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2012 Summer Olympics, London(Stay away if you want to remain unspoiled.)


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#91 JMcN

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 10:13 AM

I hate to sound cynical but who are the amateurs these days?

#92 Drew

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:19 PM

Spoilers for those dependent on NBC--(I know we aren't really worried about that in this thread, but sometimes people aren't expecting to see results so I will insert some space):
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Thrilled w. Usain Bolt's victory in 100 meters...What a charismatic champion for track and field. Great too how he has pushed all the top sprinters so we see fantastically fast times across the boards. Sad for Tyson Gay though (who ran very well and just needed to thrust his chest forward at end and might have been on the podium). Bronze a terrific vindication for Justin Gatlin. (Obviously silver medalist Johan Blake was great too: I'm thinking he will have other opportunities to take down Bolt...if he can.). I will definitely be rooting for the Americans in the relay, but even w. Bailey running so well it won't be easy.

(I always watched these races in the Olympics but only started vaguely following at least some track and field beyond Olympics--plus boxing--a few years back and largely because of my onetime track and field athlete partner.)

#93 dirac

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:05 PM

The distinction hasn't quite vanished, but almost. I'm pleased to see it go. I have nothing against pros competing but I think the Olympics are not really the place for LeBron James, et al., or even the tennis stars. I like to see the less popular sports get their day in the sun.

Bolt is a delightfully outgoing personality and I don't know why his sport hasn't made more of him to raise track and field's profile, which could use some raising.

Helene writes:

I heartily dislike pros in the Olympics, but if they're going to be there, I couldn't be happier for Murray for winning decisively over Federer at his home Olympics and at Wimbledon. Now he's on again for doubles.


Federer handed Murray his hat at Wimbledon. It was pretty embarrassing. I was not pulling for Murray here but it was indeed nice for him to beat Federer in London. It's not Wimbledon but Roger certainly did want that gold medal. Federer has always been a good Olympian and it would have been nice for him to have it as well even if it means little in the context of his career.

#94 sandik

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 09:10 PM

The other thread about ballet and the Olympics reminded me that at one point there was talk of competition ballroom dancing becoming an Olympic sport. Are there any demonstration sports this time around?

#95 Helene

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 09:25 PM

For me, the distinction is not between amateur and pro, but between multi-million dollar earners through full-time sports in premier leagues and those who make a decent living, like women's prossional basketball players.

#96 JMcN

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:37 AM

I've just watched an interview with Dave Brailsford who is the performance director of British Cycling. Apparently the French want to know how the British cycling team has been so successful over the past 4 years. To paraphrase - the British use round wheels on their cycles! Absolutely priceless....

Seriously though, he explained that they worked out the target and worked back to where they are now and then planned to bridge the gaps to reach the target. He also said that they broke down performance into all aspects and aimed for tiny improvements in each aspect so that overall there was a big improvement. He even mentioned things like washing your hands properly to ensure that there was a reduced chance of illness. He also stressed the importance of everyone in the team, whether riding or backroom.

One example he gave was that one aim had been to have a British winner of the Tour de France within 5 years and that had been achieved within 2 and a half years.

#97 JMcN

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 10:20 AM

A magnificent afternoon in the velodrome for Team GB with two golds and a silver. The final gold was won by Sir Chris Hoy in the Keirin - an incredibly emotional moment. I doubt there was a dry eye in the UK when he was presented with his gold medal. At the age of 36, this is his final Olympics but he is carrying on competitively until the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Our Royal family have been enthusiastic supporters of these games turning up all over the show. The Princess Royal was at the dressage to see our wonderful gold medal there before attending the final events at the velodrome with Princes William and Harry.

#98 Jayne

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 10:58 PM

I watched the women's floor exercises this evening, have to say I preferred the Roumanian Ponar over the American Raisman.

#99 jsmu

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 03:43 PM

As an ex-gymnast, I have always loathed Ponor--she is a classic example of what we used to call a 'tit-shaker', lubricious enough to be doing a pole dance instead of an Olympic floor routine. I'll admit she has FINALLY upgraded her tumbling (the fact that she won an OGM in an event final with a full-in her hardest pass is beyond embarrassing--it is mortifying and unconscionable; Daniela Silivas and Elena Shoushounova, to name only two examples, did tumbling TWICE as hard sixteen years earlier) but the awful hootchy-kootchy is worse than ever. This is what has come to be called 'choreography' in gymnastics, unfortunately...
Raisman, by contrast, is forthright, strong, graceful if not Kristina Ballerina, and dazzling in every gymnastics move, with a large edge in difficulty and amplitude (particularly in the sky-high split after her last tumbling pass) to die for. No one now begins to approach Caslavska, Tourischeva, Comaneci, Kathy Johnson, Laschenova, Omeliantchik, Silivas, etc. ad infinitum, in terms of grace, coordination, and fluidity on floor, but if it must be this sort of routine I vastly prefer brilliant tumbling to sex-kitten behavior.

#100 LiLing

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 04:44 PM

I think the greatest athletes in the Olympics are the horses. The sheer number of different skills and level of difficulty for eventing is amazing. Compare them to track and field. Humans practice for years jumping the exact same hurdles the exact same distance apart. Equestrian jumping courses are different every time. The numerous jumps are different hights, different widths, and made of varied materials. They add all kinds of visuals to distract them, and....the horses see the course for the first time in the competion! Not to mention they also do dressage, very complicated "dancing" which has no relation to what a horse does naturally. I am in awe.

#101 Helene

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:13 PM

From the NYT on synchronized swimming (emphasis mine):

Twelve teams made the final round, but the Russians dominated from the start. Made up to look like sinister adult-size dolls with exaggerated painted-on eyelashes, they won the final on Tuesday with an intricately scary routine — all staccato kicks and aggressive slashing arm movements — set to the theme song from the 1977 horror film “Suspiria,” in which a young dancer realizes that her ballet school is being controlled by witches and that there is no escape.


and

The French went with “Swan Lake” and the traditional duality-of-nature struggle, while the Czechs decided “to show the fight between the classical and modern styles of music,” said Sona Bernardova, a Czech swimmer.



#102 Lynette H

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 11:43 PM

You might be intersted in this on the BBC website for its sheer difficulty - its the gold medal performance on the high bar.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ympics/18903127

#103 dirac

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:45 AM

I think the greatest athletes in the Olympics are the horses. The sheer number of different skills and level of difficulty for eventing is amazing. Compare them to track and field. Humans practice for years jumping the exact same hurdles the exact same distance apart. Equestrian jumping courses are different every time. The numerous jumps are different hights, different widths, and made of varied materials. They add all kinds of visuals to distract them, and....the horses see the course for the first time in the competion! Not to mention they also do dressage, very complicated "dancing" which has no relation to what a horse does naturally. I am in awe.


And they're taking chances, too. Such beautiful and sensitive animals, and it's moving when you think of the partnership between horses and human beings over the centuries (in which the former have often suffered). I like the cross country eventing best, but the dressage is fascinating for the seemingly invisible interactions between horse and rider.

Thank you for that link, Lynette H. That's just awesome. Also thanks for chiming in, jsmu. Very instructive.

Exciting race in the women's open swimming marathon in Hyde Park.

#104 dirac

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:01 PM

Another awesome performance from Bolt. His act is getting a bit old, though.

Q&A with Ashton Eaton.

#105 JMcN

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:10 AM

[size=6]Mo Farah - double gold medallist.[size=4] It's been one of the most fantastic races I have ever watched. It must have been one of the most awesome experiences ever to have actually watched the race in the stadium. [/size][/size]


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