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The Olympics are over!

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MattPage   
With all of that, I thought you gentlemen would be dancing in the streets. Lowly Iraq has only its (euphemism deleted) team and one other guy in Athens. They weren't supposed to win any games at all and haven't been to the Olympics since '88.

No you see we lost to them when really we should have won. We played badly and lost on penalties (I'll stay away from the disallowed goal controversy). So seeing a team like Iraq beat them just makes it all worse, if they can win why couldn't we?

Matt

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Shantih   
And given the doping scandals etc. I'd be *very* surprised if we didn't see at least one scandal of a big name being thrown out of the games. As sad as that is, it might well benefit team GB.

Well, although I always like to think everything I say is right I didn't expect this to happen *quite* so soon after I made this post. (Like, the same afternoon)

Latest news on the Greek doping scandal is that Kenteris and Thanou are out of the games. The whole thing is a really big shock. Looks like (and nothing has been proven yet, but it's looking likely) that Kenteris has been systempatically avoiding drugs tests for the past three years, even if that means forgoing prize money for his victories at world athletics levels.

Sad start to the athletics programme!

Phil.

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run   

Kenteris never or rarely competed in the lucrative European circuits and all of sudden won World and Olympics in the 200m...there was always suspicion surrounding him......

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Ben   

I haven't seen anything that's really blown me away yet, though the final of the men's 4 x 200 freestyle relay in the swimming was brilliant to watch. I've probably caught more of the obscure sports (badminton, sailing, table tennis and judo, even though it can be over so quickly (IPPON! Oh...that's it.)) and appreciated them a lot more than at the other olympics.

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Shantih   

That's one of the joys of the first week of the Olympics, you get to watch all the less publicised / less followed sports. Once the athletics programme starts up the schedules do tend to get a bit squashed with rounds and rounds of track and field qualifications.

Phil.

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Shantih   
Now the South Koreans are protesting the men's all-around gymnastics results.

Pretty crappy on their part, really. Some of the scoring *did* seem too low, in both the mens' and womens' events but that's really not the point. The point of having human judges for these events, and having a panel of them, is that the final score isn't just one person's say so but the result of different results being reconciled. Doesn't matter whether you agree with it or not, one of the tenants of any sport is that the referee/judge's decision is final. If you can't agree with that, why even compete?

There's been an awful lot of this at this year's games. Especially with judges' decisions being appealed against, and then counter-appealed to infinity. It seems that the concept of a judge whose opinon must be respected, even if disagreed with, just doesn't hold much water anymore. And that's pretty sad.

Phil.

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Ben   

Doesn't matter whether you agree with it or not, one of the tenants of any sport is that the referee/judge's decision is final.

Sure, but you must admit the judging of many events has so far been a bit sloppy by any standards (the equestrian medals debacle, along with the womens kayaking, some fiercely draconian (scroll down) judging in women's archery, and many others which have drawn appeals and counter-appeals). Some of this can be put down to pettiness and being a bad loser, but these appeals wouldn't arise in the first place if the judges hadn't missed something. And I think the South Koreans have a pretty good case, as apparently the judges got the degree of difficulty wrong in the paralell bars, leading to a lower score than expected.

On a lighter note, I've been watching increasing amounts of table tennis, which is wonderful to watch, not least for the commentary which (at least on the BBC) is far and away the most bombastic, excitable and over-the-top self-parody I have heard for any event so far these Olympics.

Ah, the wonderful world of watching sports. Tomorrow it's Norwich against Man Utd. sad.gif

Edited by Ben

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Shantih   

I remember this being mentionned in the commentary but it seems the Koreans decided to launch their protest on the basis of the vault rather than the bars. Although it appears there was a case to answer about that bars score. And I notice that the Three Day Eventing gold just went Leslie Law's way... Perhaps technical error *is* something that can overshadow drugs as a cause of modifying Olympics results!!

On a lighter note, I've been watching increasing amounts of table tennis, which is wonderful to watch, not least for the commentary which (at least on the BBC) is far and away the most bombastic, excitable and over-the-top self-parody I have heard for any event so far these Olympics.

The cycling commentary was also quite superb. Chris Hoy's gold medal ride was talked through with no eveident breathing in the entire four minue ride. On your recommendation I am now listening to the table tennis womens' final and it is a treat. Just heard this gem: "There was just a little bit of side spin but a complete change in the geometry!"

Ah, the wonderful world of watching sports. Tomorrow it's Norwich against Man Utd.
Edited by Shantih

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Just saw an analysis of the Korean protest on NBC. Sounds like it was a good case, but the timing will damn it. Apparantly, one can only protest start scores and they have a great argument for a short start score, BUT there are protocols for this. You must protest during the competition (or presumably before the awards are presented) for this sort of thing. The analyst claimed that indeed, the American coach himself protested start scores twice that night. To protest after the fact is probably not to go very far with the appeal.

