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Olympics Prospectus
July 26, 2012 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Finding it hard to get excited about the Olympics? Feel like the broadcasters aren't giving you enough back-story or form guides to the sports you want to watch but haven't seen for 3 years and 51 weeks? You need the Olympics Prospectus.

Slightly unsure of who won the triple jump last time? Feel like there are gaps in your water polo knowledge?

"This prospectus seeks to plug some of these gaps. For every event at the Olympics - 302 in total - I have set out, in the simplest way possible, a brief form-guide: a summary of what's going on in the sport together with tables setting out the world rankings and results from recent Olympic Games and World Championships. For everything that has been included there is inevitably far more left out, but I am hoping this will provide an idea of who is expected to do
well and a snapshot of the stories behind each event."


Note: "I" in the paragraph above is not me, "I" is J A Hingston. No word on Withnail's involvement.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian (30 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's also a book, How to Watch the Olympics. (I haven't read it but I've seen it in bookstores.)
posted by madcaptenor at 9:07 AM on July 26, 2012


New World Record holder for 100 km Eponysteria.
posted by penduluum at 9:15 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


At 74, Omega’s chief Olympics timekeeper is making his 16th and final appearance at the Games, leading 450 technicians and some 800 volunteers who will use more than 400 tons of equipment to ensure peerless accuracy in timekeeping. The Games are as much a showcase for Omega as they are for the athletes, a chance for the Swiss watchmakers to show off the latest advances in sports timing technology — including a clock accurate to one-millionth of a second.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:17 AM on July 26, 2012


I'm finding it hard to get excited about the Olympics because they're the summer Olympics which, IMO, are not nearly as entertaining as the winter games.
posted by asnider at 9:20 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Realise that you can't even bloody listen to the BBC news about the Olympics because "this part of the programme is unavailable due to rights restrictions", get even more pissed off by them?
posted by MartinWisse at 9:24 AM on July 26, 2012


"Olympics Prospectus" is a much classier way of the tumblr version of this, which would obviously be called fuckyeaholympics, which is what I might have called this awesome chunk of knowledge anyway.

This much information just makes me want to take the next 3 weeks off and watch the coverage live online. Whether or not I pretty much do the same thing but from work is still a possibility.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:27 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm following the Modern Pentathlon this year. Why? Two words: LASER. GUNS.
posted by inturnaround at 9:28 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is J A Hingston some huge corporate entity, spending tons of money on Olympic sponsorships? Because if they aren't, publishing Olympic Anything with the circle logo on it is a good way of finding yourself on the receiving end of some serious legal firepower.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:29 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This much information just makes me want to take the next 3 weeks off and watch the coverage live

That. My friends and I have a tradition of watching the Olympics together, throwing themed parties, etc., and this document is about to blow a lot of minds. Thanks for the post.
posted by penduluum at 9:30 AM on July 26, 2012


There's also a book, How to Watch the Olympics.

1. Turn on your television.
2. Notice that the Olympics are on.
3. Switch channels.
4. Watch something else.
posted by Fizz at 9:30 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm following the Modern Pentathlon this year. Why? Two words: LASER. GUNS.

The Modern Pentathlon owns if for no other reason than that it attempts to recreate a 19th century military officer breaking out of a prison camp. You fight one guard with a sword, shoot the other, steal his horse, run when you can't use the horse anymore, and then swim to safety.
posted by Copronymus at 9:32 AM on July 26, 2012 [20 favorites]


it attempts to recreate

This was always my beef with the triple jump. As far as I can tell, it has no connection - however tenuous - with anything a person might actually want to do in real life.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:37 AM on July 26, 2012


This was always my beef with the triple jump. As far as I can tell, it has no connection - however tenuous - with anything a person might actually want to do in real life.

It is, however, essential in Mario 64.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:43 AM on July 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


This was always my beef with the triple jump. As far as I can tell, it has no connection - however tenuous - with anything a person might actually want to do in real life.

It used to be called "Hop, Skip and Jump" if memory serves. Not sure if "Triple Jump" is an improvement or not.
posted by inturnaround at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2012


The triple jump always looked to me like someone trying to cross a really, really hot beach while barefoot.

