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2012 Summer Olympics, London

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More about NBCs editing of the opening ceremony.

Choreographer angry that NBC cut segment

David Bauder

Associated Press – Sat, Jul 28, 2012

http://news.yahoo.co...7--finance.html

NEW YORK (AP) — The choreographer of a somber segment in the London Olympics opening ceremony said Saturday he's disappointed that NBC decided not to show it to an American audience.

Spectators were asked to display photos of loved ones who could not be there during the segment. The music, a hymn called "Abide With Me," was described in the ceremony's program as an "honest expression of the fear of approaching death."

NBC producers did not air it, instead showing American viewers Ryan Seacrest's interview with swimmer Michael Phelps.

"I am disappointed," said Londoner Akram Khan, who choreographed and danced in the segment. "I am really sad that I couldn't show the work in America, and that really upsets me, because I don't think it's any more or less than the other pieces. It brings to mind the question ... that maybe it's too truthful."

The ceremony's program describes the performance as dramatizing "the struggle between life and death using such powerful images of mortality as dust and the setting sun."

Some in the British press have interpreted the segment as being a tribute to victims of bomb attacks in July 2005 that killed 52 commuters and four suicide bombers on London's transit network. During the BBC live coverage of the ceremony, commentator Hazel Irvine made the connection while the dance was taking place: "The excitement of that moment in Singapore seven years ago when London won the games was tempered with great sorrow the very next day," when the terror attacks took place, she said.

NBC said it had no indication that the segment was a reference to the terrorist attacks.

Although in many places the ceremony was aired in full, NBC aired it on a tape-delayed basis and made editing changes. The network said there are often such production decisions when showing a taped version of a ceremony.

"Our program is tailored for the U.S. television audience," said NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes. "It's a credit to (ceremony director) Danny Boyle that it required so little editing."

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Miachael Phelps looked like his old self again in the men's 4x100 freestyle relay . He's not the one who lost the race. It was Ryan Lochte-(who seems to be such a favorite now)-, who choked away Team USA's big lead on the final leg.

Judging from Phelps' amazing swim, I need to predict that his time as a dominant force in men's swimming is far from over. He was superb in his leg of that relay, posting the fastest time by anyone except for France's Yannick Agnel. Then we have to consider that the 100-meter freestyle isn't even Phelps' best event. He doesn't even compete in the regular 100-meter freestyle sprint. He's been better throughout his career in the longer sprints, and his specialty is the butterfly. Go Mikeyyyyyyy, gooooooooooo!!!! yahoo.gif

Will be watching the man...flowers.gifflowers.gifflowers.gif

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If Phelps couldn't beat Agnell's time, I wouldn't be so hard on Lochte. It might have been a wrong strategic move to have Lochte swim the anchor leg, but I'm not sure Phelps would have been able to do much better as anchor.

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If Phelps couldn't beat Agnell's time, I wouldn't be so hard on Lochte. It might have been a wrong strategic move to have Lochte swim the anchor leg, but I'm not sure Phelps would have been able to do much better as anchor.

Unfortunately, this time Lochte cost himself and two other teammates a victory. He hit the water with a 0.55-second lead over France and touched the wall 0.45 seconds after Agnell.

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Relays are a combination of all of the times. Unless any of the team members had a personal best -- which as far as I've been listening and reading did not happen -- each one of them is responsible for their overall placement.

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Relays are a combination of all of the times. Unless any of the team members had a personal best -- which as far as I've been listening and reading did not happen -- each one of them is responsible for their overall placement.

True

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Relays are a combination of all of the times. Unless any of the team members had a personal best -- which as far as I've been listening and reading did not happen -- each one of them is responsible for their overall placement.

True

What I'm really looking forward to is Phelps' performance on the 100 butterfly this Friday. This will be Phelps's final individual swim of his career, so it's hard to see him losing. Still, the margin for error is very slim going against American teammate Tyler McGill and 2008 upstart Milorad Cavic. Phelps was deeply fatigued by this time of the meet in Beijing, and it took everything he had plus divine intervention to beat Cavic by 0.01 seconds then. Four years later it will be very difficult again, but I know he'll find a way to the wall first ! yahoo.gif

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I think we're seeing the grind of 12+ years of daily swimming for 6 hours - Michael Phelps' body is not made of kryptonite. He is human and swimming is a particularly difficult sport for repetitive injuries. I think NBC has put him up on a pedestal that is difficult to come down from without falling. He will probably win 2 more gold, but I don't think he'll win more than that.

I hardly call a silver medal winning performance "choking" for Ryan Lochte. If that's failure, I'd like to have a spoonful.

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Was thrilled watching the men's team gmnastics final yesterday afternoon. I forgot to breathe during the final rotation. Well done Team GB for your bronze medal.

