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Humans: Be Interested
July 24, 2012 9:27 PM   Subscribe

There's been a lot of talk about the snarls and snafus preceding this year's games. But even as the training is winding down and the athletes are pouring into the Village, there's still plenty of interesting stuff going at this year's Olympics. Like, have you heard about the Olympian without a country? (He's not the first independent athlete to compete.) Or that almost all the US swim team gets themselves ritually tattooed with the Olympic rings? Or that a California girl is one of Saudi Arabia's two female competitors? Or that Caster Semenya (previously 1,2) will be South Africa's flag bearer? Or that Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi may be the first Olympic athlete to have to worry that a kick from her unborn child may put her out of the medal running?
The Christian Science Monitor has been highlighting athletes who's struggled to get to the games, including Behdad Salimi, who'll have to prove he's the strongest man in the world to bear Iran's lone medal hopes, Hiroshi Hoketsu, who's competing in his third Olympics this go round --- second since he retired from his desk job, and Gladys Tejeda, who grew up in a family of subsistence farmers in an Andean village so remote she hadn't even heard of the Olympics until her family got a TV --- in 2007. London will be her third marathon. Of course, there's another class of competitors whose fight to get to the games was a little more literal: This is the first year for women's boxing....

There will be 36 female competitors from 24 nations competing in boxing for the first time at this year's games, in three weight classes: Great Britain's Nicola Adams, Savannah Marshall, and Natasha Jonas; the United States' Marlen Esparza*, Queen Underwood****, and Claressa Shields; Australia's Naomi-Lee Fischer-Rasmussen, Tunisia's Rim Jouini and Maroua Rahli, Romania's Mihaela Lacatus; Nigeria's Edith Ogoke-Agu*, Venezuala's Karlha Magliocco; Kazakhstan's Saida Khassenova and Marina Volnova; Sweden's Anna Laurell*; China's Ren CanCan, Dong Cheng, and Jinzi Li; Azerbaijan's Yelena Vystropova; Brazil's Adriana Araujo, Roseli Feitosa, and Erica Matos; India's Mary Kom*; Canada's Mary Spencer; Tajikistan's Mavzuna Choriyeva; New Zealand's Alexis Pritchard and Sonia Hernandez; Morocco's Mahjouba Oubtil; Russia's Sofya Ochigava and Nadezda Torlopova; Poland's Karolina Michalczuk and Lidia Fidura; Bulgaria's Stoyka Petrova ; North Korea's Kim Hye-Song, Kenya's Elizabeth Andiego; and last but not least, Ireland's Katie Taylor

Though sadly not everybody's Olympic dreams can come true: ‪Sadaf Rahim‬i*, who had hoped to be Afghanistan's only female Olympic athlete, will have to hang on for 2016.

* are for especially awesome articles, though I tried to find a little something for everybody

(And finally, I'm just going to completely succumb to homerism and note that NYC is representing' hard this year, with the second African-American female swimmer to compete, Lia Neal, hailing from Brooklyn, while one of America's best of hopes for an all-round gymnastics gold is none other than a 5'4'' fireplug from the boogie-down Bronx, John Orozco.)

But if none of that grabs you, how about a little history? Did you know that the guy who came in second to Jesse Owens back in 1936 was none other than Jackie Robinson's older brother?

Or how about how a barefoot Ethiopean single-handedly, and shoeless-ly, humiliated his former colonizers at the 1960 Rome games?

Or if you're more mathematically inclined, you could let Nate Silver teach you how to play Fantasy National Olympic Commission Director.

That ought to be enough to give everybody something to chew on. So come Friday, you can sit back, relax, and pretend you're Harry Nelson, because, as your man said:

"It’s a good way to see the world. I’m nosy. It’s a large world. There’s a lot of people to see. That’s how I got on this track.”

