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No spring can follow past meridian

Figure skater Evgeni Plushenko (wiki) withdrew from the men's individual event at the Olympics in Sochi and announced his retirement from amateur skating (NYT) only days after winning gold in the team event. Plushenko has won medals at four Olympic Games* (2006 gold: Short Program, Free Skating; 2014 gold; 2002: SP, FS, 2010: SP, FS); he has won 17 gold, 8 silver and 2 bronze medals in major competitions in spite of a 2006-2008 hiatus and he holds 10 titles in the Russian Nationals in a career spanning over 17 years. He was famous not only for his technique, but also for his grace and showmanship. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Feb 14, 2014 - 42 comments

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey - the first American woman to medal in judo at the Summer Olympics - is widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world. She has won all six of her professional fights - all but one of them in less than a minute - using a trademark armbar that is usually described as "devastating". [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 10, 2012 - 110 comments

an enigmatic people dedicated to the life of the mind

'Bookish' Australians indifferent to Olympics success.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 8, 2012 - 68 comments

Even Better than Team Fortress 2

The BBC's new Olympics 2012 ad (full 2m40s version; SLYT) is a CGI masterpiece for the video gamer era. (best viewed with YouTube HD resolution settings on) [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Jul 7, 2012 - 74 comments

The Strongest Woman In America Lives In Poverty

The Strongest Woman In America Lives In Poverty. Weightlifter Sarah Robles is an incredible athlete, but outside the world of squats and snatches, barely anyone knows her name.
posted by roger ackroyd on Jun 29, 2012 - 102 comments

“I hope you’re not trying to check that,”

Clearing the Bar Is the Easy Part: [NYTimes] "Mark Hollis is a pole-vaulter, and while he and his competitors here feel significant pressure as they compete for a place on the Olympic team, the anxiety they experience just trying to get their equipment to meets is sometimes even more excruciating."
posted by Fizz on Jun 23, 2012 - 35 comments

A real world distopian sports event

Not content with displacing the poor, menacing photographers and blocking ambulances the london olympics now wants ground-to-air missiles, presumably to shoot down rogue skywriters who might misuse it's brand.
posted by Artw on Apr 28, 2012 - 68 comments

Chinese Women's Olympic Weightlifting

It’s a very specialized set of sports that the Chinese focus on but they simply kick absolute ass at them. ... If you look at the 2008 Olympic weightlifting results in Beijing... the women didn’t just squeak by to win a medal; most were simply so far ahead of their competition that it was a joke. In most cases, the Chinese women took their first attempt after everyone else had already finished lifting for the day. And they came out and just dispatched their weights in perfect form, setting new world records and winning medals with abandon. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 4, 2012 - 52 comments

Kila Raipur Sports Festival Rural Olympics

In February each year, Ludhiana becomes the destination fro hundreds of sports enthusiasts, including foreigners. They come to Kila Raipur to see the special breed of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in highly professional events. It is to be seen to be believed. In 1946, Mr. Bakhsish Singh was instrumental in getting the most popular event of the Games – the Bullock Cart Race – introduced. This is the annual Kila Raipur Sports Festival, commonly called The Rural Olympics. This years games are over, but photos of various events are being posted online. For one last taste, here's a 10 minute video from the 2007 events.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 21, 2012 - 3 comments

Good sports

At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a yacht race was taking the world's teams through dangerous waters at breakneck speeds. Stig Käll and his brother Lars were in the running to win when, behind them, the Australian team capsized and slipped below the deadly waves. Making a split-second decision, the Källs turned their boat around and rescued the Australians, losing the race and vanishing from the pages of Olympic history, but winning recognition from the Japanese press, who awarded them the headline "Gold Medal of Humanity". The Käll brothers were the first to receive recognition from the International Fair Play Committee, a group that now gives awards and recognition to people who display unusual sportsmanship, such as: [more inside]
posted by shii on Dec 6, 2011 - 41 comments

the physics behind aerial skiing

Double Full Full Full, annotated (NYT video, reg REq'd) U.S. Olympic Team aerial skier Ryan St. Onge and a science reporter describe via video the physics going on as he executes a triple backflip with four twists. Also, the snowboard halfpipe. (Don't ask me why a triple backflip with four twists is called a "double full full full")
posted by planetkyoto on Feb 3, 2010 - 16 comments

