Topic: London 2012

August 23, 2012

Inside a stuffy, ramshackle warehouse on the northern outskirts of Yemen’s capital, a dozen male gymnasts line up at the end of a tattered vaulting runway. They are hoping to be able to "jump big" as they do in their dreams. But obstacles, both inside and outside of the gym may prevent them from jumping to their biggest dream of all: a return to international competition. 

August 13, 2012

How do you cap off a spellbinding, two-week spectacle of sporting endeavour, subtlety, skill, brilliance, unity and raw emotion while simultaneously reminding the world that it all happened in the UK? The answer, at least according to the Olympic closing ceremony’s creative director Kim Gavin, is with an unstructured gallimaufry of tasteless performances, chintzy melodrama and high camp. Such a shame.

August 10, 2012

Even as the Summer Olympiad barrels toward the inevitable orgiastic conclusion and the joys of competition remind us why we love these Games, each successive quadrennial mega-event leaves behinds bigger and bigger questions in host cities. OR Books kindly allowed us to run an excerpt from Mark Perryman's short but powerful Why the Olympics Aren't Good for Us, and How They Can Be.

August 10, 2012

Team uniforms are compulsory attire, so for those who choose to eschew piercings, outré haircuts and the increasingly prevalent vogue for tattoos, an athlete’s choice of footwear is the only opportunity to display some individuality. So, how have Nike persuaded them all to wear the same ones?

August 8, 2012

U.S. platform diver Brittany Viola has a famous father and a life story that's seemingly built for NBC's off-the-rack uplift machine. But her life has been more complicated, and is much more inspiring, than the inevitable puff piece will convey.

August 3, 2012

Fredorrarci won't go into the ways the BBC's coverage of the games is better than NBC's. It wouldn't be fair. Were he to describe how wonderfully, wonderfully wonderful the BBC's service is, it would amount to taunting. And he's not that kind of person. Really he's not.

August 2, 2012

Ryan Lochte seems like a pretty epic bro, even by the usual standards for Olympic swimmer bro-hood. But it's tough to blame him for that, considering how hugely, unimaginably strange it must be to be an Olympian during the Olympics.

August 2, 2012

The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics had a soundtrack, which was about as 1984 Los Angeles as anything imaginable. That is: Toto writing a boxing anthem, a Foreigner instrumental, Giorgio Moroder being Giorgio Moroder, and a Christopher Cross swimming jam, for starters. In short: something to talk about, and which raises some questions.

July 31, 2012

Our second dispatch from London sees the Lord Mayor comparing athletes to glistening otters, the abuse of corporate perquisites, and universal truth about bums (butts, not homeless people).

July 31, 2012

NBC's Olympics broadcast is athletic competition communicated with an unheard-of level of editorial control. In truth, it often looks a lot like the network's regular primetime programming and not all that much like sports. It’s a spectacle guaranteed to bring in viewers and hopefully establish NBC as a home for quality programming. The problem with this plan is that most viewers are not completely stupid.