Nelson will be attending his 18th Summer Games in a row in London this year. (You do the math.)
posted by Diablevert (66 comments total) 88 users marked this as a favorite

 
There was a cool photo series at The Big Picture which I had hoped to include, but the link wasn't working right when I previewed. It's here. Hopefully that'll work. If not, the blog is at boston.com/bigpicture, and the training series is from July 18th.
posted by Diablevert at 9:29 PM on July 24, 2012


Tremendous post, Diablevert! Looking forward to tackling these over the next few days.
posted by troika at 9:32 PM on July 24, 2012


Great post indeed.

the Olympian without a country

Echoing one of their commenters, the L.A. Times headline annoys me too. South Sudan most certainly is a country; they just don't have enough structure or stability to concern themselves with things like Olympic teams at the moment. As Marial himself says: “The South Sudan has finally got a spot in the world community. Even though I will not carry their flag in this Olympic Games, the country itself is there."
posted by mykescipark at 9:52 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Random tidbit: the TV network that is by far dominant here in Brazil (probably has more audience than all the others summed) didn't win the concession for broadcasting the games. They're being transmitted by an up-and-comer that's striving for number 2 as the traditional #2 sticks to its guns.

As a result, the nightly news most people watch scarcely mention the games at all, nor do their "60-minutes"-type shows. The cable channels owned by some branch in their corporate hierarchy are a lot more free in this aspect, but cable TV is less common here.

I have a t-shirt depicting a stick boy throwing away his TV but own one set. I never watch it alone, preferring to click through on youtube when aching for AV, but flipping through TV on a lazy sunday morning with the girlfriend is he-a-ven...
posted by syntaxfree at 10:06 PM on July 24, 2012


The games are too tainted by money, corporate interest, and taxpayer burden for me to really get excited about any of this.
posted by tunewell at 10:23 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


*looks at photos*
I'll go to the gym today. I promise.
posted by vidur at 10:26 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shooters have to wear special suits?
posted by gottabefunky at 11:05 PM on July 24, 2012


Yes, they're heavy, they dampen vibration, and they're super tight across the back and shoulders to reinforce a particular position on the torso.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:26 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing they standardize the clothing to avoid shenaningans such as extra arm support or fancy shoulder mounts.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:27 PM on July 24, 2012


This is a great post thank you.
posted by fshgrl at 12:02 AM on July 25, 2012


Very nice post. I read an interesting profile of Mary Kom (Indian boxer mentioned above) recently. Worth a read.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:04 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't have the link at the moment, but I believe two or three competitors from the Netherlands Antilles are also competing under the Olympic Flag.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 12:37 AM on July 25, 2012


On closer examination, it's mentioned in the first article. Never mind!
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 12:40 AM on July 25, 2012


Great post.
posted by Elmore at 12:50 AM on July 25, 2012


Is this something Gladys Tejeda's family would have to have a television to care about?
posted by pracowity at 1:48 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, thanks Diablevert, this is a good way into the morass. I'm not happy about the boxing stuff though. Yay for equality of course, but I'd rather see it banned altogether for both sexes. Nothing will ever change my view on that. I spent too much time in A&E depts. It's about time hugging was a demonstration sport.
posted by peacay at 1:59 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's about time hugging was a demonstration sport.

Wrestling is mainly hugging.

They just need to bring back the naked aspect of the sport and they'll have a huge hit.
posted by pracowity at 3:01 AM on July 25, 2012


like a huge "Human Interest" smorgasboard of self congratulation and propaganda to smother the absurd levels of corporate control and fascist activity the Games has brought about in the UK.

From McDonalds to the Olympic Lanes all over the city to the crackdown on "unlicensed use" of the Olympic branding I think the Games have come to represent some of the most disgusting forms of social distraction in our lifetimes.
posted by mary8nne at 3:07 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Its been pretty dismaying to see the amount of corporate lockdown in force. How are people supposed to get into the spirit when the spirit is copyrighted and trademarked and protected - and not that this has stopped non-sponsors from cashing in anyway, every advert on the tube right now features athletes and you can't really distinguish the adverts by the "official suppliers of chocolate biscuits" or whatever from the unofficial ones.

As Will Self says the Olympics are 'a boondoggle for politicians and financiers' - there seems to be way too much money sloshing around to support what is essentially an international running and jumping competition. We're told that the UK will reap £3 for every £1 spent, but I suspect this is rubbish. A small circle of multinationals will make huge amounts of money, while the taxpayer will lose a huge amount.

An example of the crassness: The torch relay, on the face on it, is a nice idea. When you see the photos you discover that for most of its tour of the UK, the torch has been trailing behind a procession of corporate sponsor trucks - the Samsung truck, the Coca-Cola truck, the LloydsTSB truck...