JUst watching on the television the atmosphere was electric - it must have been awesome to be there.

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Was thrilled watching the men's team gmnastics final yesterday afternoon. I forgot to breathe during the final rotation. Well done Team GB for your bronze medal.

JUst watching on the television the atmosphere was electric - it must have been awesome to be there.

Oh, yes! What a final. Very happy for Team GB. My heart went out to the Ukrainians though, who ended up being pushed to 4th. crying.gif

It was an exciting night of swimming, too! The highlight for me was Nick Thoman winning silver behind his teammate Matt Grevers in the men's 100m backstorke (the 5th straight time USA has won the event, I think), who almost retired after failing to make the Olympic team in 2008.

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I hardly call a silver medal winning performance "choking" for Ryan Lochte. If that's failure, I'd like to have a spoonful.

If I remember the pre-race predictions correctly, the US actually outperformed expectations by coming in second.

Lochte and Phelps are both in their late twenties. They're of retirement age for swimmers. Lochte has worked hard to stay in shape but he looked pooped. I suspect he has too much on his plate.

Just watching on the television the atmosphere was electric - it must have been awesome to be there

Great final.

.

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Adding that the final would have been even more fun to watch if the coverage hadn't been even more aggressively Americancentric than usual. I'm sure there were some really good routines we didn't see while NBC stayed loyally with the tanking US team.

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Adding that the final would have been even more fun to watch if the coverage hadn't been even more aggressively Americancentric than usual.

In Seattle we used to be able to watch some of the Canadian coverage of the games, and they were indeed more egalitarian -- alas, the contract went to a network we don't get through our cable provider, and we're at the mercy of NBC...

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That's what I understand about Canadian coverage as well, sandik. Last night NBC's coverage belatedly shifted to the British team, which at least made the podium. It would have been nice to see more of the gold medalists, but they're Chinese, so I guess NBC figures we don't want to see them.....:)

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In Canada, there are three channels covering the Olympics, CTV, SportsNet, and TSN, and I think every hour at least two of the three of them are covering the Olympics. The downside is that instead of showing entire events, like weightlifting, archery, judo, on one of the channels, they show just a few of each if we're lucky, and re-broadcast the abridged coverage on one of the other three channels.

Still, it's miles ahead of NBC.

McKayla Maroney's vault was one of the most beautiful things I've seen in Women's gymnastics flowers.gif. Kudos to Gabrielle Douglas, the only US women to compete on four events. Her score was highest in two and second in two. Sui Lu's beam routine was stunning, too.

Lochte, who did look tired after his opening win in the 400 IM, came back strong in the first leg of the US Men's winning 4x200 Freestyle Relay. His was the second fastest time (1m45.15s) after Phelps' anchor leg (1m44.05s), and they were 3.07 seconds ahead of the silver-winning French. Yannick Agnel's anchor leg was 1m43.24s.

Congrats to Allison Schmitt on winning the 200m Freestyle with an Olympic Record! Missy Franklin missed bronze by .01. I know she already has a gold medal, but that has to hurt.

The Kazakhstan women are killing it in weightlifting so far.

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I have a cute/funny story to tell concerning the Olympians. My daughter dances in Europe in a town where there is an excellent Olympic swim coach who trains swimmers from all over the world. She met these swimmers and became fast friends with them and the coach. On one occasion my daughter and the swimmers went out to dinner. The waiter, upon hearing all the different languages being spoken at the table, inquired as to the reason why they were living in his town. Their reply: "We are all Olympic swimmers, but xxxxx (my daughter) is a professional ballet dancer!" It seems that there was a fascination amongst the swimmers in my daughter's career. They gave her swim suits/swim caps that they wore in Beijing and from their sponsors, asked if they could try on her pointe shoes and could they come to company class with her, went with her to yoga classes and watched her performances. She was amazed that they were so fascinated in her. Her response to me: "Mom, I don't think they have a clue how much more they have accomplished in their lives than I have in mine." It has been exciting watching them in London. I watched two of her girlfriends on the Netherlands team place 2nd ahead of the US in the women's 400 freestyle relay and one of the men on the French freestyle relay upset the favored to win US team to receive the gold. They have more events to swim and I will of course be rooting for the US and for them.

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CONGRATULATIONS to our ladies on the pairs rowning team. What a fantastic row and our first gold too. It was such a convincing row that I didn't even have to stop breathing....

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Interesting article complaining that gymnastics is not enough like dance! "gymnastics adherents yearn for more classically trained, balletic athletes who could dance and express as well as they could tumble."