Piloting a bobsleigh while blind

You’d have to be blind to drive a bobsleigh. At least if you want to finish first, second, or third nine times in seven years. Since 2001, U.S. bobsleigh pilot Steven Holcomb has dealt with a degenerative eye condition that left him with 20/500 vision. He drove a sled hurtling down an ice track anyway, often winning. Now that his vision has been restored via an experimental operation, he fuzzes over his helmet visor so it’s just like the olden days. Bobsleigh, it seems, is all about feel. [more inside]
posted by joeclark on Nov 15, 2009 - 3 comments

High Jump Innovator

The Revolutionary "Consider, then, the Fosbury Flop, an upside-down and backward leap over a high bar, an outright—an outrageous!—perversion of acceptable methods of jumping over obstacles. An absolute departure in form and technique. It was an insult to suggest, after all these aeons, that there had been a better way to get over a barrier all along. And if there were, it ought to have come from a coach, a professor of kinesiology, a biomechanic, not an Oregon teenager of middling jumping ability."
posted by dhruva on Sep 14, 2009 - 27 comments

The unbearable weight of sports politics

Sports activism is dead? - so asks Andy Kroll in his review of Dave Zirin's new book, A People's History of Sports in the United States.
"And since the ‘80s, the money, TV time, and narcissism have only increased. Most professional athletes could care less — that is, if they even know at all — that their sponsors’ shoes and jerseys are made in squalid conditions in third world countries."
Author Zirin argues that “[w]e can pretend sports isn’t political just as well as we can pretend there is no such thing as gravity if we fall out of an airplane.” [more inside]
posted by Surfurrus on Oct 5, 2008 - 38 comments

Photos of the 2008 Paralympics

Photos of the 2008 Paralympics. Sadly the Paralympics rarely garners the coverage of the Olympics, but thanks to the internet you can witch videos of the competitions at Universal Sports (though it may be region-blocked, require registration and only seems to work on Windows).
posted by GuyZero on Sep 12, 2008 - 30 comments

Roger Ebert to Jay Marriotti

An open letter to sports columnist Jay Mariotti, who resigned from the Sun-Times and lashed out during a TV interview announcing that newspapers were dead. (via Sports Filter)
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys on Aug 29, 2008 - 25 comments

Inside the Olympics Stadium in 360 degrees

Beijing Olympics Stadium, about 30 minutes before the the men's 100m final. A 360-degree view (including overhead) from the stands by Finnish photographer Kari Kuukka.
posted by lou on Aug 22, 2008 - 25 comments

Gender "Cheats"

In late 2006, Santhi Soundarajan took the Silver Medal in the Women's 800m at the Asian Games in Qatar. Less than a week later, she was stripped of her medal by the Olympic Council of Asia after a chromosomal test. According to the Times of India, "the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said the 25-year-old had failed a sex test, implying she had deceived the sporting world by competing as a woman when she was actually a man." The disqualification ended her athletic career, and several months after returning to her rural village in Tamil Nadu, India, she attempted suicide. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Jul 29, 2008 - 25 comments

They're all gone

Veteran sportscaster Jim McKay dies. The host of ABC's Wide World of Sports for forty years, Jim also called the 1980 Miracle on Ice. However, he will probably be best remembered for being thrust into the role of news journalist during the 1972 Munich Games.
posted by never used baby shoes on Jun 7, 2008 - 25 comments