I have sympathy for athletes who want to do their thing but this has got entirely out of hand. They should drop all the sponsorship and opening ceremony nonsense and just make it a small festival of (slightly boring) track and field events with cheap tickets for whoever can be bothered to show up.

I shall however be watching the 100m and the opening ceremony, as I like Danny Boyle and I seem to be paying for this stuff anyway.
posted by memebake at 3:55 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree that the corporate take over has ruined the spirit of The OlympicsTM but I still can't help but be moved and interested in the athletes, so many dreams, so much hard work.

Perhaps in anticipation of the scrutiny Attar will receive in her groundbreaking role as a Saudi Olympian, her family asked Pepperdine to remove photos of Attar and the names of her family members from her online biography. Some photos showed her competing for Pepperdine wearing a tank top, shorts and no head scarf. In Saudi Arabia, most women cover their heads and faces in public and wear a black cloak called an abaya.


Yeah, that's only going to take her so far. I'm sure there are plenty of photos out there showing her in her usual gear. So I take this to mean she will be competing at the Olympics in long sleeves, long pants, and a head scarf? Good luck to her and I hope she doesn't overheat.

And I don't know what to say about the pregnant competitor: 8 months! Good luck to her. I could barely walk at 8 months and felt as awkward as shit. I'm guessing that competitive shooting is the only sport that you could compete in at 8 months pregnant.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:41 AM on July 25, 2012


How are people supposed to get into the spirit when the spirit is copyrighted and trademarked and protected

By watching the games and rooting for the amazing athletes? Seriously, fuck all that background noise.
posted by downing street memo at 4:49 AM on July 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


memebake: How are people supposed to get into the spirit when the spirit is copyrighted and trademarked and protected
downing street memo: By watching the games and rooting for the amazing athletes? Seriously, fuck all that background noise.

Well, if you're far away its probably more fun. For those of us in London, the Brand Police have really been a mood killer. Seriously.

Here are some examples:
London Cycle Hire (Boris Bikes) not allowed in Olympic Park (because they are sponsored by the wrong bank)
Visa removes all Mastercard ATMs from several Olympic Sites
McDonalds preventing anyone else on Olympic Sites from serving chips (eventually they backed down)
This round-up of olympic nonsense by marketing week which features:
Mum banned for wearing charity wristband during Torch Relay, Olympic ring bagels banned from cafe window, Primary school children banned from wearing any other trainers except Adidas to olympic parade

Not to mention all the concerns about civil liberties which have been curtailed at the insistence of the IOC.

I was really excited when we first got awarded the games in 2005, but all of this stuff has really killed the mood for me.
posted by memebake at 5:29 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


According the "Caster Semenya" link, one of South Africa's other runners will be the first runner to compete in the Olympics (not Paralympics) as a double-amputee. How did you miss that from the FFP, Diablevert?

This link says "Born in Johannesburg, Pistorius was 11 months old when he was diagnosed with congenital absence of the fibula in both legs and had them amputated halfway between his knees and ankles. Undeterred in his athletic determination, he grew up playing rugby, water polo, tennis and wrestling; in 2004, after an injury, he was introduced to running and fell in love, soon competing in both Paralympic and able-bodied events. Later this month, he will become the first double amputee runner in the history of the Olympic games."

But what if we get to the point (the "six million dollar man" point?) where prosthetics begin to seriously outperform natural limbs? Does this mean we might already be getting there? I think that we might one day have to ban people with prosthetics from competing in the Olympics, otherwise the perverse incentives might someday make steroids look innocent by comparison...
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:37 AM on July 25, 2012


the Olympian without a country

I insist that he preface his race by bellowing "I race for me! For me!"

If nothing else, a Sudanese imitating a Swede imitating a Russian for an Italian-American will be a fine embodiment of the Games' international spirit.
posted by Egg Shen at 5:39 AM on July 25, 2012


Memebake, mary8anne, there is another thread where people have been expressing their unhappiness with the games and how they've been managed; it's still open and quite popular, as many people, Londoners in particular are quite upset about it. With good reason.

