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Tags: Olympics

Obligatory Post of Chancellor Merkel with Shirtless German Soccer Players



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I expect this from Joe Biden, not Ms. Merkel.

But Germans do like their soccer. Fans were even allowed to bring their own sofas and watch Germany vs. Portugal on a big screen at the Alte Foersterei FC Union stadium in Berlin.

Getty images:

The Independent:

I wonder if Germany lost, would the fans torch the sofas Michigan State style?

Tags: Olympics

Who Should Host the 2022 Winter Olympics?



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As of today, there are four cities left in the bidding process: Oslo (Norway), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Lviv (Ukraine), and Beijing/ Zhangjiakou (China).

USA Today sums it up:

Lviv’s candidacy has been in limbo amid the political crisis in Ukraine. It’s unclear whether Sunday’s election of billionaire Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new president will allow the bid to go forward or not.

Oslo, which hosted the 1952 Winter Games, has faced large-scale public opposition to the bid and has yet to secure government financial backing. One of the two parties in the coalition government came out against the bid earlier this month.

IOC President Thomas Bach visited Norway last week and sought to shore up support for the Olympics, but no final decision from the government is expected until the autumn.

Almaty and Beijing are the only two bids that have avoided turmoil. Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, is seeking to become the first city to stage both summer and winter games. Almaty, bidding for a second time, is the commercial capital of the oil-rich former Soviet republic in central Asia.

Deadspin has more on what looks to be a dying bid in Oslo:

The Oslo, Norway, bid is falling apart. It was supported by a razor-thin margin in a September referendum, but public opposition has only grown since then. And on Sunday, the junior member of the government coalition voted against funding any Olympics. For them to go on, it would require an unprecedented alliance between the ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour party.

Ukraine’s bid, for obvious reasons, is probably a non-starter, too.

This leaves Bejing/Zhangjiakou, China or Almaty, Kazakhstan. Is anyone excited about either of those cities? Does either country deserve an Olympics? 

A few weeks ago, I suggested that cities that win bids for the Olympics should get the games for two cycles. This would help cities justify the enormous costs associated with the Games and thus expand the number of cities that bid.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are in PyeongChang, South Korea. And they’re the best choice for 2022, too. 

 

Tags: Olympics

Brazil’s Advice for the World Cup: Don’t Scream While Getting Mugged



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Washington Post:

Last month on a traffic-clogged road in Rio de Janeiro, a TV camera flickered to life. In its frame was a squat Brazilian woman wearing a necklace and a flower-pattern blouse. She and the interviewer discussed the increasing numbers of robberies, deteriorating security and inadequate police protection. Then, in the middle of the interview, a slight man materialized in the frame, ripped off her necklace and bolted into traffic as the woman wailed.

Her interviewer chased the robber, yelling at him to come back.

According to Brazil’s police, which are trying to prepare for next month’s World Cup amid a soaring crime rate, the broadcaster did the wrong thing. He shouldn’t have chased the thief.

Not in a country like Brazil. Not in a city like Rio.

Rather than ignore the many problems plaguing the country’s preparations for its games – droughtmurderstriking policeballooning costsmismanagement and Dengue fever – police are inching toward resignation. They know Rio de Janeiro state, which saw more than 4,000 murders in 2012, is pretty dangerous. And the 600,000 tourists who are expected to descend upon Rio should know it, too.

So Rio police have compiled a list of tips on navigating the city’s violence, including asking tourists to refrain from screaming if someone robs them.

“Do not react, scream or argue,” says the brochure, which will be disseminated at Brazilian embassies and other consulates, according to the BBC. Police warn tourists against flaunting valuables to check and make sure no one’s following them. Mario Leite, the director of World Cup security in Sao Paulo says “tourists come mainly from Europe and the United States, where they do not see this crime very often. … There is no use crying over spilt milk.”

Maybe they’re trying to get the Olympics moved from Rio? The rest here.

 

Tags: Olympics

Plan B: London For the 2016 Summer Olympics?



