Olympics August 4

Lone Wolf '49

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
7
Location
Oklahoma City
Saturday, August 4



(Please excuse the typos. Hurrying. There’s much Olympics to explore.)



Breakfast: Mixed fruit, ham, great link sausage, scrambled eggs, canaloni beans (pork ‘n to us rednecks), wheat toast with currant jelly, orange juice, yogurt. Alas, no awesome crisp bacon. “It’s supposed to be crisp,” Adele said, with just a hint of an Italian’s frustration, which she is.



Nicki woke up still excited about the British Museum. It’s the best in the world, and it’s right across the street, and I haven’t been there yet.



Commute: Caught the 8 a.m. red double-decker bus from Russell Square to the MPC. Streets were Saturday quiet. But already folks were jogging along the Thames and riding bikes across the Tower Bridge. We passed another double-decker bus that was playing loud music. “France TV,” it said. And a commentator-looking blonde was gyrating in a women’s three-piece suit in front of the lights.



Volunteer du jour: Michael, with a six-day growth of beard and a spectacular smile. “I’m here to chat with you,” he said when we asked what he’s doing at Olympic Park. He’s perfect. He took 10 days away from his job at a bank to volunteer (he got three days back), wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, stands eight hours smiling and talking to people and is spectacularly friendly.



Email from home: “Next time someone insults Oklahoma, tell 'em you feel sorry for them if where they are from there was no one as beloved as Will Rogers, as loved as Mickey Mantle, no one who wrote as many good songs as Woody Guthrie, no place that inspired a play as popular as Oklahoma!, and no athlete as great as Jim Thorpe.”



Lunch: Yogurt, peanut butter, crackers, cookies.



Email from North Carolina yesterday: “FYI—the weather report given on the Today Show by Al Roker predicted 111 for Hobart. And they made a point of saying Hobart’s name.”



Today’s confirmation that George Bernard Shaw was right when he wrote that we and the British are “two peoples separated by a common language.” A “gormless” person here is someone who has absolutely no clue.



Speaking of Shaw, last night coming out of The ExCel Centre, all I wanted was a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air.



The wonderful food layout at the Montague rhymes with Warren Buffet. I told Alene that we say “buh-FAY.” A Frenchman sitting at the next table said, “BOO-fay.”



Here’s my thought on this separation of words: the language is English, not “American.” It’s theirs, for crying out loud!



I was discussing language with a group of reporters Wednesday. Most of them still care, thank goodness. One said, “I started doing something after we were in Sydney 12 years ago. I say, ‘no worries’ instead of ‘no problem.’” I have found myself doing the same thing. It’s clearly an import that is spreading, sort of like the zebra mussel only charming.



Weather: Chilly but pretty. A nice March day in Kansas City. Rain early, then mostly sunny. Breezy all day. Low 59, high 70.

Email from home: “The eye IS worth it, and what is the "copper box"? Did I miss something?” Answer: the copper box is the handball venue here at Olympic Park.

Walked into the office at 9 a.m. and learned that the IOC had (wisely) decided to require tickets for tomorrow’s men’s (or I should say “gentleman’s” tennis finals after homeboy Andy Murray and awesome Roger Federer qualified. So I quickly wrote this advisory and we emailed it to all USA media

ADVISORY FOR MEDIA HOLDING “E” AND “EP” CREDENTIALS ACCREDITED THROUGH THE USOC: The IOC and LOCOG have determined that a special ticket, in addition to the E or EP credential, will be required to cover Sunday’s men’s tennis final between Roger Federer and Andy Murray. A limited number of tickets will be made available to USA media. Before 1 p.m. Saturday, United States reporters and photographers desiring to cover the event should sign up at the USOC office in the Main Press Center or send an email to [email protected]. Tickets will be distributed Sunday morning at the USOC office.



The e-mail and telephone responses began arriving roughly 17 seconds after the e-mail hit cyberspace. We got 52 requests for the 18 available tickets and earned our keep today. Most of the rejected persons understood. One woman from California did not. Sigh.



On tough-ticket days, I become the most hated person at the Olympics. I’m used to it.



We were also ticketing today’s men’s basketball game, so I took the red double-decker shuttle bus to the arena, with a few tickets in my pocket, to help USA reporters who may not have seen yesterday’s memo describing the policies. Some folks read what we put out; others….



I watched a fair amount of the USA game against Lithuania. Our guys actually lost a quarter to the disciplined Lithuanian boys. But we had too much firepower. The stadium is beautiful, even though the music is too loud. I am not the desired demographic. Still, the whole deal was fun.