For myself, I felt that it would be a shame if people's problems with the way the games were being run were to overshadow and devalue the athelete's efforts, so that's why I set about trying to find some interesting stories among the hoopla. As for why bother caring at all, I suppose it's only interesting inasmuch as watching anyone struggle to be the best in the world at something is interesting. I mean, the earth's going to crash into the sun in six billion years and none of this will ultinately matter, but you only get one life and I think there's a certain fascinating, and often admirable, in someone choosing to dedicate theirs to one particular challenge. More admirable than, say Doctors without borders, no. But you only get one go and I this pushing your abilities to the limit is a fair use of it.
posted by Diablevert at 5:48 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted. If you don't care about the subject of the post, please go ahead and find another post you like better. If you just want to talk about how angry you are, there are some still open threads that are perhaps a better fit for that. ]
posted by taz at 5:49 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


no, no and no.
posted by telstar at 5:52 AM on July 25, 2012


How did you miss that from the FFP, Diablevert?

We've talked about Pistorius here before; the most recent thread is still open, even.
posted by rtha at 6:01 AM on July 25, 2012


Thanks, rtha. I'm enjoying that thread from earlier this month now. It's probably one of the 231 unread MeFi posts in my rss reader at the moment...
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:23 AM on July 25, 2012


I hear you, OnceUponATime - I'm always discovering posts where I'm all "How did I miss that?"
posted by rtha at 6:28 AM on July 25, 2012


The Caster Semenya gender testing thing outrages me every time I read about it. As much as the brand policing ("you can't say London 2012!") and the security and other issues about how the games are being run annoy me, that's an issue that directly affects the athletes and one that the IAAF handled very badly. I know I'm "supposed to" root for my own country, but I hope she kicks everyone's ass in her events.
posted by immlass at 6:54 AM on July 25, 2012


A lot of folks have asked that the opening ceremony have a moment of silence for the murdered Israeli athletes in an earlier olympics.

The people in charge said NO. Even now, there is improper or no protection for Israeli swimmers as they work out.

But a number of Munich widows have asked that those in attendance hold their own moment of silence during opening speeches. And Romney also asks for a moment of silence in memory of the atheletes slaughtered in Munich.

As one post said (I can not recall where I had seen this), If Americans, or Germans or British athletes had been killed by Hezbollah terrorists, you know there would be a moment of silence.
posted by Postroad at 7:08 AM on July 25, 2012


Still another thing to groove on if none of this grabs you still (unlikely as that may be) are the ceremonies themselves, which can sometimes contain wildly dramatic and moving moments (I still get chills thinking of Muhammed Ali lighting the torch in Atlanta), or can be completely over-the-top bizarre (the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin randomly sent a Ferrari driving a lap around the stadium at one point, had a bunch of dancers dressed as mountains or cows frolicking around, and chose 80's pop tunes for all the parade of athletes entering the stadium. The Mongolian team looked really confused that they were marching in to the tune of "Video Killed The Radio Star.")

This year I've heard rumors that part of the London opening ceremonies will feature a skit n which Mary Poppins does battle with Voldemort.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:11 AM on July 25, 2012


And Romney also asks for a moment of silence in memory of the atheletes slaughtered in Munich.

President Obama has also called for a moment of silence at the Opening Ceremonies in remembrance of the Israeli athletes killed as a result of the terrorist attack on the Olympic Village during the 1972 games in Munich.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:13 AM on July 25, 2012


"On the morning of the competitions, normally, I will say to my baby, 'Mummy's going to compete today so I need you to calm down, and then afterwards if you want to be active and you want to kick a ball or something that's OK!'"

Awwww <3
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:45 AM on July 25, 2012


Ignoring the corporatism and all that, I'm not sure it's all that wonderful to watch people "strive to be the best" in this way.

For one thing, the things they're best at are, after all, relatively trivial.

More important, it would be nice if humans could try for "the best they possibly can be" rather than "better than the other guy". Our competitive instincts hardly need any encouraging.

Still worse is the nationalism. Why should it even be interesting that an athlete is "without a country"? Individual competitiveness is distasteful and sometimes has bad consequences, but group competitiveness is outright dangerous, especially among large, armed political entities. It's also a pretty awful form of co-optation, because these athletes' achievements have little or nothing to do with their national affiliations. And the Olympics are basically built around it.

Tattooing yourself for a swim race? With the same tattoo as everybody else who happens to have been assigned by chance to your "team"? In a mostly individual sport? That's pretty damn creepy, and all of a parcel with everything else that's wrong. And boxing?? Yech.

