The Olympics

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Rivron, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    OK, maybe a bit too early to open this thread. However - and with apologies to our foreign viewers here - the Grauniad has been running a series of articles on where Team GB is, in particular sports, with 6 months to go.

    Now, I'm a great fan of taekwondo and it gives me an opportunity to post up the Aaron Cook vs Steven Lopez fight from Mexico back in 2009. To put things in perspective, Cook beating the unbeatable Lopez was akin to Clay beating Liston. Cook went on to become World number 1 but went out on points in the 2011 World Championships.

    Britain's Olympic cyclists are on track for a golden summer | Sport | The Guardian

    Britain's Olympic sailors can brush off pressure and rule the waves | Sport | The Guardian

    Quality is abundant but question is who should be put in which boats | Sport | The Guardian

    Adlington, Payne and co on course to match Shanghai high at Olympics | Sport | The Guardian

    :eek:11:

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  2. BlueCrew LA Moderator

    BlueCrew LA
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    I love the Olympics. It's a great chance to experience an array of events you don't see on a regular basis.

    Then for me there's the game inside the games, I track all the Olympians from my school. SC sent 41 Olympians to Beijing in 2008. USC and UCLA are big on Olympic sports so it's a little mini-rivalry we have every 4 years because we both usually have a few Olympians from many countries. Track athlete Tasha Danvers from the UK is a Trojan.
  3. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    If only golf was part of the Olympics (which eventually it will be) I'd be able to claim that someone (Luke Donald) from my old high school was participating. And there is certainly no-one better than Luke at the moment - at least when it comes to the rankings.
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  4. BlueCrew LA Moderator

    BlueCrew LA
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    If speed walking is an Olympic sport golf should be.
  5. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    Speaking of Luke Donald, I pray to God he doesn't end up being a serial underachiever - in terms of winning the majors, at least - that Greg Norman was. Norman was always there or thereabouts in terms of ranking points, but really 'The Shark' should have won more. Still, Donald has age on his side.

    Two majors for Norman - none on North American soil - is actually pretty pisspoor.
  6. Rev John Ripsher Moderator

    Rev John Ripsher
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    The Olympics is a massive event and I am bereft that I cannot afford tickets this time .

    I might volunteer to be a driver though .
  7. Fatboyyid I'm ***y and I know it Moderator

    Fatboyyid
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    I may end up working so I should see some bits for free :)
  8. ant252922 Active Member

    ant252922
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    I'm really looking forward to it. I have tickets for the Beach Volley Ball (womens) and Team GB's opening game in the football. I hope we pick a decent squad!
  9. Stateside Nate Well-Known Member

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    I've been fortunate to actually hold two gold medals in my life: a wrestling Gold won in Atlanta, and a Ice Hockey gold won in (goosebumps...start....NOW) Lake Placid.

    Kinda of envious for you folks in London. Would love to sit and watch The Games someday.
  10. BlueCrew LA Moderator

    BlueCrew LA
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    Heads up UK

    The greatest marching band on Planet Earth is coming to the UK. (not including Southern bands from traditionally black colleges)

    [HR][/HR]
    Trojan Marching Band to Visit London for Pre-Olympics Tour


    By Brett Padelford

    April 20, 2012

    It’ll be the biggest thing to hit London this summer – well, at least until Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in June and opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics two months later.

    From May 14-21, the USC Trojan Marching Band will visit the United Kingdom for a pre-Olympics tour, representing the only university in the world to have a gold-medal athlete in each Summer Olympics since 1912. The Spirit of Troy is scheduled to perform three concerts and receive private tours of Parliament and the Olympic Village.

    The concerts will feature high-energy renditions of contemporary hits and classic fight songs in addition to performances by the USC Silks and Song Girls. The band will perform on May 17 at Canary Wharf, on May 18 at Potters Field and on May 20 in Trafalgar Square. Concert dates and times are subject to change. Updated information can be found at uscband.com/worldtour

    This will be the band’s 13th biennial international trip and second visit to London. It has a history of collaborations with British rock bands, recording two platinum albums with Fleetwood Mac and backing up Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead for a performance at the Grammy Awards in 2009.

    Arthur C. Bartner, in his 42nd year as band director, is excited to be going overseas again.

    “This [will be] my fifth trip to London, one of the most vibrant cities in the world. And this is the perfect time to be there with the Diamond Jubilee and the upcoming Olympics. I’m honored that the Trojan Marching Band can be part of these once-in-a-lifetime celebrations. It will be a great experience for our students.”