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The Telegraph reports:

IOC chiefs ‘make secret plea’ to use London 2012 venues as Rio 2016 Olympic Games fall behind schedule
An informal approach has been made by IOC chiefs to ascertain whether enough of the London 2012 Olympic venues could be brought back into use, report claims

So worried are Olympic organisers by how far behind schedule the 2016 Rio Games has fallen, London has reportedly been asked, in secret, if it could host the event at the last minute.

According to the London Evening Standard, an informal approach has been made by IOC chiefs to ascertain whether London’s 2012 Olympic venues could be brought back into use.

The build-up to the Rio Games has been labeled a shambles, with every venue badly behind schedule, spiraling costs and accusations of negligence.

IOC vice-president John Coates has already called Brazil’s preparations “the worst I’ve experienced”, with just two years to go and a football World Cup to host in between.

An “unprecedented” special task force has been set up to try and speed up preparations but the situation on the ground is said to be “critical”.

Actually, allowing cities who win bids to host back-to-back Olympics might make more economic sense than the current model.

The rest here.

Tags: Olympics

The IOC Warns Rio On 2016 Olympic Preparations



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Last week the IOC warned Rio that their Olympic preparations were way behind schedule. And this labor strike won’t help:

Workers at the main venue of the 2016 Olympic Games voted on Monday to continue their strike indefinitely, just days before officials from the International Olympic Committee are due to visit Rio de Janeiro and encourage the city to speed up preparations.

Around 2,500 workers at the Olympic Park, a huge area that will host more than a dozen events, are seeking higher pay and more benefits.

“We don’t know how long we’ll be on strike,” Antonio Figueiredo Souza, president of the construction workers union Sintraconst-Rio, told Reuters.

“We are not going back until we get an offer. So far that hasn’t happened and so it looks like this will end up in the Labour Courts.”

The strike began on April 3 and is the latest in a series of problems affecting the preparations for the 2016 games, the first ever to be held in South America.

Brazil’s preparations are way behind schedule, and work at some venues has not even started. With just over two years to go before the Games begin organisers are still to say how much the extravaganza will cost and which sphere of government will pay for the different jobs that need to be done.

The IOC last week announced Rio needs more oversight and said it will send officials to the city on a more frequent basis. The IOC’s executive director Gilbert Felli is to return to the city later this week.

The rest here.

 

Tags: Olympics

Ukrainian Women Win Gold in Biathlon Relay



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Let’s hope this is just the start of the good news for Ukraine.

AP:

Four teammates stood proudly behind the Ukraine flag, smiles beaming, celebrating their country’s first gold medal at the Sochi Olympics.

Parliament paused in the deeply divided Ukraine to mark the occasion.

After days of deadly anti-government protests, and as government and opposition leaders worked on a political solution to the months-long crisis, the Ukrainian women provided some good news with their victory Friday in the 4×6-kilometer biathlon relay — Ukraine’s first Winter Olympics gold medal in two decades.

“Great proof of how sport can unite the nation,” Sergei Bubka, the pole vault great and leader of the Ukraine Olympic Committee, posted on Twitter. “Moments after girls won gold Ukrainian Parliament stopped discussions …. Speaker greeted the team, MPs sang national anthem! It is a day of crucial decisions in Parliament. Hope the power of sport help to find unity.”

“I am very proud,” Bubka said. “The girls brought such a fantastic success, which really we needed today for the Ukrainian people, to bring the light, to bring the bright future and to show that Ukraine exists, the Ukrainian people together.”

It was a momentum shifting day for Ukraine, with Parliament voting to restore the 2004 constitution that limits presidential authority, clawing back some of the powers that President Viktor Yanukovych had pushed through after being elected in 2010.

“My country has big problems but those are very good results for the people in Ukraine,” Volodymyr Brynzak, president of Ukraine’s biathlon federation and vice-president of the national Olympic committee, told The Associated Press. “Today’s victory in Parliament and now by the team in this competition, it is two victories for Ukraine today.”

The rest here.

 

Tags: Olympics

Bring Back the Gulag



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After the Russian men’s hockey team was eliminated from medal contention last night by Finland, an angry fan suggested sending the team to Siberia.

As the majority of the Russian team currently makes its living in the NHL, I doubt the Siberia option is workable. Oh, how Russia longs for the good ole days when their dictators could sufficiently punish such a public loss. 