So, no, I'm sorry, but I'm not interested. It's not that they're doing it wrong. It's that they're doing the wrong thing in the first place.
posted by Hizonner at 8:01 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even now, there is improper or no protection for Israeli swimmers as they work out.

The way I'm reading that article, the swimmers were supposed to tell the Sports Ministry where they were going, so the Ministry could tell Shin Bet, so that security could be arranged. They didn't. You're implying that it's somehow the fault of the Games organisers or British security.
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:06 AM on July 25, 2012


In case anyone is looking for a schedule of events, I've found the NYT version to be the most readable. It also doesn't count against your allotted articles.
posted by troika at 8:10 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


That Queen Underwood profile isn't the sort of information you usually find in the NBC olympics commercials, I have to say. I'm a little uneasy about the way it's presented (it seems to be lingering more on her victimization and less on her recovery, as it were), but it seems like that's how Queen decided to present it, and that's her choice. Hoping for the best for her.

I couldn't read the last part with her father, though. I can't imagine anything I want to hear less about than his thoughts or opinions on anything in the fucking universe.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:38 AM on July 25, 2012


Hizonner, you may be happier in this thread. Memebake and maryanne are already there and memebake has even posted about how that thread is indeed much suited to those who have the Olympics-are-stupid perspective.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:49 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is the reasoning behind a moment of silence at this Olympics for the Munich murders? Is that something that they want at every Olympic games? Otherwise, I don't understand the push for it now.
posted by nolnacs at 9:42 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Iran's Judo Champ Withdraws From Olympics, Ending Chance Of Facing Israeli
posted by rosswald at 9:56 AM on July 25, 2012


What is the reasoning behind a moment of silence at this Olympics for the Munich murders? Is that something that they want at every Olympic games? Otherwise, I don't understand the push for it now.

40th anniversary.
posted by inigo2 at 10:26 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


... and memebake has even posted about how that thread is indeed much suited to those who have the Olympics-are-stupid perspective.

*gives friendly wave from the other thread/perspective*
posted by memebake at 10:32 AM on July 25, 2012


troika's NYTimes' schedule is no-nonsense. I can ignore the whole first week as it looks like there is no Track and Field until Day # 8 Fri Aug 3!
posted by bukvich at 10:52 AM on July 25, 2012


How is the 40th anniversary any more meaningful than the 36th? Of course, I've always found our society's emphasis on anniversaries (and round number anniversaries in particular) as being meaningful to be baffling so perhaps this is just lost on me as well.
posted by nolnacs at 10:58 AM on July 25, 2012


How is the 40th anniversary any more meaningful than the 36th? Of course, I've always found our society's emphasis on anniversaries (and round number anniversaries in particular) as being meaningful to be baffling so perhaps this is just lost on me as well.

Wow, this comes across as an awfully coy walk around the barn. Not sure if you meant it that way or not...
posted by BobbyVan at 11:16 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


How is the 40th anniversary any more meaningful than the 36th?

Because we decided that anniversaries that end in 0 or 5 are Big Deals. I know, I know - that's a dumb answer. But that's the answer.
posted by rtha at 11:23 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, this comes across as an awfully coy walk around the barn. Not sure if you meant it that way or not...

Walk around the barn? I'm not familiar with that expression. what does it mean?
posted by nolnacs at 1:53 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


It means that it seems you're skirting the issue in way that is a little too cute. It doesn't come across as terribly credible for someone to raise an objection to anniversaries per se, especially when it's one that has potential political ramifications, like an anniversary of Israelis being murdered.

I mean, I guess it's possible that there are people who just don't like anniversaries at all and raise these objections consistently without any particular bias, but it seems more likely that there is an unstated political objection here...
posted by BobbyVan at 2:02 PM on July 25, 2012


Ah, no. I don't have a unstated political objection. I don't really care one way or another whether this happens. I'm just trying to understand why this is an issue and yes, I am a person who thinks that the emphasis on anniversaries/birthdays whatever is generally silly.