//www.slate.com/articles/sports/fivering_circus/2012/07/_2012_olympics_gymnastics_female_gymnasts_used_to_be_fantastic_dancers_how_did_the_floor_exercise_get_so_graceless_.html

I just don't get the author's nostalgia for "dance" (I use the term advisedly) in women's gymnastic floor routines. These women look absolutely beautiful just doing what they do -- why impose some sort of gender-based requirement that they be graceful to music. Can the music, can the "choreography," can the shiny togs, and let them tumble full stop, just like the men.

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The gender-based requirement -- among other gender-based restrictions, like the number of tumbling passes they can do -- is imposed in the scoring criteria, which require interpretation, and the basic fact that Women's floor exercise is defined as movement to music, where Men's floor exercise has no music nor requires interpretation.

It's built into the discipline. What people are bemoaning is that the judges aren't marking as if it were a requirement -- giving some gymnasts a pass on the interpretation/dance part, mostly marking strong tumblers as strongly or almost as strongly as those who meet the requirement. It's the same complaint about ballet competitions rewarding gymnastics and tricks, even if the official judging criteria includes style, interpretation, and musicality.

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The gender-based requirement -- among other gender-based restrictions, like the number of tumbling passes they can do -- is imposed in the scoring criteria, which require interpretation, and the basic fact that Women's floor exercise is defined as movement to music, where Men's floor exercise has no music nor requires interpretation.

Understood. I think they should change the scoring criteria. Call me old-fashioned, but I think those criteria are sexist. I can see why women's gymnastic events are different from men's -- that's driven by the real differences between the genders in matters like upper body strength, flexibility and the like -- but I can't see why women gymnasts have to be performers in addition to being athletes, especially if male gymnasts aren't expected to do the same thing. It's as if the sport's early organizers were afraid to let women just glory in their physical prowess.

And frankly, even the dancing in the 80's routines Dvora Meyers is so nostalgic for looks pretty lame. But the tumbling runs never do.

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Interesting article complaining that gymnastics is not enough like dance! "gymnastics adherents yearn for more classically trained, balletic athletes who could dance and express as well as they could tumble."

//www.slate.com/articles/sports/fivering_circus/2012/07/_2012_olympics_gymnastics_female_gymnasts_used_to_be_fantastic_dancers_how_did_the_floor_exercise_get_so_graceless_.html

Thanks for the article, kbarber. Note that the article focuses entirely on women’s gymnastics, which as Helene notes is where the emphasis on music, theatrical makeup, and dance elements comes in. (The men can just do their tumbling passes and don’t have to bother about hip wiggles and saucy glances.)

The article is a little behind the times -the twinkle-toes era in gymnastics has been over for awhile. I like to see grace and musicality if it comes naturally but I also like the wonders that a powerful little athlete like Shawn Johnson can perform and I’m not crazy about the cutesy-wootsy Nina Pretty Ballerina mannerisms that creep in when the girls are playing too obviously to the crowd. So if those particular aspects of the requirements are de-emphasized it’s no great loss to this viewer.

The article also mentions Beth Tweddle’s great routine on the bars the other night, which US TV audiences didn’t get to see, natch.

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Understood. I think they should change the scoring criteria. Call me old-fashioned, but I think those criteria are sexist. I can see why women's gymnastic events are different from men's -- that's driven by the real differences between the genders in matters like upper body strength, flexibility and the like -- but I can't see why women gymnasts have to be performers in addition to being athletes, especially if male gymnasts aren't expected to do the same thing. It's as if the sport's early organizers were afraid to let women just glory in their physical prowess.

I agree. One of the biggest differences in physical ability, though is that women are pretty much limited to tumbling, turns, and leaps, and probably a few presses, while men have the upper body strength to do planges and whatever they call it when they swing their legs around as if on the dungeon torture device pommel horse, although the total amount of time the men do these moves probably equals the amount of embarrassing "dance" movement the women do.

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Understood. I think they should change the scoring criteria. Call me old-fashioned, but I think those criteria are sexist. I can see why women's gymnastic events are different from men's -- that's driven by the real differences between the genders in matters like upper body strength, flexibility and the like -- but I can't see why women gymnasts have to be performers in addition to being athletes, especially if male gymnasts aren't expected to do the same thing. It's as if the sport's early organizers were afraid to let women just glory in their physical prowess.

I agree. One of the biggest differences in physical ability, though is that women are pretty much limited to tumbling, turns, and leaps, and probably a few presses, while men have the upper body strength to do planges and whatever they call it when they swing their legs around as if on the dungeon torture device pommel horse, although the total amount of time the men do these moves probably equals the amount of embarrassing "dance" movement the women do.

I'd be OK with them (men and women) just standing there for a couple of seconds looking serene and composed while getting focussed for the next pass. Stillness can be a good thing to see too. I LOVE that stuff on the pommel horse, btw, but I think it looks oddly attenuated on the mat.

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I miss gymnastics when there was more "art" in it. Case in point:

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