Tags: Olympics

In Russia, Bathroom Door Locks You In



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But a jammed bathroom door was no match for American bobsledder Johnny Quinn:

 

Tags: Olympics

Costas Gets Political at the Olympics



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NBC’s Thursday night coverage of the Olympics featured Bob Costas interviewing journalists David Remnick and Vladimir Pozner where the hot-button topic of LGBT rights in Russia was front-and-center. Here are some of the excerpts from that interview. In summary, Putin is much more concerned about terrorists disrupting the games than he is of public-opinion on his views on the LGBT community:

♦Olympic correspondent and Pulitzer-prize winning editor of The New Yorker David Remnick on Putin: “What Vladimir Putin wants to do is reassert Russia on the world stage and the Olympics is the greatest pop culture stage that there is.  It doesn’t happen very often.  If it goes well – if there is no terrorism, no violence and things work – for him it’s a great success, by his domestic terms.  On the world stage though, remember, he is an autocrat. He is no a democrat. He has no interest in LGBT issues or human rights, all the things that are being discussed.  He doesn’t care that you care that much.  What you may think is a downside is not of great concern to him, unless there’s an incident of some kind.”

♦Olympic correspondent and Russian-American journalist Vladimir Pozner on Putin: “I think [Putin] cares much more about how people in this country [Russia] feel about the Olympics and how they go, than how people outside this country feel about that. So if there is nothing bad — like a terrorist attack — if these are successful Games, the majority of people in Russia are going to be happy with that.”

♦Pozner on effect of the anti-gay propaganda law on athletes and visitors: “I think zero. No effect at all. I don’t see anything happening at all.  In fact, I think the powers that be are going to be super careful to see that nothing happens to any gay athlete or guest during the Olympics… Gay Russians have a very tough time.”

And here’s a Costas monologue of sorts on Vladimir Putin where it looks like NBC will go out of its way to paint Putin in the best possible light. Emphasis mine: 

Costas on Russian President Vladimir Putin: “The Sochi Olympics have been an object of fascination and controversy for months now. At the center of every question is the country’s president, Vladimir Putin. He was the central force behind bringing these Games here and was also involved in just about every detail of their planning and presentation. It’s a pivotal and controversial juncture in his ongoing effort to lead his country back to prominence.

“Putin has been a fixture on the international stage for almost 15 years as either president or prime minister. That’s far longer than any other leader among the world’s most influential nations. Just in the past year, Putin brokered a deal to allow Syria to avoid a U.S. military strike by giving up its chemical weapons and helped bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear intentions. He has repeatedly showcased his confidence to take on the West, particularly the United States, offering asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, enticing Ukraine to back out of a deal to join the European Union, and passing laws viewed as repressive to members of the gay community and their supporters. He even wrote an op-ed in The New York Times published last September 11 explaining his view of the situation in Syria and chastising President Obama for calling America ‘exceptional.’ A month later, Forbes magazine named Putin ‘The World’s Most Powerful Person,’ knocking Obama down to No.2.”

Costas’s portrayal of Putin as peacemaker in Syria and Iran is far too generous. As for Ukraine, maybe Costas should turn on the TV and see for himself Putin’s style of enticement.

If Costas thinks this cupcake coverage of Russia and Putin is going to cut it over the next few weeks, he’s sadly mistaken. Maybe some of the hundreds of sports journalists in Sochi can stop complaining about their hotel rooms long enough to do some real reporting on what’s going on inside of Russia.

The political coverage continues tonight when NBC will air Costas interviewing President Obama. Stay tuned. 

Tags: Olympics

Angry Reporters are Tweeting the Sub-Par Accommodations in Sochi



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Maybe somebody should have asked Mitt if Sochi was ready? The Guardian:

“Someone has been sleeping in my bed!” wailed a distraught journalist, finally checking into his Sochi hotel room after a long journey only to find the bed already slept in, presumably by construction workers who were still rushing to complete the rest of the hotel. He might also have accused them of eating his porridge but for the fact that the hotel kitchen was not yet in any fit state to be making it.

The hotel, which is meant to house hundreds of journalists covering the games, is really a sprawling complex of apartment blocks that serve as the one of the main venues for media at the 2014 Winter Olympics

With numbered blocks and room fixtures still being put in place, the complex is far from ready, though the games are to start this weekend.

