimination
4 am Vs. Men’s Basketball CHN v RUS
5:30 am Vs. Equestrian (Team) (Medal) all

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!


Spain gets bounced from Football.  Only the World and European champions.  World Champion Wieber does not Qualify in Women’s Gymnastics (Overall).

Olympic Coverage Criticism

Smug American Elitism at the Olympics Opening Ceremony

By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake

Saturday July 28, 2012 1:11 pm

It is a running joke that Americans learn geography or about countries outside the United States only when the US military decides to invade a country. Presumably, this is why NBC broadcasters Bob Costas, Matt Lauer, and Meredith Viera announcing the Olympics opening ceremony would be sharing trivia about each country, especially information that Americans might be able to understand even if they were terribly uneducated. But that should be no justification for the candor of the commentary during the broadcast of the Opening Ceremony, which was frankly an example of smug American elitism and often outright condescension.

For example, Bob Costas said North Korea’s greatest athletic achievement belongs to “dear leader Kim Jong-Il who, according to his official biography, carded 11 holes-in one, not over a lifetime but over the first round he played.

This went on for just about every other country. “Churchill never met Idi Amin,” Costas said as Ugandan athletes walked in the stadium. An anecdote about Kuwait mistakenly playing the Kazakhstan national anthem in the film Borat was shared as Kazakh athletes made their entrance. He mentioned the animated movie franchise Madagascar as Madagascan athletes strode by the camera. And, of course, like a school boy learning the country’s name for the first time or a character in a Christopher Guest film, he said, “There are some countries whose names just make you smile,” as Djibouti walked by.

The comments were not limited to quips that fell flat. Costas’ introductions of many of the countries seemed to highlight the worst aspects of each country’s history or inadequacies in the country that Costas himself may or may not have experienced personally. He said, Egypt is in “a transition of some sort,” and added, “From military dictatorship to Jeffersonian democracy? Not quite.” He noted that Kiribati does not have regularly scheduled flights to Honolulu. He ominously reminded audiences that world leaders are keeping a “wary eye” on Pakistan. He described how Australia was “originally founded as a penal colony.”

Coupled with the fact that NBC cut out the ceremony’s memorial of the 7/7 terror attacks in London and Saudi Arabia’s first female athletes entering, NBC’s presentation of the opening ceremony was appalling, hokey, and downright imbecilic. Broadcasters of the American idiocracy were in true form.

It is not like Americans are given much exposure to people or culture in countries outside of the United States. They are consistently indoctrinated with this idea from all politicians that they are citizens of the Greatest Nation on Earth. So, perhaps, it is not surprising that broadcasters on NBC would reinforce this predominant ideology of exceptionalism in our society. But is it too much to expect that NBC announcers would, for the few seconds that these countries go by, not offer smug or sneering remarks that call out the imperfections of each country’s current politics or past history?

Jul 29 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 5

Broadcast Schedule

Time Network Sport Competitors
6 am Vs. Men’s Basketball BRA v AUS
7 am NBC Cycling (Medal) all
7 am MS Men’s Volleyball RUS v GER
7 am Bravo Tennis all
8 am Vs. Men’s Beach Volleyball BRA v AST
8 am MS Men’s Handball CRO v KOR
8:30 am CNBC Boxing (Light, Welter) elimination
9 am Vs. Women’s Table Tennis (singles) USA v LUX
9:30 am Vs. Men’s Basketball USA v FRA
10 am MS Men’s Football BRA v BLR
11 am NBC Swimming (preliminaries, 6 events) all
11:30 am Vs. Men’s Basketball ESP v CHN
11:30 am MS Archery (Medal) all
1 pm MS Men’s Football SEN v URU
1:30 pm NBC Swimming (Qualifying) all
1:30 pm Vs. Badminton (Men’s Doubles) USA v MLY
2 pm NBC Women’s Gymnastics BRA, AUS, ITA
2 pm MS Men’s Water Polo HUN v SRB
2 pm Vs. Equestrian (Dressage) all
2:30 pm NBC Men’s Water Polo USA v MNE
2:30 pm MS Men’s Football GBR v UAE
3 pm Vs Women’s Beach Volleyball BRA v NTH
3:30 pm CNBC Boxing (Light and Welterweights) elimination
3:30 pm NBC Rowing (7 events) all
3:30 pm Vs. Men’s Weightlifting(Medal) all
4 pm NBC Men’s & Women’s Beach Volleyball USA Teams
4 pm Vs. Women’s Field Hockey USA v GER
4:30 pm MS Men’s Volleyball ITA v POL
5:30 pm Vs. Men’s Basketball ARG v LTU
7 pm NBC Primetime (Swimming (Men’s 4x100m Free), Diving (Women’s Synchronized Springboard)(Medal), Women’s gymastics (team Qualifying)) USA
12:30 am NBC NBC Late Night (Women’s Team Gymnastics, Canoe/Kayak Whitewater) all
1:30 am NBC Primetime (repeat) all
3 am CNBC Boxing all
4 am Vs. Men’s Field Hockey NZL v KOR
5 am Vs. Women’s Beach Volley Ball CHN v SUI

