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 The Olympics Thread

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PostSubject: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:03 pm

Given that The Games of the 29th Olympiad start one week from tomorrow, I thought I would start a thread to discuss all things Olympic from now until the end of the Games.





Last edited by johnfás on Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:23 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:03 pm

First things first - 5 Russian athletes bound for Beijing have tested positive for banned substances.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics/athletics/7535380.stm
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:15 pm

I *LOVE* the Olympics. Was in Athens in 04 and it was fantastic. Really looking forward to this year's show. I might even have time to enjoy it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:25 pm

The oldest computer - used to determine when the Olympics would take place - that was found on a sunken Roman ship.


The Antikythera Mechanism

(I'll look into it whether there are Olympic video Games around .. )
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:28 pm

A guy the year below me in school, Scott Evans, is competing for Ireland in badminton in the Olympics this year. He is one of the best badminton players that we have ever produced. Wouldn't be overly confident of a medal though, the world game is a much higher standard than the European.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:30 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
The oldest computer - used to determine when the Olympics would take place - that was found on a sunken Roman ship.


The Antikythera Mechanism

(I'll look into it whether there are Olympic video Games around .. )

There is, in the lobby of a building I frequent every day (for the moment), a stand with an Olympics game, where you hold these orange straps and can box, play football, swim and run olympics style. It's terrible but great fun. Nothing beats making a show of yourself in th lobby of a busy office building.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:31 pm

Has anyone been to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne? It is a very interesting place to spend a day.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:34 pm

johnfás wrote:
Has anyone been to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne?

I'm sure somebody has.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:39 pm

It is well worth the visit. You can see samples of all the medals and the olympic torches, as well as getting your photo taken with the olympic flame.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:51 pm

What's the situation with time difference with regard to this year's games?
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:52 pm

They're 7 hours ahead of us.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:26 am

China has decided to firewall access to the internet for international journalists whilst they are in China. They had previously stated that there would be no firewalls in the Olympic Village for international journalists. Consequently, pro Tibet, Amnesty International websites etc are inaccessible, even to international journalists.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:26 am

TBH - This is going to be my only comment anywhere on the Bejing Olympics:

I am just going to totally ignore the whole occasion - Firstly because its in China and I have no time for the Chinese government and I encourage everybody simply not to watch the occasion on TV as a means of protest - the ratings people will get the message soon enough.

secondly - because apart from the Womens beach Volleyball tournament - the rest of disciplines are about as exciting as watching paint dry and the real competition going on here will be to see who can win the most without getting caught out by the Chemist police - they are all at it - like professional cycling - it makes the whole spectacle null and void.

Roll on London 2012 - well at least its going to be held in a democracy
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:03 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
The oldest computer - used to determine when the Olympics would take place - that was found on a sunken Roman ship.


The Antikythera Mechanism


This seems to be an amazing thing, with 29 gears and cogs and whirly things. Wouldn't you think they would try to make a working replica of it to work out what it was for?

(I'll look into it whether there are Olympic video Games around .. )
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:19 pm

Edo wrote:
TBH - This is going to be my only comment anywhere on the Bejing Olympics:

I am just going to totally ignore the whole occasion - Firstly because its in China and I have no time for the Chinese government and I encourage everybody simply not to watch the occasion on TV as a means of protest - the ratings people will get the message soon enough.

secondly - because apart from the Womens beach Volleyball tournament - the rest of disciplines are about as exciting as watching paint dry and the real competition going on here will be to see who can win the most without getting caught out by the Chemist police - they are all at it - like professional cycling - it makes the whole spectacle null and void.

Roll on London 2012 - well at least its going to be held in a democracy

I'll probably watch the Irish lads boxing, that's about it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:56 am

I'd like to watch the Olympics. In the girly way I'm fond of the diving, gymnastics (especially) and some of the athletics. However I just can't bear to think of the work the Chinese did in order to get the city ready for this - demolishing the hutongs for a start. I have a notion that it's just another Great Wall project in which thousands have lost some part of their lives for the 'greater good'. In fact, if sport has any kind of inherent ethic, then the holding of the event in China goes against everything that sport should stand for - if it stands for anything noble anymore.

I still think that athletes should boycott the Games and this story that they've worked all their lives towards this moment isn't a valid argument for me. Sport is intensely political, from the grassroots up. That the nations of the world are supporting the Emperor in his new clothes sickens me.