“Your room is still under construction,” said a harried receptionist Tuesday lunchtime. “They are literally finishing, the keys are literally coming now.”

Those lucky enough to get a room “literally” immediately were, however, forced to endure techno music played at an ear-splitting volume from a stage in a courtyard surrounded by several hotels. It drove one Canadian, trying to sleep off jet lag from a 24-hour journey, to the verge of tears as he beseeched the staff to turn the music down. Unsuccessfully.

Russia has spent $51bn (£31bn) on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, but that sum did not stretch to getting all hotels built on time.

As media from across the world streamed into the Black Sea city, with just 72 hours left until the Olympic torch is lit and the Games officially open, construction work that should have been completed months ago was still underway. On Monday, Sochi organisers said 97% of rooms were finished and the remaining 3% were getting a final cleaning”. The delays do not affect athletes’ accommodation, and the army of volunteers manning Sochi airport and every road intersection are polite and helpful.

The rest here.

It might be time to switch how Olympic venues are chosen. Maybe a system like Japan and South Korea’s joint-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup is in order where the games each year are split up between countries. Would it really be so bad if say four countries hosted the Olympics this year? It might even help ratings to have sports running live in different time-zones 24/7. Another benefit would be warm-weather cities could host the indoor winter sports, thus increasing the number of cities whose infrastructure is already in place to handle a major sporting event. 

 

Tags: Olympics

Mayor: No Gay People in Sochi



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Just like Iran! Via the BBC:

The mayor of Sochi, host of the Winter Olympics, has said there are no gay people in the city.

Anatoly Pakhomov said homosexuals were welcome at the Games – as long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others”.

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov said there were several gay bars in Sochi.

In June 2013, Russia passed a law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality to under-18s – widely seen as an attack on gay rights.

The controversial new law made providing information on homosexuality to under-18s a crime, punishable by a fine.

Critics say its loose interpretation effectively stops gay rights protests in Russia.

Anatoly Pakhomov, a member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, told Panorama that gay people would be welcome at the Games.

“Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn’t impose their habits on others”, he said.

But when asked whether gay people had to hide their sexuality in Sochi, the Mayor said: “No, we just say that it is your business, it’s your life. But it’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city.”

When challenged, the mayor admitted that he was not certain there were no gay people in Sochi: “I am not sure, but I don’t bloody know them.”

The rest here.

Tags: Olympics

A Sochi Mystery: Two Toilets, One Stall



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A BBC reporter snapped this picture . . .

. . . that then went viral after he posted it to his  Facebook page. Here’s his write-up on how the picture then went on to become an outlet of sorts for the Russian people to complain about their government. An excerpt:

The reaction was unexpected and quite overwhelming. The photo triggered a wave of comments in social media, on Russian radio and even on television. This image of two toilets, with no dividing wall, in an Olympic rest room had somehow struck a chord with the Russian people. Some saw it as symbol of the country’s rampant corruption and bad management. “This is what $50bn gets you!” wrote a prominent anti-Kremlin activist – a reference to the alleged cost of the Sochi games.

To other people who saw my picture, these twin bowls seemed to represent the country’s two leaders – the president and prime minister. “It’s the tandem toilet”, declared one tweet. “One seat for Putin, the other for Medvedev.” One cheeky chappie in the Russian blogosphere took my original image and cut-and-pasted a portrait of the two leaders on to the wall above the loos.

There were many comments about Russian’s controversial law that restricts the spread of information about homosexuality. Referring to the two toilets side by side, one social networker warned: “Be careful – this is gay propaganda.” But there were other interpretations, too. One blogger thought the double loo reflected the tight security put in place ahead of the Olympics. “One toilet seat is for the athlete,” he wrote. “The other is for the KGB officer secretly guarding him.”

And yet this photo sparked more than just political satire. It seemed to remind some Russians of their youth – about toilets past, in kindergartens and schools where there were also no partitions, about basic bathrooms in Khrushchev-era Soviet apartment blocks. And perhaps most interestingly, it seemed to say something very deep about the Russian soul. About Russia’s grand tradition of the collective.