North Korea's Soccer Hero

70 year old Pak Doo-Ik will lead North Korea's prestigious Olympic torch bearers to Beijing this summer. In the 1966 World Cup at Middlesborough, Pak scored the goal that lead his team to a stunning 1-0 upset win over Italy (video). Pak Doo-Ik and the team returned home as heroes, but ultimately fell under the suspicion of North Korean leadership. The team underwent "mental re-education" and were exiled, Pak Doo-Ik spending ten years as a forest laborer. Dear Leader Kim Jong-il later allowed Pak to coach North Korea's national soccer team, and a fascinating 2002 BBC documentary brought Pak Doo Ik back to the international stage.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 27, 2008 - 12 comments

One World, One Dream, Four Mascots

China Praises Its Progress Toward Olympics. With one year to go before the 2008 Olympics, China still has many challenges ahead, like dealing with Beijing's terrible air pollution. There is still much criticism over China's record on human rights and freedom of the press, and some protests. But perhaps the most embarrassing public relations setback is that one of the official mascots, Yingsel (aka Yingying) the Tibetan Antelope, has defected from China's Olympic team and gone underground to campaign for a free Tibet. [Some links via BB and MoFi.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 9, 2007 - 43 comments

The Future: Apparently It's Much More 80s Than You Anticipated

The British Olympic Committee unveiled the logo and branding for London 2012 today, at a cost of £400,000 (USD796,000). Reaction has been swift - a petition to change the logo or go back to the old one has already reached 10,000 signatures.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jun 4, 2007 - 149 comments

Forecasting financial disaster Olympics 2012

Government error in contemporary British history is the stuff of legend and when it comes to the 2012 Olympics can I be on my own in forecasting financial disaster? This morning's announcement that "little can be built until the site's 50 electric pylons are removed" in 2008 comes hot on the heels of an understated Olympics budget which, four days ago, is revealed to be 'short by £2bn.' I am v.fortunate to live in the UK and there is no doubt this government is v.good at bookkeeping; but grandstanding a world event? Not a chance. Discussed in these parts last year, Britain is not good at world class marketing or brand .. management; Britain is not good at capital projects, and Politicians, bureaucrats ... milking the Olympic Games, says London's mayor. I understand but two Olypics have seen modest profit and Britain badly needs Hollywood or Coca-Cola® to make a success of this.
posted by Schroder on Apr 6, 2006 - 28 comments

Mountain Poo.

Olympicsfilter: American skier biffs hard. How about the rest of the team? Kwan. Miller. Johnny Weir. But props to Shani Davis, the first African American to win an individual gold, and of course, plucky Norway, currently the medal leader. Among other losers: NBC.
posted by bardic on Feb 18, 2006 - 96 comments

Not so hot.

HotOlympians.com has been shut down by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The domain name hotolympians.com is infringing on federal trademarks. When I registered the domain name, I did some research on olympic trademarks and came to understand... that "olympic" was trademarked and "olympians" was not. I was wrong. And thus we will continue publishing under a new domain name which will be up shortly...

When asked why a local newspaper could publish a feature of an athlete right next to an advertisement, I was told that we weren't a news operation. I was told that hotolympians.com jeapordized American athlete's right to participate in the games.

posted by Tin Man on Feb 17, 2006 - 35 comments

Ski. Shoot. Repeat.

Biathlon! Biathletes! History! Primitive style? Proudly an Olympic sport since 1960.
posted by bardic on Feb 11, 2006 - 4 comments

Medal tally by world population

Alternative Olympic medal tally from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ranking countries by population per gold medal. (Updated daily for the duration of the games.)
posted by mr.marx on Aug 24, 2004 - 59 comments

Last place finishers

When I watched the women's marathon today (which has only existed for 20 years, a shocking story in and of itself), the US coverage noted the final finisher, pulling in at just under four hours, almost an hour and a half after the gold medal. I thought it was odd, and wondered what the last place times and scores were for other events. Lucky for me, I don't have to look too far, as McWetboy's DFL blog tracks the last place in every event at this year's olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.
posted by mathowie on Aug 22, 2004 - 15 comments