"Oh god this sand is hot...jump, JUMP to the towel and NO NO ARGH I MISSED IT RIGHT INTO THE SAND WITH MY WHOLE BODY NO NO AAAARGH...."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:46 AM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm just happy that they finally, after all these years, decided to stream every event instead of forcing me to watch what the TV producers think I should be interested in.
posted by sotonohito at 9:56 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


My cable box has sprouted 24 dedicated BBC Olympics channels, which I hope means I can skip between 24 sports I don't really understand instead of restricting myself to just one at a time. You're probably stuffed outside the UK though, since we're turning off streaming radio in case we mention the games. Enjoy the Eisteddfod instead!
posted by penguinliz at 10:06 AM on July 26, 2012


I'm finding it hard to get excited about the Olympics because they're the summer Olympics which, IMO, are not nearly as entertaining as the winter games.

Agreed. Give me some downhill skiing or luge or anything else where a screwup will result in something spectacular. The summer sports are pretty tame in comparison.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:19 AM on July 26, 2012


I'm following the Modern Pentathlon this year. Why? Two words: LASER. GUNS.

Some more words: locally arranged random horse hijinks.

This is why they fall off a lot when the horses surprisingly refuse to jump.

Agreed. Give me some downhill skiing or luge or anything else where a screwup will result in something spectacular. The summer sports are pretty tame in comparison.

See above, although there's also the mountain biking.
posted by Space_Lady at 10:32 AM on July 26, 2012


This was always my beef with the triple jump. As far as I can tell, it has no connection - however tenuous - with anything a person might actually want to do in real life.

It is basically the urban long jump. The extra two jumps are a technique developed from where the jumper has bailed out of the full two footed landing, having spotted errant dog turds in the sand pit.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:49 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now that Mitt Romney is criticizing the LOCOG, can we start enjoying the Olympics now? Please?
posted by gertzedek at 12:01 PM on July 26, 2012


Now that Mitt Romney is criticizing the LOCOG, can we start enjoying the Olympics now? Please?

Trolling for attention. Because, you know. Olympics! Mitt Romney! Olympics! He's like a Seb Coe in structure! Did we mention the Olympics?????
posted by Space_Lady at 12:56 PM on July 26, 2012


Feel like the broadcasters aren't giving you enough back-story

*spit take*
posted by mrgrimm at 1:10 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Feel like the broadcasters aren't giving you enough back-story

*spit take*


For me, having watched 8 or 10 Olympics' worth of coverage in the US, it's not that the broadcasters don't give enough backstory, it's that the only backstory they give is about how American X used to drag trees along behind her as she heroically ran 40 miles each morning through the snow or how American Y has bravely coped with his grandmother's lung cancer. What I actually want to know is mostly stuff that's in this thing: the frontrunners, the contenders from small and/or unlikely nations, and a general overview of how the event is likely to turn out. US Olympic coverage will never in a million years give you a window into how the steeplechase is shaping up this year, but I find that stuff way more interesting than the nationalistic human interest-y stuff that's typical of the coverage we get here.
posted by Copronymus at 1:39 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never watch soccer, but I've been watching all afternoon. That's the olympics.

Soccer: The only sport where you will hear an announcer say, "What an extraordinary display of refereeing". (England v. Senegal)
posted by Mojojojo at 1:53 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're probably stuffed outside the UK though, since we're turning off streaming radio in case we mention the games.

Yes, I know (see my earlier comment). I find it annoying enough already, but sort of understandable, that I can't listen to regular sport events on 5 Live, but to miss my regular Radio 4 programming just because of the fecking Olympics is rage inducing. If I miss Broadcasting House or the Archers on Sunday (and you konw they're going to tie in somehow), I can't hold myself responsible for my actions.

Thank a random and uncaring universe there's Expat Shield.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:03 PM on July 26, 2012


What I actually want to know is mostly stuff that's in this thing: the frontrunners, the contenders from small and/or unlikely nations, and a general overview of how the event is likely to turn out. US Olympic coverage will never in a million years give you a window into how the steeplechase is shaping up this year, but I find that stuff way more interesting than the nationalistic human interest-y stuff that's typical of the coverage we get here.

Got it, and I agree. I would call that "expert analysis" though. Back story generally refers to the personal life stories of various athletes. BORING.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:08 PM on July 26, 2012


Longform is running the Olympics Primer - 10 great stories about the Olympics, spanning history, scandal and science
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:48 PM on July 26, 2012






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