I hope there’s some follow-up by reporters in Sochi. Are there more toilets there like this? 

 

Tags: Olympics

Another Year of Funny Looking Olympic Outfits



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Why can’t fashion just be normal? Via Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports:

 

Tags: Olympics

Track Stars Make U.S. Bobsled Team



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I’m no expert on bobsledding so I’ll assume that Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams were picked because they’re the best fit for the team, but I do feel for the women who had dedicated years to making the team who aren’t going to Sochi. From what I’m reading, the competition was close:

“This is the deepest field of push athletes we’ve ever had,” said Darrin Steele, the CEO of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. “We knew heading into the season that the Olympic selection was going to be extremely difficult. It’s a good problem to have, but it meant that some outstanding athletes would not make the Olympic team.”

In short, the U.S. had five women who became de facto finalists for the three push spots. Evans was widely considered a lock to make the team after a series of strong performances, both on and off the track.

Williams was part of four World Cup races this season, winning two silvers earlier in the campaign and then teaming with Greubel for a gold medal on Sunday that surely made her resume look a whole lot better.

“I had no idea what was in store for me this season,” Williams said. “I just wanted to come in with positive energy and help out. This is the first time I’ve been a part of a true team sport, and there’s someone else counting on you. You can’t let that person down, and that’s what drives me. It’s very important to give everything I have whenever I’m on that start line.”

That seemed to leave Jones, Emily Azevedo and Katie Eberling as the candidates for the final spot on the push crew. Jones won silvers with Greubel and Meyers driving this season. Eberling also had a strong resume, with world championship medals in the past and three World Cup bronzes this winter.

In the end, Jones was the call.

If you remember, Jones faced criticism before the London games, with allegations she was picked because of her looks and marketing potential:

Judging from this year’s performances, Lolo Jones seems to have only a slim chance of winning an Olympic medal in the 100-meter hurdles and almost no possibility of winning gold.

Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

Women have struggled for decades to be appreciated as athletes. For the first time at these Games, every competing nation has sent a female participant. But Jones is not assured enough with her hurdling or her compelling story of perseverance. So she has played into the persistent, demeaning notion that women are worthy as athletes only if they have sex appeal. And, too often, the news media have played right along with her.

[. . .]

She barely made the 2012 Olympic team with a third-place finish at the United States trials. Nineteen hurdlers internationally have posted faster times this year than Jones’s best, 12.74 seconds, including the other two Americans in the field. Not all of those faster hurdlers will compete in London, but enough of them will to seemingly minimize Jones’s chances.

She placed fourth in London.

As far as coverage of Jones making the bobsled team this year, well, if you search for Lauryn Williams — the Summer Olympian that was a “lock” — pictures of Lolo Jones come up. Once the games begin, we’ll see if NBC covers the entire team or if their focus is on Jones. 

Tags: Olympics

Sochi 2014: The Most Dangerous Olympics in History?



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Here’s a great video of AEI’s Leon Aroch describing the risks of a terrorist (or other) disruption to the games:

And in other Sochi 2014 news, “hundreds of thousands” of tickets remained unsold. Maybe people don’t need Aroch’s warning to tell them to stay away.

 

Tags: Olympics

Putin Speaks on Gays and the Olympics



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Reuters:

Russia is not “going after” gays, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, defending a ban on “propaganda of homosexuality” that has brought criticism from the West ahead of the Winter Olympics.

The Kremlin hopes the games, starting on Feb. 7 in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea, will showcase Russia’s modern face more than two decades after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Putin has identified himself closely with the $50-billion event.

But Russia last year upset the West and human rights activists by banning what it called the promotion of homosexuality among minors. Calls for a mass boycott of the games have failed, but the row has clouded the build-up to the event.

Critics say the law is discriminatory and part of a rolling back of human rights and democratic freedoms under Putin, who has taken a more conservative course on social issues since returning to the presidency in mid-2012.

“There is no ban on non-traditional forms of sexual interaction between people. We have a ban on propaganda of homosexuality,” Putin told a meeting with young volunteers preparing for the games.

“We ban nothing, we aren’t going after anyone, we have no responsibility for such contacts.”