I walked back to the MPC, enjoying the sunny, breezy afternoon and the Olympic Park which was full of happy people. The Park Live was swarming with people, and there was a 15-minute wait at the fish-and-chips line. I nearly had ice cream.



Dinner: Cheese and crackers. Yogurt.



Nicki went off by herself to the Globe Theater tonight, with a standing-room-only ticket to see Henry V. She called from there, thrilled. The girl is a Shakespeare-aholic. She has even taught me some stuff. Let’s see, I taught her how to keep score at baseball games when we were high school sweethearts in the summer of 1968, and she taught me Shakespeare. Seems like a fair trade—poetry for poetry—although she may have gotten slightly the better end of the deal.



The new Globe is a replica of the original. Nicki stood in “the yard”—the space in front of the stage where the poor people stood in Shakespeare’s day. The “poor” each paid 5 £ last night.



Worked until 8 p.m., and then rode the red double-decker Olympic Park media shuttle to the track meet. I had missed the morning session because of ticketing. The stadium was just simply a magical wonderland. It was Allen Fieldhouse-loud, with Broadway-theater lighting and music. For good measure, the torch was at one end. Flashbulbs cracked by the thousands, like fireflies. Every seat was filled.



A pleasant, cute volunteer found a seat for me high in the media tribune (press box). I did not want to burn a good place that could be occupied by real media.



After the heptathlon concluded with the 800 members, all of the women took a victory lap, as is tradition in the multi events. It’s a wonderful ceremonial stroll. The girls held hands and bowed to the crowd. They looked fresh as daisies. This victory walk was led by the Olympic champion from Great Britain, sending the happy crowd into an even greater frenzy. Fans clapped to indistinguishable and bouncy music. And then they played Beatles “Twist and Shout.”



Then I got to see the thrilling 10,000 meters, with a finish that was not to be believed. A dozen guys were in contention until the last straightaway. I saw something I never imagined: British reporters in the press tribune stood on their chairs and cheered.



Although I did not stand on my chair, it was a great moment for us, too, as our man Galen Rupp won America’s first medal in the 10,000 since Billy Mills. Back in 1964, do you think anybody thought it would be 48 years until the USA won another medal in that race????



Great Britain won three gold medals in 45 minutes. Nobody who was there will ever forget it.



I won’t, either, because I waited 20 minutes after the competition ended, to see the heptathlon medal ceremony. Actually, I wanted to HEAR the ceremony. And I was not disappointed when 60,000 people sang “God Save the Queen” in union. Oh, my. It created a goose-bump epidemic. Journalists were crying along with me. Wow!!!!



In case you want to sing along, here’s the first verse:



God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen.
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen



I walked on cloud nine through the Olympic park, under a bright moon, back to the MPC. Families enjoyed the cool breeze, taking photos and making memories. A sleeping five-year-old was slung over her dad’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Six people were at a picnic table drinking beer, wrapped in British flags that served double duty: pride and warmth.



Back at the office, the staff was still cranking out the news.



What a privilege to be here! Every day is an adventure. Inspire a generation. And mind the gap.
 

ByrdC130

Sharpshooter
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
1,305
Reaction score
24
Location
Out in the woods.
If for no other reason, I love the Olympics because you can become of fan of every sport represented for 2 weeks. And not a hard core gotta follow the stats type fan, just a casual I want to see the event and root for the athelet fan. Where the story behind the athelete is just as important as the event. Good stuff!
 

XD-9Guy

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
3,251
Reaction score
6
Location
OKC
That 10,000 meter race got me & my family going too and we were just in the living room at my brother-in-law's place. It was clear towards the end that Farah was the best man that day, but we were going nuts rooting for Rupp as he somehow found a higher gear to catch and pass Bekele in that final stretch. That would have been an amazing race to see live, especially in GB.
 

Hobbes

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
8,738
Reaction score
748
Location
The Nations
I don't really care for the olympics any more.

I miss the good old days when the USSR was still intact and every olympic event was a contest between western democracy and godless communism.
Hockey, boxing, basketball. Every event was like a limited war for supremacy and proof that we are the good guys.

Things just haven't been the same since Gorbachev rooont everything.
 

flatwins

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
8,745
Reaction score
27
Location
Broken Arrow
Hobbes said:
I don't really care for the olympics any more.

I miss the good old days when the USSR was still intact and every olympic event was a contest between western democracy and godless communism.
Hockey, boxing, basketball. Every event was like a limited war for supremacy and proof that we are the good guys.

Things just haven't been the same since Gorbachev rooont everything.

I miss Wide World of Sports. The thrill of victory...and the agony of defeat.
 
Top Bottom