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!

Jul 28 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 4

Nightmares I tells ya.  Fortunately I have a lot to write while I can’t sleep.

Broadcast Schedule

Time Network Sport Competitors
4 am Vs. Women’s Beach Volleyball CHN v RUS
5 am Vs. Women’s Badminton (singles) KOR v MLY
5 am NBC Cycling (road) all
6 am Vs. Women’s Shooting (Medal) all
6:30 am Vs. Women’s Volleyball CHN v SRB
7 am MS Women’s Football JPN v SWE
7 am Bravo Tennis (first round) all
8 am Vs. Fencing (Women’s foil) USA v tbd
8:30 am Vs. Women’s Handball ESP v KOR
8:30 am CNBC Men’s Boxing (bantam and middle weight) elimination
9 am MS Table Tennis (Women’s singles) USA v CRO
9:30 am Vs. Women’s Football (group) NZL v BRA
9:30 am MS Fencing (Women’s foil Sweet 16, Quarterfinal) all
10:30 am MS Women’s Football (highlights) CAN v RSA
11 am NBC Swimming (Men’s 400m IM, 400m Free, Women’s 4x100m Relay, 400m Free) all
11 am Vs Table Tennis (Men’s singles) USA v PRK
11:30 am MS Men’s Beach Volleyball USA v CAN
11:30 am NBC Women’s Basketball USA v CRO
noon Vs. Women’s Football (group) USA v COL
noon MS Women’s Football (group) GBR v CMR
1:30 pm NBC Swimming (400m IM) (Medal) all
1:30 pm Vs Equestrian (Dressage) all
2 pm MS Table Tennis (Women’s singles) USA v MEX
2:30 pm NBC Rowing (9 events) all
2:30 pm Vs. Women’s Football (group) FRA v PRK
2:30 pm MS Fencing (Women’s foil) (Medal) all
3 pm NBC Women’s Volleyball USA v KOR
3:30 pm CNBC Men’s Boxing (bantam and middle weight) elimination
3:30 pm MS Men’s Badminton (doubles) USA v KOR
4:30 pm Vs. Women’s Handball NOR v FRA
5 pm NBC Men’s Beach Volleyball USA v RSA
5:30 pm Vs. Archery (Men’s Team) (Medal) all
8 pm NBC Swimming (400m IM) (Medal), Men’s Gymnastics (Team), Women’s Beach Volleyball USA v ???
12:30 am NBC Late night roundup
1:30 am NBC Prime Time repeat
3 am CNBC Boxing roundup
4 am Vs. Women’s Beach Volleyball ITA v RUS

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  I’ve done a full day because as you see the evening isn’t much, yet.  Also I have evening and afternoon appointments.

Now might also be a good time to mention that we’ll be providing coverage for Formula One Hungaroring at 8 am today for Qualifying and Sunday at the same time for the race.

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

Today’s Cycling event pits all the names you remember from Le Tour back on the road.  Wiggins is favored but that’s just sentiment, this race tends to favor a Mark Cavendish type.  No teams.

But these guys are professionals.

So they are.  Just like Men’s Basketball.  The Women are coached by Geno of UCONN.  Rafalca will dance today.  Phelps starts collecting his golds.  Badminton!  Rowing!  Table Tennis!  Fencing!  All those nerd sports you never see.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!

Jul 28 2012

XXX Olympiad- Opening Ceremonies

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 GuardianLondon 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.

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