Putin said some U.S. states had laws envisaging criminal responsibility for gay sexual intercourse.

“We have no such thing, people can feel free and at ease but please leave the children in peace,” he said.

The rest here. 

As much as the media is focusing on this issue, I think the very real threat of a terrorist attack at the games is the greater story.

Tags: Olympics

Now Putin Is Skating with the Russian Olympic Hockey Team



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Terrorism Threatens the Sochi Olympics



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The IOC is putting on a happy face, but two bombings in two days in the city of Volgograd are a concern. ESPN reports:

IOC President Thomas Bach expressed full confidence Monday that Russian authorities will deliver a “safe and secure” Olympics in Sochi despite the two deadly suicide bombings in southern Russia that heightened concerns about the terrorist threat to the Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee said Bach wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin to offer his condolences following the attacks on Sunday and Monday that killed more than 30 people in Volgograd.

A suicide bomber killed 14 people aboard an electric bus during Monday’s morning rush hour, a day after a bomb blast killed at least 17 people at the city’s main railway station.

“This is a despicable attack on innocent people and the entire Olympic Movement joins me in utterly condemning this cowardly act,” Bach said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims.”

Volgograd is located about 650 kilometers (400 miles) northeast of Sochi, which will host the Olympics from Feb. 7-23. Russia’s first Winter Games are a matter of personal pride and prestige for Putin.

Russian authorities believe the two attacks were carried out by the same group. No one claimed responsibility for the bombings, which came several months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov threatened new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the Olympics.

Here’s a map of the region, to give you a sense of where things are happening. Volgograd is the “A” in both maps (Sochi is at the bottom-left in the first map):

 

And Sochi is due west of Grozny, Chechnya, and is about a 13-hour-drive: 

 

Tags: Olympics

The Olympic Torch Might Be Cursed



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At this rate, the torch for the Sochi Olympics will go nuclear by the Opening Ceremony. NYT:

It was bad enough when the Olympic flame went out and had to be relit with a disposable lighter rather than the official backup flame, and even worse when a torchbearer managed somehow to set himself on fire in the Siberian city of Abakan.

But perhaps the low point in what has seemed less like an Olympic torch relay than an exercise in ineptitude and misfortune came earlier this week when one of the runners carrying the torch to the Sochi Games had a fatal heart attack while attempting to walk his allotted distance, about 218 yards.

“He returned to the gathering place and was photographed, then said he was not feeling well and was taken to the hospital, but the doctors were unable to save him,” Roman Osin, a Sochi 2014 torch relay spokesman, told reporters of the man, a 73-year-old school sports director and Greco-Roman wrestling coach. “We express our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”

Maybe a few bad experiences are par for the course in an undertaking that, like many things about the Sochi Games, is built on superlatives — meant to be bigger, better and more thrillingly ambitious than any torch relay that has come before it. At about 40,000 miles, the route is the longest in Olympic history, winding through the North Pole, beneath the water in Lake Baikal and into space. Fourteen thousand people are taking part, the most ever, and they are traveling, variously, on foot, by plane, by train, by car, by snowmobile, by icebreaker, by jet pack, by zip wire, by sleigh, by horse and by camel.

The Russian authorities, who are hoping to use the Games as a way to show off their country’s varied landscapes and superior organizational skills, naturally would like to present the situation in the most benign light. 

The rest here.

Tags: Olympics

Obama Confuses Winter and Summer Olympics While Warning Putin on Gay Rights



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I think his warning would have been better received in Moscow if the president hadn’t asked for the Winter Olympic events to be decided “on the track or in the swimming pool or on the balance beam,” but at least he understood that Russia is hosting an Olympics. PolitiFact would rule the statement “half-true.”

Russia has said that the anti-gay laws will be enforced during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which have sparked protests and demonstrations for boycotting the Sochi Olympics. “If Russia wants to uphold the Olympic spirit, then every judgment should be made on the track or in the swimming pool or on the balance beam and people’s sexual orientation shouldn’t have anything to do with it,” Obama said Tuesday evening.

However, if there were sports such as igloo hurdles, swimming in icy water, or balance beam on ice skates, I’d watch — and so would the rest of America. 

Tags: Olympics

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