To me it would make more sense if the position was that there should be the moment of silence or whatever at every Olympics, but I don't see the rationale behind the 40th anniversary being more important than the previous ones.
posted by nolnacs at 2:17 PM on July 25, 2012


Speaking of Olympic history: Why Are Jim Thorpe’s Olympic Records Still Not Recognized? 100 years ago, Jim Thorpe became the greatest American Olympian of all time, but not if you ask the IOC
posted by homunculus at 2:21 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


How is the 40th anniversary any more meaningful than the 36th?

Because we decided that anniversaries that end in 0 or 5 are Big Deals. I know, I know - that's a dumb answer. But that's the answer.


Moreover, since summer Olympics only come once every four years, the Olympics will never coincide with an anniversary that ends in 5 and only rarely one that ends in 0.
posted by SugarFreeGum at 2:48 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


There doesn't seem to have been a Munich memorial as part of official ceremonies in 1992 (or any Olympics before or since) that I can find with a minimal amount of research. And the anniversary isn't until September. And an official memorial has already been held. It just wasn't during the opening ceremonies.

As far as I can remember, only a pair of wars have ever warranted mention in an opening ceremony. So if nothing else, the IOC has well established tradition to back up its decision.

I understand the desire for it, but as soon as US presidential candidates started calling for a moment of silence there was no way the IOC could come out of this looking good. At least they're trying to make an attempt at a compromise, possibly even in good faith rather then just as a calculated political move.
posted by figurant at 5:13 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Entertainment with the DPRK team.
posted by jaduncan at 5:20 PM on July 25, 2012


Oh man, TIL that Teófilo Stevenson died last month.
posted by elizardbits at 6:52 PM on July 25, 2012


"Bro, trust me: That shit is unreal.": Grantland falls in love with rhythmic gymnastics.
posted by Diablevert at 2:48 PM on July 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's a fantastic article that makes some great points about a lot of things while being pretty damn funny along the way:

Looking at the overall culture of the sport, you sometimes get an impression of an ancient, complex civilization made up entirely of 12-year-olds named Bethany. The core aesthetic of RG is … well, there are leotards on which the sequins have sequins. There are pinks that cut your brain. Words like "butterfly princess" and "Euro Disney halftime show" and "the crime scene after the Easter bunny is beaten to death with a vintage Patrick Nagel print" flutter into the mind.

But seriously, it's a pro-rhythmic gymnastics.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:49 PM on July 26, 2012


Wow. The video in that linked Grantland article is amazing; I guess it's been a very, very long time since I've watched rhythmic gymnastics (quite possibly, 1984) as I had no idea humans could do those things with hula hoops and balls. Some of those girls appear to be violating the laws of physics.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:40 PM on July 26, 2012


It's about time hugging was a demonstration sport.

Wrestling is mainly hugging.

They just need to bring back the naked aspect of the sport and they'll have a huge hit.
Wrestling is manly hugging. FTFY.
posted by mce at 8:04 PM on July 26, 2012


Fuck yeah, that Grantland article is great. Good for them.

The point being that the definition of "sport" is big and porous and fabulously imprecise, and there's no reason for it not to be, and RG great Evgeniya Kanaeva, who's one of the favorites in London, can do stuff like "throw a ball 40 feet in the air and catch it on the small of her back while balancing on the tips of her toes on one foot with the other leg in the air." I have no time for anyone who would rather defend the silos and find a reason to exclude RG than just shut up and marvel at it.

I am so so so delighted that someone else is finally going to bat publicly for rhythmic gymnastics. It's astonishingly athletic and beautiful stuff. But yeah, I agree with this part:

I can imagine an RG in which the leotards were unadorned and the ribbons were white and the apparatuses were simple and gray. I think I would still like that sport.
posted by mediareport at 8:58 PM on July 26, 2012


Has anyone seen the Google Doodle today? There's a nice easter egg in there.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:38 AM on July 27, 2012


Have seen the doodle, what's the surprise element? I've clicked on it and only gone to the Google search results for the Olympics.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:58 AM on July 27, 2012


One of the characters is the guy from the web game QWOP. Pic for comparison.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:08 AM on July 27, 2012


Beijing's Real Olympic Hero: Meet Ji Sizun, imprisoned for three years for daring to take China's promises of greater openness at the 2008 Games at face value.
posted by homunculus at 3:59 PM on July 27, 2012


The Guardian's got your basketball highlights....in Lego.
posted by Diablevert at 7:27 AM on July 30, 2012


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