    Bartner served as director of the 800-piece All-American College Marching Band – 200 of which were Trojans – that performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in 1984. The USC band also played for the 1996 and 2002 Olympics torch relays and has taken pre-Olympic tours of Spain in 1992 and Australia in 2000.

    [HR][/HR]

    TMB performing Tusk at Halftime against Oregon State


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  11. BlueCrew LA Moderator

    BlueCrew LA
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    Edit: I forgot we already had an Olympics thread.

    -Merged-
  12. thfcire Unit and river the human centipede Super Moderators

    thfcire
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    I have a really bad feeling about this one with it being in London, not trying to be a kill joy but I just have a very uneasy feeling about it
  13. ModDaws Well-Known Member

    ModDaws
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    Ire into conspiracy :y6: stay away chaps
  14. thfcire Unit and river the human centipede Super Moderators

    thfcire
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    Don't say I didn't tell you all, I'm expecting alien invasion lol
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  15. TehLondoner New Member

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    Im a London ambassador and will be in trafalgar square opening week so bring some abuse :D
  16. Rev John Ripsher Moderator

    Rev John Ripsher
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    I didn't know that ! A truly wonderful stat. !
  17. Mandy Well-Known Member

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    I'm really not feeling excited for the Olympics yet. I think its been a farce from the start and the fact that so few people have actually been able to get tickets for anything has taken the shine off it for me as well. I applied for loads and didn't get any.
  18. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    Can't find a dedicated thread to it anywhere else - apart from the totty one I started of course:eek:16:.

    Anyway, I thought I'd start one for the sporting aspects.

    First up - a story you really couldn't make up. Still, the BOA has the power to tell them to fook off.

    I've been meaning to post this for a couple of days. I find it astonishing that someone ranked number 1 in the world isn't selected for the Olympics.

    London 2012 Olympics: Aaron Cook asks BOA to review his omission from Team GB by British Taekwondo selectors - Telegraph
  19. BlueCrew LA Moderator

    BlueCrew LA
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    For some reason it had been moved to the Away team section.

    I might have done it on accident.
  20. BlueCrew LA Moderator

    BlueCrew LA
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    I read some Olympic related stories I thought you might be interested in [MENTION=6666]Rivron[/MENTION]. It's about a name that's pretty big at my uni USC, Dean Cromwell. He's basically responsible for laying the ground work which has turned USC into the preeminent University in this country for producing Olympic talent. At USC he won 12 National Championships (1926, 1930–31, 1935–43), and 31 individual championships. He was an assistant/head coach on the team US Track team for a couple Olympic campaigns, in particular one of my favorites the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. At USC the track facilities bear his name and I've heard his name pretty much my whole life.

    Well it turns out this dude was an incredible racist and Anti-Semite, which shouldn't be surprising from that era. It wasn't like this was hard to find, it's on his bloody wiki page, I just find it incredible it isn't talked about more at USC. I know he played a integral role in building the USC track tradition but by all counts he was an awful human being. I caution to judge people based on our standards of socially acceptability but stuff like this I just find amazing.

    When talking about why people of African decent are good athletes.

    Seriously? Actually from his era that wouldn't be too controversial a statement, still I find it stunning. I know as far back as the 19th century USC athletic had black athletes and indeed some of his own recruits were black. Both schools regularly fielded black athletes. Here's a picture of Jackie Robinson winning the Broad Jump at an event held at the Coliseum.

    [​IMG]

    He's pretty famously known for dropping Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller from the 4x100 relays, and replacing them with Jessie Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. Which I find strange because he would drop a Jewish athlete to placate Hitler and the Nazi's but surely they wouldn't like a Black runner either.

    Sorry to rant but I just find this whole situation rather comical, it's a disgrace his name is on buildings at my school.

    Here's an interesting video I found of him on the Groucho Marx show "Secret Word Wall"



    You Bet Your Life - Groucho Marx - Secret Word Wall 2/3 - YouTube
    You Bet Your Life - Groucho Marx - Secret Word Wall 3/3 - YouTube
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  21. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    You know, the funny thing about USC is that it's one of those (relatively) rare establishments in the US that can lay claim to having both an educational and sporting tradition at the top level. In the States, more often than not, it's either or, although I may get some complaints from the likes of Duke.:001_302:
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  22. BlueCrew LA Moderator

    BlueCrew LA
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    The Pac-10 now Pac-12 have a couple.

    I hate admitting it but UCLA for a public school is one of the better state schools out there and they have a similar tradition, same with Cal (UC Berkley) and Stanford.

    Outside of the west coast I'm struggling, not many mix academics and athletics like USC. I think Michigan has similar numbers of Olympians, and possibly North Carolina.
  23. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    Going slightly O/T but let's look at financing.