Oiled, but not nude

If you don't expect the Olympics to keep it real, you may appreciate the Nemean Games.
posted by PinkStainlessTail on Aug 7, 2004 - 6 comments

Sportsmanship

False Start
How important is sportsmanship in the modern era? On Sunday afternoon at the IAAF World Championships, Jon Drummond false started in the 100m sprint and was disqualified. He refused to leave the track (initially prostrating himself in the middle of his lane) and ended up delaying the race by more than 50 minutes. In 1996, Linford Christie did something similar in the Olympic games 100m final.
Is it just 100m sprinters, or is sportsmanship going out of fashion?
posted by daveg on Aug 24, 2003 - 19 comments

Welcome to Whistler

Vancouver gets the games. 2010 Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver, BC. Maybe now we can get a Mefi meetup.
posted by timeistight on Jul 2, 2003 - 36 comments

Punks vs. Yuppies in San Francisco

Punks vs. Yuppies in San Francisco I don't know how I feel about trying to get yuppies and punks to reconcile but I do like the idea of a yuppies vs. punks Olympics. It'd be funny if they had one here in NYC (I'd nominate Willimasburg as the location).
posted by zinegurl on Jun 16, 2002 - 27 comments

Meet the Athens Olympics mascots.

Meet the Athens Olympics mascots. I'm not sure when Olympics sites started adopting cartoony mascots, but I'm sure of this much: This pair is the worst I've ever seen. They're supposed to represent Greek gods? Please. They look like they were drawn in about five minutes.
posted by diddlegnome on Apr 4, 2002 - 36 comments

Sporting News Predicts the Future.

Sporting News Predicts the Future. It's 9:30 pm EST and the closing ceremonies have been on for 1 hour, but the Sporting News has provided us with a complete recap of the night, including Rogges final words to Salt Lake City. They must have hired Ms. Cleo recently.
posted by smcniven on Feb 24, 2002 - 6 comments

Canada Wins Hockey

Canada Wins Hockey After watching Belarus pull off a miracle, Canada joins in to see them in the semi final. Question is, who's gonna win? Wooooooooo...
posted by Dav0xor on Feb 20, 2002 - 16 comments

An insider's take on the olympics

An insider's take on the olympics Working at the speed skating rink apparently holds ample opportunity for port-a-loo incidents and other funny not-so Olympic moments.
posted by prodigaljester on Feb 15, 2002 - 4 comments

Germany completes it fifth sweep of the women's luge medals.

Germany completes it fifth sweep of the women's luge medals. After the snarky anti-American Olympic snowboarding thread the other day, I am surprised that this wasn't immediately posted with snarky anti-German commentary! Becky Wilczak finished fifth, matching the highest finish ever for an American. I guess we don't dominate every sport. Dern.
posted by RevGreg on Feb 13, 2002 - 2 comments

Colorado real winner of Games

Colorado real winner of Games Besides possible event fixing or the exhaustion of SLOC's 400,000 hot dog supply on DAY 5, what other Olympic donnybrook might be worth mentioning? This will probably not seem interesting to anyone outside of Utah or Colorado, but Denver Post columnist Woody Paige wrote an inflammatory column that has many Utahns, uh, losing their religion.

(You'll note that the link isn't to the Denver Post website -- that's because they yanked the Feb. 12 column from their site earlier today, without comment. A mailto link was posted on their splash page for complaints about the article, but even that's gone now.)

Talk about sour grapes.

I suppose that if the games are ever held in Tel Aviv, Woody will fill his column with references to "funny" Jewish apparel, hair styles, dietary habits, or worse.