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Just heard this gem: "There was just a little bit of side spin but a complete change in the geometry!"

There's a term we have here for obscure ananlysis. I must say that's as good an example of "inside baseball" I've ever seen.

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So, I'm currently watching the U.S. vs. Germany in beach volleyball, and I was wondering why the IOC didn't restrict the Germans from wearing birth control patches like they did the Norwegians. Was it just the sponsorship that the IOC objected to?

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Ben   

Judges suspended over mis-scoring.

Mis-scoring. Nice word.

spoilers1.gif

Did anybody see the the men's high bar this evening? Talk about audience participation! Nemov's routine was awesome and entertaining to watch, but got less points than expected due to a small fault on landing. Perhaps points should be awarded for flamboyance? Similar feelings were expressed regarding the men's parallel bars. Goncharov's routine was boring and very, very short, yet he came first, beating out 2 longer, prettier and more challenging routines from Tomita and Li.

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Shantih   

Perhaps points should be awarded for flamboyance?

Svetlana Khorkina went public with an uncharacteristically forthright attack on the judges concerning very conflict: the pure technicalities of the sport compared with its artistic component.

In the womens' sport you can see her point. Like it or not the floor excercise *is* as much an artistic expression as an exhibition of tumbling skills. You trace through all the great champions on the floor (Olga Korbut, Nadia Commeneci, Lilia Podkopheiva etc.) and they've all been as much dancers as sportswomen. That is what that excercise is all about.

On other apparatus, and in the mens' competition, things are a bit different. The mens' floor is completley a formal excercise, you're lucky to see two different routines. But more and more, especially with the reactions of crowds, the male gymnasts are going for the huge and exciting routines as well as the pure tests of strength and agility demanded of them. Perhaps it is time the men's competition was recognised in this way. But given how the womens', which *should* be, is increasingly not I don't think we'll see a scoring system which rewards performance anytime soon.

Phil.

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run   

I don't see how Morgan (4th) or even Paul's (2nd) High Bar performance was scored better than Alexei NEMOV who was 5th. But the uproar from the crowd was definitely entertaining. I am surprised there wasn't a riot in that gymnasium.

Alexei NEMOV (RUS)

On the crowd that booed the judges after his score came up

"I would like to thank all these people for what they did tonight. Everyone should have understood by now that you cannot fool the fans."

On the judges

Generally, I respect the judges and I only try to do my job well. I am very happy that I am leaving Athens with dignity and with the love of all these people who were here tonight and I thank them for doing so."

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Clint M   

US Women's Soccer Team went out on a high note for the retiring players. Too bad my power was out and I had to miss that game.

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So, it looks like Baylor is the official obscure jock school now. Two straight 400 gold medal winners now plus the silver and half the probable gold team in the 4x400.

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MattPage   

...the list is long.

And yet they still didn't include the deaths from exhaustion of numerous immigrants brought into work (under the influence of performance enhancing drugs) round the clock for pitiful wages.

Surely the biggest slur on the whole event.

Matt

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Shantih   

Local newspapers described Olympic mascots Phevos and Athena as animated condoms.

There was a nice little moment during the gymnastics commentary on the BBC when the mascots came out and started messing around on the vault and floor. Barry Davies (never short of a comment or two during breaks/half times and opening ceremonies when others would be left flailing) mused that he hadn't seen enough of those 'delightful characters' in the games thus far. The next minute was filled with dead air from his co-commentators until some gymnastics started again smile.gif

Phil.

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run   

Returning heroine Kelly Holmes had an L of a shock when she saw a fan's tattoo tribute.

The double Olympic champion didn't know whether to laugh or cry after spotting Emma Fitch's mis-spelt work of art during a walkabout in Kent.

Emma has had her back decorated with a big picture of Kelly, complete with the inscription: Kelly HOMES, Athens 2004.

And it's not a temporary measure.

Emma, 22, who bumped into Kelly at Tonbridge Castle, said: "It's a permanent tattoo, so it can't be changed.

"I was a bit drunk when I went to have it done a couple of days ago and the tattooist said he could not understand what I was saying."

Fair enough, although he understood enough to get the right picture, right first name and right Olympics.

When Holmes saw the effort she told her number one fan: "You're a nutcase, fancy having that done!"

But she admitted: "I'm very honoured" - even though she was left one L short of a legend.

Emma inisisted: "It still sounds like Holmes, so I'm not too bothered."

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