    I've no idea whether college athletes in the US are funded entirely by the colleges themselves or whether cash also 'trickles down' from the state and regional lotteries.

    On the basis that the latter doesn't occur perhaps the US ought to have a truly national lottery where money is pumped into sports. It will never happen of course because individual states will always want to protect their tax revenue generating turf.

    Yet consider this.

    Atlanta 1996 was a disaster for Team GB, with just one gold medal. The National Lottery, which only started in 1994 here, has been pumping millions into the various sports ever since. As a result, performances have continued to improve to the point where at London 2012, Team GB has a realistic chance of slugging it out for third place with the Russians in the overall gold medal table, behind the US and China. And it's not simply down to 'home advantage either, given the 'infrastructure' has been put in place too.

    I would be very disappointed if we fail to get more than 20 gold medals. Twenty four+ is realistically achievable.
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  24. BlueCrew LA Moderator

    BlueCrew LA
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    That's actually an interesting way to fund the program, how much money does that generate?

    You just unknowingly stumbled on a hot button issue for me. @Rivron

    In America the funding to produce athletes is sort of weaved into our college athletics system. Public Universities like UCLA do get State and Federal money but by in large it's sustainable without significant centralized money. Also the money the Universities do get from the State and Federal government very rarely go towards athletics. In our country there's a term that gets widely used, "Non-Revenue Generating Sports". At most Universities pretty much every sport besides Football and Basketball don't produce revenue. If you are a scholarship athlete for say Volleyball and your school doesn't have a good Basketball or Football team where attendances are high and they're playing in Bowls/Tournaments it's a good chance your sport might get cut. Or at least the university will stop offering scholarships and divert that money elsewhere.

    USC is a different story, but we don't have a proper soccer team. There's a team but it's a club sport and they don't offer scholarships. So they don't get the same access to the facilities that the Football, Basketball or even Swim team have which I don't think is fair. A lot of USC alums are older conservatives and that age group, baby boomers and older statistically in America are some of the most negative about "soccer". The data shows recently Americans under-23 are becoming hardcore/casual football fans more than ever. That's not the point though, the overall point is our Soccer team wasn't generating any revenue. So when they have budget meetings and they're looking at what to cut and save money on it's really an easy target, same goes for other sports.

    So yeah back to the point, what actually funds the Olympic sports at the majority of schools is the football, basketball teams that money goes back into the University's athletic department or sometimes pays for further academic facilities. A portion of tuition goes into the athletic department but not much. Which is a gripe for some of us at USC that are football fans. USC gets huge donations regularly. Just in the past couple years David Dornsife donated $200m to the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, John Mork and his wife donated $110m dollars to undergraduate scholarships. I understand those are focused on education and rightly so but quite often still in many ways C. L. Max Nikias coordinates what people donate to. Given the state of non-revenue generating sports across the country and how smaller schools are cutting athletic programs, I think he should legitimately be pursuing donation for athletics because it's important.

    I grew up in Southern California not too far away from USC. I'm from a USC family, we would often go to the school and watch some the events like track, swimming, tennis, etc. You even referenced how USC is sort of known for having quality academics and athletics, it's a part of who we are. It's really a disgrace that we don't fund all the sports fully because we might reflect loss, which is significant because overall the athletic department post a profit, especially considering the new TV deals. In the big picture, a school with a $3.5bn endowment and a research budget is $450m annually, shouldn't be whining about thousands. It's not effecting academics if anything it makes the school more attractive.

    If the athletic department received a $10m donation just to fund non-revenue generating sports they would be fully funded for decades. Each non-revenue generating sport for a Division I-A school comes to around $350k annually. Most of your top schools have 18 non-revenue generating sports so that's $6.3m. Which is significant but here's the deal, USC does over $75m per year in athletics revenue. The exact figure isn't known because USC doesn't release everything to the public because it's a private institution. I've hear our revenues are in fact around $100m. The school is currently building quite a few new facilities, new general athletics facilities, swimming, and we're in the process of become the sole lease holder on the Coliseum, but there's plenty of money to sustain all college typical college athletics. If we concentrate on getting donations of around $10m for the non-revenue generating sports that can be held in reserve, which would cover losses for those sports.

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  25. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    OK, in answer to your first point - I haven't, as yet, come up with definitive numbers regarding how much the National Lottery disburses to the various sports here.

    What I will say is that funding is skewed towards sports where Team GB has a realistic chance of success.

    The more important point, in many ways, is that the powers-that-be here decided very early on (and rightly) that they needed to think outside the box and get the best available coaching talent out there - even if meant going overseas. This of course costs money in of itself.

