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Olympics in general


alison
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I thought I'd start a thread for anything generally Olympics-related, barring the opening and closing ceremonies. The opening ceremony is discussed here:

 

I'm just back from a generally glorious day at Wimbledon (apologies to anyone who was there yesterday - I understand you had hail among other things!). It certainly made up for having to miss Wimbledon proper last month.

 

So, I turned up "late" by my usual, day-queue standards: 9.30-ish, having walked up from the station for the exercise, since I was likely to be sitting down for much of the rest of the day. Forget about the "2 hours to get through security": it was a doddle: in and out in 5 minutes. Just like normal Wimbledon, but without having to queue for hours beforehand. Yes, I did have to empty the free bottle of water I'd been given, but there were taps scattered around the grounds where you could fill up. Decided that Court No. 2, with Andy Roddick, Venus Williams, and later both Williams sisters and Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in the doubles sounded quite ample, but even that didn't suffice to persuade people to get in their seats early - you could have wandered in at 11.30 when play started quite easily.

 

All went well, with the place full before the Williams started play - loads of people obviously appreciating the chance to see Federer. Until, at the end of the Williams match, there was an announcement that the men's doubles had been moved to Court No. 1! Talk about gnashing of teeth! Not to mention a major dash to the ticket re-sale counter, where seats were shifted only very slowly. Still, it was worth it!

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We watched the men's team gymnastics this afternoon. It was positively heart-stopping in the final rotation. I think the team did themselves proud but I wasn't overly impressed with the coverage. Why did we always have to play catch-up with the British performances? Surely the BBC's priority should have been to televise OUR team live. I loved the commentary though - it was so partisan and excited!

 

Congratulations to the men's team for their bronze medal and fantastic achievemetn.

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I was impressed with the woman who has won five gold medals - from five different Olympic Games - in skeet shooting. She is from the USA. She doesn't even seem to aim - she just shoots. I think she got 99 out of 100. Pretty awesome.

 

Then I saw only a very brief snippet of fencing. I would really llke to see more of that.

 

USA women beat Brazil in four straight sets of volley ball today. I think the women's volleyball is more interesting than the men because they keep the ball alive longer.

 

One of women swimmers today (I think she was from the USA) was wearing a pair of pearl earrings - which I thought was cute. She won her qualifying heat.

 

Water polo makes me tired just watching it.

 

I loved the rowing - the USA did very well in that.

 

I wasn't impressed with the gymnastics that I've seen. Those splayed fingers and robotic arms just don't do it for me. I don't expect them to dance, or pretend to, anyway. Just get on with the gymnastics.

 

And, yes, I did see the rain. That is something novel - I had trouble recognizing what it was - been so long since I've seen any...we really really really could use some.

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Janet, in the men's gymnastics qualifying coverage on Saturday the commentators said that because there wasn't space for every country to have their own tv crew, they were sharing film and on saturday at least we were seeing the Japanese tv crew's coverage and that's why the main focus wasn't team GB. I assume that's the case for the rest of the competition. It seems a bit ridiculous to me that as the host nation we didn't have a tv crew in there though.

Edited by JaneL
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I think the TV coverage has had some issues. The Organising comittee doesn't award the TV rights just to one company, but each event seems to be covered by a different country. So the road racing was covered by Belgians I believe, the Gymnastics by another country and so on.

 

I suppose in this way the pictures don't concentrate on one team against all the others, annoying the rest of the world! and then once an aspect of the live coverage has finished, the home broadcasters can choose which 'repeat' images or interviews they show. So in the Gymnastics, UK viewers could see Team GB repeats and interviews, US viewers, Team USA repeats, Ukraine - Ukraine repeats etc etc.

Edited by Stirrups36
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It's funny, the tv coverage - I've noticed that there seems to be an awful lot of chit-chat with visiting celebrities, and "why we didn't win a medal in that event" gossip, rather than actually seeing the events taking place live.

 

I don't mind what events they show - I quite like watching things I would never normally see - and it would be nice if they showed a wide cross-section of everything, rather than the things they think we want to watch.

 

Also, anyone else tired of hearing the phrase Teeemm Geee Beee?!