FWIW, Barry Newman's column in today's Wall Street Journal was a lot more balanced . Sorry, no link -- subscibers only :(
posted by Big Dave on Feb 13, 2002 - 13 comments

Shock! U.S. takes all medals in snowboarding

Shock! U.S. takes all medals in snowboarding Was anyone honestly surprised by this? Or (for that matter) when USA Basketball beats all opponents in the summer Games? We don't tend to win in things like figure skating, luge, bobsled, etc. ... so we add events like this, then trumpet them when we sweep the competition...
posted by krewson on Feb 12, 2002 - 65 comments

Olympic Farce

Olympic Farce "...there has been an attempt over the past few years to hijack the Olympic spirit, to minimize national pride and turn the events into a UNICEF-style celebration of global harmony and cooperation. The organizers are trying to turn the Olympics from a series of sporting contests into a multinational festival..."
posted by bunnyfire on Feb 11, 2002 - 29 comments

The 19th Winter Olympics

The 19th Winter Olympics are now officially under way, begun with America's take on the traditional opening ceremonies. What moved you to tears? What made you gag? Were you proud to be an American, or so embarrassed that you couldn't watch? Was the WTC flag presentation tasteful? Was John Williams' score inspirational? Did you like the ice dancing, the fireworks, and the Native Indian celebrations? Who did you want to see light the Olympic caldron?
posted by johnnyace on Feb 9, 2002 - 73 comments

Gay Games VI Under the Gun

Gay Games VI Under the Gun “What has sparked the concern is a three-page E-mail from the executive committee of the Federation of Gay Games two weeks ago that raised the possibility of the 2002 Games being moved or forfeited. The executive committee of the Federation will visit Sydney from July 21–28 for a status report that will be critical. [...] Also, he said a comparison of Sydney's budget to Amsterdam and New York is flawed, because using the exchange rate doesn't matter. ‘We're not buying any of our goods and service in the US.... $11 million Australian is still $11 million Australian.’ ”
posted by joeclark on Jul 17, 2001 - 0 comments

Net faces 10-year Olympic shutout.

Net faces 10-year Olympic shutout. Chairman of the IOC Internet working group says, "Unless and until you can guarantee your internet signal is only available within your territory, you cannot put video on your website. We're going to go forward with that and we're going to see how it evolves." Anyone have some portable transmission walls they can erect on international boundaries every two years?
posted by netbros on Dec 5, 2000 - 0 comments

It's all over...

It's all over... And I can honestly say that watching this Olympics has shaken all the pre-Games cynicism out of my system. It's been wonderful to watch, looked wonderfully organised, and suffused with a sense of good spirit by its hosts... good on you, mates.
posted by holgate on Oct 1, 2000 - 32 comments

Don't have what it takes to compete in the Olympics? Buy your way to glory.
posted by sandor on Sep 27, 2000 - 6 comments

C.J. Hunter failed drug tests.

C.J. Hunter failed drug tests. What I don't get is why the IOC brought this up now, months after it happened, and right when the track and field events are going. He's not even competing in the Olympics. He's there to support his wife, Marion Jones. What purpose is served by announcing this information except to bring doubt on Marion's efforts to win her events. The IOC and the media have done a bad thing here, in my mind, it confuses and disgusts me.
posted by cowboy on Sep 26, 2000 - 15 comments

"the biggest anti-doping program in Olympic history."

"the biggest anti-doping program in Olympic history." ``I'm very pleased,'' International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch said of the doping withdrawals. ``I'm very happy. This is very good news. It shows the new system for detecting doping substances will work very well. ... The objective is to have clean games."

Detecting doping? With what? Like a radar, err.. dopler?
posted by tiaka on Sep 6, 2000 - 0 comments

This is the first time I ever heard of people being threatened for blogging.

This is the first time I ever heard of people being threatened for blogging. Rule 59 of the IOC code states that an Olympic athlete is not permitted to record his thoughts of his Olympic experience and have it posted on the Internet. Doing so would be tantamount to an athlete acting as a journalist. And that is grounds for being thrown out of the Games.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Sep 2, 2000 - 18 comments

Hopefully the 1996 Cat Olympics organization will be holding their olympics in Sydney next year. If so, my cats will start training soon, however, they're already in top form for most all events.
posted by mathowie on Jul 24, 1999 - 2 comments

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