    For example, while Grobler (in rowing) came here in 1991 he has also benefitted from additional funding for the sport. An amazing, if controversial coach, who has gotten the very best out of the pool of talent available.

    Sutton (in cycling) is another example. Along with performance director Brailsford, arguably the best 'dynamic duo' in world sport.

    So succesful were Team GB in Beijing (8 golds out of a possible 18 - France coming second with two) that the authorities later threw some of the events out of future Olympics, bringing in new ones to 'even things up'. I don't think Team GB will be as dominant this time (the Aussies will see to that with the one-woman wrecking crew better known as Anna Meares), but like the Borg in 'Deep Space Nine' Team GB will have adapted quickly and likely still head the medals table.

    The most interesting sport in many ways has been gymnastics. Certainly not a success story historically, but the authorities decided to bring in Russians to run things. And what has happened? Last weekend Team GB's men won the European team event, beating the Russians into second place - and this after the junior team also won the European championships.

    The key for me, has been getting the necessary infrastructure in place, with the best coaches - even if that means having to accept new ideas from abroad.
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  26. BlueCrew LA Moderator

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    What are the participation levels like in GB? I imagine football sort of dominates the athletics landscape, which is the case really here in America with our own brand of football. I think the difference is a lot of those kids growing up were two or three sport athletes. The video I posted above showed football players who are on the track team. A good portion of our current track athletes in one event or another were former A. football, Basketball, or Baseball players. Sports like cycling, rowing, archery, wrestling, swimming kid were one sport focused.

    From the outside looking in because of Football's influence in England and how players are developed in England, with players in academies from a very young age two sport participation must be pretty difficult. In America most kids attach to various athletics in high school, where the better athletes play 2 or 3 sports.

    At what age do young athletes generally start to specialize in one sport or another? Olympic sports are a little different then Football because depending on the sport you can start around 15 never having played the sport and become world class.
  27. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    Without giving a non-answer to your questions I think most (though I can't be sure) sports people find their individual calling in life and tend to stick with it.

    As an aside, I'm not entirely convinced you build a sport up from the grass roots - at least not initially. An obvious failure in this respect has been tennis. They've tried doing that (pumping millions into it, such as from Wimbledon revenues) and it hasn't been reflected in the results.

    I see sporting success here as being able to build the structure from the top down i.e. getting the right coaches in place. That may sound counter intuitive, but if you have the right people they can then hone the talent available to them. The more succesful a sport becomes, the more it can then build support at the grass roots level.
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  28. BlueCrew LA Moderator

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    Also on that topic Jeff Demps (Florida) is giving up football for track. He's pretty fast, I think Trindon Holliday was faster, I don't think he'll be going to the Olympic trials though because he's on an active roster. The NFL doesn't like it's players to compete in the Olympics because of scheduling conflicts.

    Jeff Demps dumps NFL for track

    I think Demps could have a good track career now that it's his sole focus.

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  29. Rivron these are small those cows are far away

    Rivron
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    An interesting point this team vs country thing. Team GB are having a run in with the Bulls over Deng's wrist problem.

    Now it could be argued that the Bulls overused Deng during the season, but the point is someone is going to have to come up with the money to insure him against injury during London 2012.

    The latest figure I've seen quoted is around 450K. No doubt this will come down, but it's still a lot of money.
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  30. balooga999 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting subject, just to add my two cents...In general west coast universities and upper mid-west Universities have traditionally invested more in "non-revenue" generating athletics than the deep south and the north east....which tend to focus their attention on basketball and/or American football. Part of this has to do with public interest, the other, endowments.This is reflected in Olympic sports....I believe Stanford is a juggernaut when it comes to Olympic representation in recent times. As far as the schools who mix academics and athletics(strictly speaking in terms of Olympics) out side of the west coast schools, U. of Michigan and U. of North Carolina instantly come to mind; U. of Texas shouldn't be overlooked...always athletically stout it doesn't have the pedigree/history of academic glamour as the aforementioned schools but is an excellent academic institution. With the mind boggling amount of money being poured into that institution...U. of Texas should be one of the top state Universities (athletically and academically) in the country within the next the 10-20 years. Ohio St., Penn. St, Tennessee, Auburn, U. of Florida (esp. track and field), and U. of Washington have been well represented at the Olympics recently, though I'll leave the issue of academic stature of the said Universities open to discussion. Outside of Olympic consideration however I think there are a number of institutions outside the west coast who have tremendous pedigree in academic and athletic balance and stature...though I'll leave that discussion for another time.
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
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