I went as a tourist to China and while I'm very glad to have been there to see how the place works, I'm eternally sorry that I had any hand, act of part in the propagation of what remains a brutal regime, utterly disregardful of the most basic rights of its people.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:54 pm

Kate P wrote:
I still think that athletes should boycott the Games and this story that they've worked all their lives towards this moment isn't a valid argument for me. Sport is intensely political, from the grassroots up. That the nations of the world are supporting the Emperor in his new clothes sickens me.

I have to disagree with you there. Sport is intensely political from the elites down, not from the grassroots up. I would also argue that sport is far less political for the majority of the sports which you see at the Olympics. Whilst rugby and football are very international centric, the same is not true of most track and field, individual sporting persuits and so on. These make up the bulk of the Olympic Sports.

Most athletes compete most regularly, not internationally, but for their own individual merit. They seek an Olympic medal for the same reason.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:36 pm

I'm not terribly emanored with the boycott idea. We can't ignore China and it isn't going away and it's only going to become more important and more powerful in the next 10-20 years, we've got to engage with them more and more, we can't change them over night and we won't change them in one fell swoop, but little by little we can bring them round to our way of thinking, at least on a international political level if we keep in there and keep the pressure on with just enough force not to push them away.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:38 pm

I also think a boycott would do alot more harm than good. China isn't an international player that you can sideline at this stage. There is an increasing latent nationalism within China, which if it were to be overly antagonised, could be very dangerous.
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PostSubject: Northern Ireland flag banned at the Olympics   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:38 pm

I've just found this on irishtimes.com. Apparently, in a ruling to stop the flying of Tibetan flags at the Olympics, the NI flag will be banned from proceedings in Beijing.

The Irish Times wrote:
Strict rules banning the display of certain symbols at the Beijing Olympics will mean Northern Ireland supporters will not be able to wave their national flag at the events, it was claimed today.

A code of conduct for spectators laid down by Organising Committee outlaws flags other than those of Olympic members.

Amnesty International claims the measure has been introduced to ensure no flags of Chinese-governed Tibet are displayed by independence campaigners. However, the human rights group said it will have consequences for other national flags as well.

The Repubilc and United Kingdom are represented by the Tricolour and the Union flag, respectively, but Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales are not members in their own right.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International programme director for Northern Ireland, said: “To many sports fans from here travelling to Beijing it will seem absurd that neither they nor our athletes can show the Northern Ireland or Ulster flags at the Olympics.

“But for people in China the repression of free speech is much more serious - saying the wrong thing can land you in prison and many journalists and activists have been arrested.”

“Local athletes taking medals at the Beijing Olympics should be able to do a victory lap with a Northern Ireland or Ulster flag if they wish,” he added.

The Organising Committee guidelines states that spectators should not bring the following to any events: “Flags of non-members of the Olympics or Paralympics; flags or banners larger than 2m x 1m; flagpoles; any banners, slogans, fliers, brochures or samples.”

I think they should fly Tricolours, it's their real country anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:41 pm

This is a bit of a non story. English flags are banned also. So are Dublin flags, Cork flags, Confederate flags for athletes from the Southern States, Breton flags for people representing France who are from Bretagne.

There is no discrimination here against Northern Ireland, which this is trying to manufacture. It is merely a limiting of symbols to those directly associated through teams with the Games. You might argue that is a silly thing to do, but it certainly doesn't discriminate against Northern Ireland moreso than it does anything else.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:44 pm

Also, if you don't mind I'm going to merge this thread with the definitive Olympics thread which was established to discuss all things related to the Olympiad. I will split it back again if you feel it is specifically deserving of a single thread.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:54 pm

johnfás wrote:
Also, if you don't mind I'm going to merge this thread with the definitive Olympics thread which was established to discuss all things related to the Olympiad. I will split it back again if you feel it is specifically deserving of a single thread.

Yes please.
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:56 pm

You can understand why not, there would be as many flags as athletes. I suppose no Welsh flags either, my granny will be sad Sad
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PostSubject: Re: The Olympics Thread   Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:05 pm

cactus flower wrote:
You can understand why not, there would be as many flags as athletes. I suppose no Welsh flags either, my granny will be sad Sad

I'm sure it has more to do with this flag than the numeroud different flags:

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