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Anyone been watching the swimming and more specifically, the controversy over the chinese swimmer? Found this article today in the Mail which is fairly thought-provoking. It says that Matthew Pinsent's tour of gymnastic training facilities a few years ago was 'pretty disturbing'. It also says that 'The International Olympic Committee promised then to investigate his claims but seven years on there is no evidence that anything has remotely changed'. Apparently the pictures were posted on the internet last year!

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2181374/Ye-Shiwen--forging-Mandarin-mermaid-How-Chinese-children-brutalised-future-Olympians.html#ixzz22Cv6J7dB

http://www.dailymail...ost_read_module

Edited by Ribbons
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Surely the BBC's priority should have been to televise OUR team live. I loved the commentary though - it was so partisan and excited!

 

I get a bit fed up with "partisan and excited" at times :). Tennis-wise, I think it started with the rise of Tim Henman and hasn't discontinued since (when we hardly get any coverage of anyone else, and especially not anything apart from singles, if there's a Brit playing), but I've no real idea how long it's been going on in other sports. I'd like to have more of an overview of the entire thing. I also think it's important to recognise that parts of the UK are very international, and there are people living here who want to see beyond Team GB as well.

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I agree Fiz - it's been a pleasure to watch the British team and hopefully more to come with the individual events.

 

The one piece that I'm not so keen on is the ladies floor. Some of the quasi-dance moves the ladies do are so twee and, to my way of thinking, add nothing to the exercise.

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So, this morning in one of those seemingly endless chat sessions, one of the chatters said he had been at the fencing match and how exciting it was.

 

But - did they show any fencing?

 

No.

 

I don't think they hire these people for their smarts.

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I agree Fiz - it's been a pleasure to watch the British team and hopefully more to come with the individual events.

 

The one piece that I'm not so keen on is the ladies floor. Some of the quasi-dance moves the ladies do are so twee and, to my way of thinking, add nothing to the exercise.

 

Did you see the interview with Olga Korbut? She was quite scathing about the current ladies gymnastics and said that it was about time they brought back charm, gracefulness and beauty!

 

it was interesting to see the difference between the Russians and Americans in particular - you could tell which team had also been taking ballet classes from an early age :)

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There's quite a big discussion going on about the ladies' floor excercises on another ballet web-site, including some vintage clips from Youtube. I remember when paino was used for music. I think that there was much more elegance and charm in those days and perhaps Olga Korbut is right but I also seem to remember her including twee little poses in her routines.

 

Did the rot set in when the scoring rules were changed a few years ago?

 

Anjuli, the BBC has been showing a lot of sports live on the "red button" facility - maybe that's how your commentators had seen the fencing. I haven't watched any of the fencing but I have been following Graham Watts' tweets.

 

Well done to the LWx4 men's team in the rowing for winning the silver medal in an absolutely nail-biting race.

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There's quite a big discussion going on about the ladies' floor excercises on another ballet web-site, including some vintage clips from Youtube. I remember when paino was used for music. I think that there was much more elegance and charm in those days and perhaps Olga Korbut is right but I also seem to remember her including twee little poses in her routines.

 

Did the rot set in when the scoring rules were changed a few years ago?

 

Anjuli, the BBC has been showing a lot of sports live on the "red button" facility - maybe that's how your commentators had seen the fencing. I haven't watched any of the fencing but I have been following Graham Watts' tweets.

 

Well done to the LWx4 men's team in the rowing for winning the silver medal in an absolutely nail-biting race.

 

I want less chit chat and more events. It doesn't matter if the USA is in the event or not - I want to see it anyway. Like fencing or judo. There's a whole host of events that are never shown. Did get to see tidbits of the synchronized diving - which is certainly a beautiful thing.

 

As for the gymnastics - it's a real trial to watch them do the beam and floor stuff. There's only so much I can take of those splayed fingers and jerky arms. But i said that before.

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It's been a fantastic day for Team GB, hasn't it! Such a shame about the infringement in the women's team cycling sprint. I'm with you on the chitchat Anjuli; every time they start chatting I switch over to one of the other channels to find some more sport. The only chatting I like is at the aquatic centre with the lovely Claire Balding and Ian Thorp.

 

And the great Michael Phelps has just won his 20th Olympic medal. Awesome.

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